Saturday , 24 February 2024

Bad App Design vs Good App Design: What to Avoid & What to Aim For

Apps are the most popular form of mobile phone engagement. The average person spends around 3.5 hours a day browsing apps, and 85% of mobile phone users report a preference to apps over mobile websites.

The popularity of the platform comes from its dynamic user experience. Consumers report ease of use, convenience and accessibility as the primary drivers behind their attraction to apps over mobile websites.

To meet user expectations, though, developers must ensure they follow practices of good app design. Bad app design that fails to offer the ease of use, convenience and accessibility users crave will result in an app that nobody wants to use.

But how do you ensure your app development project avoids bad app design?

Strong Navigation Is Essential

Movement within an app is important. For an in-app experience to be convenient and a step up from mobile websites, a focus should be put on how users can seamlessly flow from one app element to another.

Bad app navigation:

The moment your user gets trapped, it is game over. Nobody is going to hang around to try and buy something or use your services if they find themselves walled into an app page without direction. If the only option for them is to quit the app, they’ll quit the app and not come back.

But bad app design doesn’t have to be so dramatic. Poorly visible navigation tools or limited movement will still detract from your app experience and have users clicking that uninstall button.

Good app navigation:

Good app design features easily-visible, highly-functional navigation. What this means is that, at any point during a user’s app experience, they can move to new pages and transport themselves almost anywhere within the app, with very little thought or effort. For finance apps with several pages of data, the ability to navigate seamlessly is essential.

Alongside clear, progressive navigation — navigation that moves users towards their goals — other tools to include to aid movement are:

  • Return to previous page
  • Menus
  • Sub-menus
  • Sidebars

To test if your app features good navigation, give your development platform to somebody that has never seen or used it before. Give them specific tasks to accomplish. Ask them to go to certain pages then navigate elsewhere in the app. Test multiple moves and methods of navigation. If, at any point, the user cannot work out how to navigate to the location without having to carefully think about how to get there, or if they are unable to do it all together, your app’s navigation needs work.

The Appeal Is In The Aesthetics

With the app stores of today filled with sleek, premium-looking designs, users have grown accustomed to a certain standard of app quality. As a result, an app that looks like a bad HTML website isn’t going to pull in many downloads or encourage repeat business. They say don’t judge a book by its cover, but with apps, that is exactly what people are going to do.

Bad In-App Aesthetics

So what makes a bad app design in terms of aesthetics? The two key factors here are:

  • Outdated design
  • Ugly appearance

Apps today look sharp, and those that don’t meet these standards are likely to be met with ridicule. Apps that use offensive, vulgar colour palettes, that are overloaded on images or text, or that look cheap will not achieve the downloads of better-designed rivals.

Good In-App Aesthetics

Good app aesthetics is all about simplicity and clean design.

If you look at popular apps such as eBay or Amazon, you’ll notice a few similarities. First, the colour palettes used are soft and muted tones; nothing bright over overbearing. The app itself is also minimalist. There is a lot of white space, text is kept short and images don’t overpower the page. The arrangements of sections, pages and products are also neat. Straight edges and clear separations.

Designing apps in this way ensures a simple user experience, while also establishing an aura of professionalism and quality.

Interfacing And Interaction Seals The Deal

Even if your app looks great and users can move around it easily, there is still one other method of design that can scare them away: interfacing. Bad app design can lead to poor interaction and user input, which in turn leads to frustration and a short-lived app experience.

Bad App Interfacing and Interaction

Your modern human is an impatient creature. They don’t have to wait very long for anything these days, so why wait for your app platforms? If interfacing does not produce instantaneous results, you are going to lose people. Make sure that a tap of a button leads to immediate gratification.

On the subject on taps, app input should remain within the standardised methods of which users have become accustomed. Some of the more independent developers may try to distinguish themselves from other apps out there by using different interaction methods but, again, this will just frustrate the user. They know how an app should work and bad design means it doesn’t work how they think it should.

Good App Interfacing and Interaction

We’ve already said what really needs to be said. The earliest touch-screen apps set the trend for how apps work — just as early car designs now mean all cars are driven almost identically. Good mobile app design means integrating interfaces that work as you’d expect them to.

It’s not exciting, it doesn’t push the boundaries or make your app stand out, but it gives the users exactly what they want: an intuitive experience. One they can pick up and use from the word go.

Nobody wants to learn how to operate your app. Give the people what they want, which is more of what they love.

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