Tips For Designing A Mobile App

good mobile app design

If you are taking your first foray into designing a mobile app for your business or brand, you are making a great decision. Recent research predicts over 268 billion mobile downloads will lead to $77 billion in 2017 income generation.

Couple this positive forecast with the fact that mobile apps are closely followed by the desirable 25-34, 35-44 and 45-54 age demographics, and the decision to go mobile is a simple one.

What is less simple — at least at first glance — is designing a mobile app that will get users to notice, download and interact with the app regularly.

The best way to achieve these goals is to work with a mobile app developer that will implement the following tips that lead to amazing app design.

Make Sure Your App Takes a Balanced, Consistent Approach to App Design

A good app is made by people, for people. It is easy to lose sight of this in our increasingly digital world. Yet the fact remains that humans are constantly looking for balance, most evident by our collective stress regarding work-life balance.

In a world that prioritizes balance, make sure your app provides this. Start by ensuring all elements within the app are spaced and arranged consistently, which helps orient the user.

Thinking bigger picture, it can help to use primary icons from your branding and products that users already know. For example, nearly every mobile user knows the universal icons for Wi-Fi, volume and Bluetooth on his or her phone. What icons would your app users intuitively recognise?

Using these icons and elements will make it easy to navigate the app at first glance, which is a huge step toward ensuring a consistent app experience.

A Mobile App Should Be Easy to Interact With and Read

All typefaces on your app should be easy to read with clean formatting, and it is a good rule of thumb that larger typeface is generally better.

It is tempting to think that small mobile devices need smaller font sizes, but the opposite is usually true for a better app.

When users interact with your app, they will be swiping with their fingers and touching text and buttons with their thumbs. The larger the text, the more control users will have over these gestures.

If typefaces are too small, this can lead to significant amounts of user frustration.

Best of all, a larger text size means less clutter in your app, which lets you provide bite-sized content that is better structured and more pleasing for the user. This design approach benefits everything from content pages to the app’s checkout process.

That said, you should also be sure to use a thinner font that makes the most out of today’s high-resolution screens found on high-end smartphones. Keeping these principles in mind does not mean you should be afraid of experimentation, however.

Experiment with font styles and indentations that will help users easily recognize the app’s various categories and subcategories. In effect, while readability is important, so too is the user’s ability to navigate the app.

A Useable Mobile App Is Less Likely to Be Kicked to the Curb

While a mobile app presents unique brand opportunities unavailable elsewhere, the obvious benefits of mobile apps have led to significant competition in the marketplace.

There are more than 2 million apps on Android and iOS alike. Even if you are in a niche industry, the reality is, you will be competing for your target audience’s attention.

Seventy-seven percent of apps are never used again 72 hours after first download. The best way to safeguard your app from being part of this dire statistic is by making the app eminently useable.

To start, a good mobile app should be just as functional in landscape mode as it is in portrait mode. When all user preferences are accounted for, you are well on your way toward enticing all users to stay. Then, consider how the most important app buttons are interfaced. Are call-to-action buttons, add-to-cart buttons and the like ideally situated near a user’s thumbs? If not, they should. Bottom line, the most important app buttons should be easy to access and touch.

Also, make your app buttons at least larger than 1 centimeter on the screen, ensuring each button can be touched easily. In the same vein, give each button enough spacing so users don’t make accidental errors that add frustration by taking them to an unintended part of the app.

Finally, with regards to user-friendly design, make sure the app is responsive and helps keep the user oriented within the app at all times. Providing users with app feedback after certain actions — whether with sound, animation or color changes — will keep users properly oriented and engaged.

Make a Bold and Savvy App Design Statement

When it comes to bold, impactful design, color is essential. It is a well-known psychological phenomenon that color evokes certain emotions such as excitement (red), youthfulness (yellow) or intellectualism (blue).

Of course, these tools are valuable, but it is likely you are going to want to design an app with more than one color.

To this end, consider complementary color pairings— such as the stimulating combo of red and green; or the harmonious pair of yellow and orange.

Last, consider how you want to present choice to the user. A clever blend of stronger and weaker colors can help establish a beneficial hierarchy of choices for the user, which is used to great effect for product comparisons or navigating app categories.

In sum, while much of good app design is technical, never forget the benefit of artistic design choice, as well. Good app design is still as much art as it is science.

 

Justin LeClair

Justin LeClair

Justin LeClair is Co-Founder and Co-CEO of App Partner, a Brooklyn-based mobile agency. LeClair’s responsibilities include overseeing the company's design and development teams as well as leveraging his personal programming and technical design experience to bring innovative products rapidly to market. To date, he has developed or overseen 200 unique mobile applications generating tens of millions of downloads.
Justin LeClair

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