How To Design An App
According to 90 percent of app users, poor performance is grounds for stopping the use of an app altogether.
Do you want to prevent people from clicking away from your app because of a manageable issue like this? Are you confused about how to design an app that looks good and functions properly?
If so, outlined below are some key tips you should keep in mind. Read on to learn everything you need to know.
Why Does App Design Matter?
Before we explore the specifics of what constitutes good app design, let’s break down some of the benefits of prioritizing design when creating a new app. The following are the top reasons why app design matters in 2021 and beyond:
Attract More Users
A well-designed app does a better job of attracting users than one with a subpar layout and design. People are more inclined to check out an app that looks good and seems easy to navigate compared to one that is cluttered, confusing, or difficult to understand.
Remember, humans are extremely visual creatures. We’re drawn to aesthetically pleasing things, and apps are no exception.
Build a Better Brand Image
It doesn’t matter if you’re building an app as an extension of your business (e.g., you run a clothing store and are building an app to allow your customers to shop online more easily) or if your app is your business. Either way, a well-designed app helps to strengthen your branding and makes it easier for users to feel more aligned with your message and values.
Increase Customer Loyalty
Not only are people more likely to download and use your app if it’s well-designed, but they’ll also be more likely to continue using it and be loyal to your business long-term. It’s more expensive to obtain a new customer than it is to retain an existing one, so anything you can do to increase customer loyalty (including adjusting your app’s design) is worth considering.
All of these benefits lead to more downloads, more subscriptions, more in-app purchases, and more ad revenue. In other words, good app design can lead to increased revenue and more money for your business now and in the future.
Every business owner wants to maximize their earnings, especially after investing in designing and launching a new app. If good design can help you accomplish this, why wouldn’t you make it a priority?
How to Design a Good App
Now, let’s get down to business. How do you design a good app? Here are some tips to help you create an app people will want to use over and over again:
Set Clear Goals
The definition of “good” app design varies a lot depending on who’s creating the app and why they’re creating it. After all, an app that looks good and functions well for a clothing retailer that wants to offer in-app shopping likely won’t be the same as an app that looks good and functions well for a personal trainer who wants to offer virtual fitness programs.
Before you begin the app design and development process, it’s important to take a step back and think about what you want to accomplish. What are your goals for the app, and what kinds of design elements will help you to achieve those goals?
If you take the time to address these questions early on in the design process, you’ll have an easier time seeing returns on your investment later.
Research Your Competitors
If you’re not sure where to begin when it comes to designing an app, there’s no harm in checking out your competitors’ apps (if they have them).
While you shouldn’t set out to copy someone else’s work, doing some competitor research can give you a better idea of what’s working and what isn’t from a design perspective. Checking out a competitor’s app can also help you to avoid accidental copying, which can still be confusing to your customers (at best) and get you in legal trouble (at worst).
When researching your competitors, pay attention to the layout of the app and how navigable (or not navigable) it is.
Is it clear how you access the menu and the different pages of the app? Can you read the text easily? Are there too many pictures, making it look cluttered, or not enough imagery, making it look barren?
Take notes on what you like and don’t like so you can design an app that is unique to your business and beneficial to your target audience.
Consider Audience Needs
Speaking of your audience, that’s another factor to take into account when designing an app.
Who is your target customer? What kinds of features would they appreciate in an app? Do they even want to download and use an app at all?
There are lots of ways you can conduct customer research and learn about your audience’s needs and goals. Send out a survey via email, for example, or set up some polls via social media.
Choose the Right Colors
When you get ready to start creating prototypes of your app, you’ll need to think about the kinds of colors you want to use.
If you already have an existing business, this is an easier question to answer because you’ll, ideally, use the same colors in your app that you’re using in your other marketing and promotional materials. This allows for a more cohesive brand image and makes it easier for customers to recognize your business’s app in the app store.
If your app is your business and you’re starting from scratch, you’ll need to think more carefully about the colors you use.
What kind of message do you want to send with your app’s design? What kinds of associations do you want people to make between the colors you use and the values of your business?
Do some digging into the basics of color psychology so you can choose colors that align with your goals and mission.
Choose the Right Font
Another important design factor to consider is typography. Which fonts do you want to use when designing your app?
Similar to the color issue, if you already have an existing business, it’s best if your fonts are consistent with the fonts used in your other marketing materials.
The only exception is if a particular font is hard to read on a smartphone or tablet screen. If this is the case, you may want to opt for another, more easily readable one.
As for new businesses, pick a font that is easy to read in a variety of sizes. Consider how well it aligns with your brand, too. If your brand has a serious tone, for example, a curly, whimsical font probably isn’t the right choice.
Consider Difference Screen Sizes
When designing the layout, graphics, and text for your app, don’t forget that people will be accessing it on many different devices with different screen sizes.
If you only design your app for the latest smartphone, you may find that it doesn’t look as good or work as well on other phones or a tablet, for example. Remember, everyone should have the same (positive) experience when using your app, regardless of the device they’re using to access it.
Failure to take this issue into account can cause you to accidentally alienate some of your target audience. This, in turn, can hurt your user count, your sales, and the overall success of your app.
It’s best for all user interface design elements to be consistent across all pages of the app. For example, if the call-to-action button on the home page is red, it should be red on all subsequent pages. It should be the same size and located in the same place, too.
When you’re inconsistent with your user interface design, you increase the likelihood that users will get confused and accidentally click the wrong button or take the wrong action. Not only is this frustrating for your customers, but it can also hurt your sales and impact your bottom line, especially if people are exiting the app altogether because it has a confusing or difficult-to-follow design.
The best apps are ones that are easy to navigate. Users should be able to intuitively figure out where to go and which buttons to push to get from one location to the next.
Many business owners, when they’re creating an app, find themselves tempted to reinvent the wheel and design something totally different from every other app on the market. This goal is admirable in some ways, but it’s also often foolish from a design standpoint.
People don’t want to play guessing games to try and figure out how to navigate an app. They want a simple, streamlined experience that allows them to complete a purchase or access information as quickly as possible.
In 2021, it’s more important than ever that apps be accessible. This allows them to be usable by a wide range of people, including those with disabilities like vision impairments and hearing impairments.
A popular example of accessibility in app design includes giving users the option to change the size of the text in the app so they can easily read product descriptions, instructions, articles, and more.
Another example is including captions to accompany videos. That way, those who are deaf or hard of hearing can still know what’s being said and can navigate the app with ease.
Minimize Required User Inputs
The less people have to do sign up and start using your app, the more likely they are to actually follow through and give it a try.
Do whatever you can to minimize the number of names, dates, passwords, etc. that people have to type in before they can get started. You may even want to add the option for people to log in using another platform, such as Facebook, to further reduce the work on their end and help them to start exploring the app as quickly as possible.
Remember, if you ask for too much information, or if you make it harder for people to input their information, your target users may get frustrated and decide not to use the app at all.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
After reading through all these different elements of good app design, you might find yourself feeling a little overwhelmed or frazzled. If you aren’t confident in your ability to navigate the waters of good app design, or if you just don’t have the time to dedicate to it, there’s nothing wrong with hiring a professional development team to assist you.
The best app design professionals will listen to your goals, do research to learn about your audience, and help you create an app from scratch that complements your business’s needs and mission.
Look for an agency that has experience designing apps like the one you want to create. Then, take a look at their portfolio to see if their work lines up with what you’ve been envisioning for your app.
Test for Success
Always launch a beta version of your app before you finalize the design. This gives you a chance to evaluate the effectiveness of the design and assess what works and what doesn’t.
Monitor your analytics carefully during the beta test period so you can make needed changes before launching the finished product.
Working with a professional app development team can be very helpful for this stage, as they have access to a variety of tools and technologies that make it easier for you to monitor performance and gather useful data during the testing period.
Upgrade Your App Design Today
Now that you know more about app development and how to design a good app, it’s time to get to work. Be sure to implement the strategies discussed above so you can simplify your process and maximize your results.
If you need additional app design help from seasoned professionals, feel free to reach out to us at Alpha Bravo Development today for a free quote.