Home Insights & Advice Five tips for designing better apps

Five tips for designing better apps

by John Saunders
21st Jul 21 2:50 pm

A recent survey on app use found 25 percent of apps are accessed only once after the initial download. Increasing the odds of your app is more than a “one and done” experience by putting some extra attention to detail into the design process. 

Below, you’ll find five tips for designing better apps that could make your creation something inviting.

1. Take care of design basics first

It’s easy to jump ahead and think about all the creative and useful things you want to include in your app as you explore design options. 

But don’t forget about the basics of app design! Create a solid foundation for your app and a good user experience by paying attention to:

  • Navigation features
  • Adjustments for screen size to appeal to mobile users
  • The intended purpose for the app2.Avoid Potential Hurdles and Obstacles

2. Avoid potential hurdles and obstacles

Approach the design process through the eyes of the intended user. Think about anything that might cause you to hesitate or bail on the app altogether. For example, 75 percent of mobile interactions are thumb-driven, according to one estimate. 

Therefore, you’ll want to leave enough space on the screens to allow for thumb-activated responses. Further overcome possible user obstacles by:

  • Allowing only one task per screen
  • Using icons, underlined text for links, and other affordances that give indications of what various elements on a screen do
  • Using words or phrases and providing prompts like “go back” to return to the previous page. 

3. Use reliable, task-specific tools

You’ll be more likely to design a better app if you use the right tools for the job. Focus on ones specific to your design goals. 

With user experience, for instance, the Adobe XD app design tool can work well for both mobile and web apps given this company’s knowledge and experience with such tools. 

Whatever your arsenal of tools ends up including, take the time to familiarise yourself with the features of each one so you’ll benefit fully from each tool you use during the design process.

4. Seek input from everyone involved

The process of designing an app often involves an assortment of talent and expertise from multiple individuals and teams. On top of that, there’s also the actual client and anyone else on the client-end who has a say in what the finished app ends up being. 

Avoid lapses in communication by making an effort to keep everyone involved with the app design process in the know. Even just sending out regular updates or holding virtual meetings at certain intervals can be helpful.

5. Keep core UI principles in mind

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel to design an app. Sure, it’s fine to think out of the box of some of your design elements and features. However, if you ignore UI principles in the process, you could turn potential users away. Typically, the fundamentals of user interface design involve:

  • Easy-to-understand features
  • Recognisable and consistent patterns
  • Familiar features users tend to expect
  • Optimising readability with sufficient space around text and other screen elements

There are many factors to consider when designing an app, including ones specific to the app’s intended purpose. However, if you keep the tips mentioned here in mind, you’ll be more likely to present an app your intended users actually use and recommend to others

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