Do you want your mobile app to succeed? 5 Commandments to do it Right
Technology disruption has made it easily affordable to everyone. In the past, small and medium enterprises used to think mobile apps are for big brands. Now, businesses have understood that an effective mobile strategy is way ahead than having just a mobile-friendly website. In fact, mobile apps have become so ubiquitous; that you will find every other business pushing their own dedicated mobile app. Indeed, such businesses are playing safe when it comes to taking their marketing to the next level by staying ahead in the game.
So, are you planning to develop your business idea into a successful mobile app? The extraordinary design is key to get attention from users and leading operating systems. Therefore, if your mobile app transudes a fetor of mediocrity, neither the iOS App Store or Google Play Store will accept and feature it. If the app is not available in stores, your shoppers will not be able to download it or share it. Here are the top five commandments you need to focus if you want your business mobile app to be a grand success.
1. Clogging Too Much Information in Single Screen: A Big No-No
Cluttered information is frightful. Remember, many users download mobile apps out of impulse. The commitment level of such users is dangerously low – “easy come easy go” type. If your app is motivating users to decode user interface, most will not even try; they will just wipe the app’s presence and move on to the next one.
- Understand the limitations of a small screen; prefer doing only one or two elements or functions amazingly to win users.
- Less is more, strip the features that you feel are not absolutely essential for the app functioning.
- Break up the interface into coherent screens and never attempt to provide too much information on a single screen. Keep an optimal number of taps; it is easier to understand the function when divided into multiple screens.
- Display minimal UI elements that are necessary for the given screen to function
- Padding and white space are best allies in UI/UX design
2. Manuals do not help in UI Fixing: Manuals are for Dumbo’s
Mobile app users never read user manuals they just want to smother it. If users fail to understand the interface of your app after repeated muddling, they will give up, turning towards another app. There happen to be some amazing apps in the App Store and Play Store offering a ‘tour’ technique. This technique is just a brief rundown of the app’s functionality for first-time users. You can use it too; but only if you think your app has complicated UI. Nevertheless, keep it short and highly engaging. Even so, do not count on it, as many users will jump the tour and directly start using the app.
The best way of avoiding user manuals or tour videos is by providing small clues throughout the app providing enough hints to users about what the app does and how it functions. On the contrary, using graphical instructions is also the best idea to keep users hooked.
Statistics say that 73% of mobile users avoid reading. Still, if you want to use words, then using written instructions in context rather than in manuals will yield the expected outcome. The whole idea is to show users the next obvious step, which is not apparent in the existing UI. Try keeping a sarcastic or humorous tone of the text; it will add an oomph factor preventing users from turning away.
3. Welcoming Users with Registration Screen: A Great Debacle
Skip the practice of interrogating new app users. Already, there are many mobile apps forcing users through a series of checks, registration and login screens before offering any value. Is it really necessary?
Registration or login screens are perfect for app users already using specific services like Facebook or LinkedIn. Conversely, when users are willing to use your app, they first need to find out what it is and how it functions. If they fail to understand this basic thing, many will black out from the app. A truth regarding pulling information from users (registration screens); “no one cares to give anything unless they know what they are receiving”.
Consider the necessity of pulling extra information from users; ask yourselves if it is really worth to scare users by providing login screen before providing any value?
4. Emphasizing on Your Own Representation of External Reality: Do not Enervate Mental Models
A mental model is very much correlative to the interface design or UI. It represents a person’s perspective or thought process about how something works. It is a representation of external reality and mobile users possess a habit of creating a mental model of an app very quickly; often, before even using the app or software. Users create mental models from their prior experiences of similar apps, software’s, gadgets or from assumptions they have, things they have heard or from direct or indirect experiences.
Nevertheless, mental models are subject to change and this is why you will have to analyze, understand, and appropriate a mental model of your business app. Focus on creating a conceptual model of the app before starting with the user interface design. Asking developers to create a prototype and ensuring it matches the user’s mental model is the first step towards designing a great UI.
Sometimes the user’s mental model will not fit the conceptual model you have developed. In such cases, you need to focus on changing a user’s mental model to fit your conceptual model. You can do this by introducing a short training video (see: Commandment 2), which will adjust and tweak the users mental model ensuring it fits your conceptual model.
5. Bending rules is not the way to create awesome designs, you need creativity bounded by conventions
Creativity is definitely good, but you and the app designers must respect the rules. The smartphone makers undertook a lot of efforts to build today’s awesome touch UI. Thus, breaking designing rules are great ignorance of their efforts. Remember, mobile app breaking conventions too often might witness negligence from the user’s part as well.
- How not to break the Mobile App UI Designing Conventions
- Use, retrospect, and understand default smartphone UI from the point of designing UI conventionally – you will never break the rules
- Memorize, the Human Interface Guidelines and ensure periodic HIG check-up for your app.
- Prefer mobile app development by writing native codes, although, there is nothing wrong in using tools like PhoneGap for cross-platform mobile app development. However, the apps created with PhoneGap or the cross-platform apps do not offer that much appealing feel as much offered by the native apps. Moreover, Android and Apple make it hard (not impossible) to break the UI rules when you write codes using their native technologies.
Building a successful mobile business app is not a minor chore. Steering away from these five major commandments is just another equation to build a killer mobile app. These commandments are shortlisted after obsessive observation and study of numerous mobile apps resembling one another. It will definitely help you stand out from the thousands of mediocre mobile apps. Apart from a brilliant interface and mind-blowing features, an equally awesome business idea, and marketing strategy are must if you want to build a successful mobile app.
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