The Do’s and Don’ts of Mobile App Design

There are many things to consider when designing a new mobile app. While it’s true that an app is not a mobile site, these entities aren’t and shouldn’t be thought of as stand-alone experiences. 

Your average app user typically owns several devices including their smartphone, meaning they’ll be expecting a seamless brand experience whether they visit your desktop website, mobile site, or smartphone application.  

Smartphone owners have high expectations from mobile apps today, and as hardware gets more powerful, these expectations are only getting higher. 

Nailing the user experience of your new app is crucial to ensuring that it works as a revenue generator. To get you started, here are some simple things that you should do when designing your app’s experience, and a couple of things to avoid.  

Strive for a minimal design

The nature of an app means that space will be limited, so you need to take a minimalist approach when it comes to the overall design. Wherever possible you should strive for minimalism, focusing on the most valuable content. Cluttering the interface with several buttons, images and many lines of text will only end up overwhelming users, so remember to keep the interface light.  

Ideally, you should ensure that each screen only focuses on one primary action, with one call-to-action. Users will be much more likely to engage with an app that offers clear, targeted screens rather than a single cluttered one.  

Prioritize features

The most successful apps that pull in users time and time again are highly focused on providing an intuitive experience. 

Therefore, instead of overloading an app with features, effective app design focuses only on those functions that are central to the app’s core purpose. The best poker apps, for example, keep things streamlined and practical to ensure that users receive a seamless gaming experience on the go.  

Ensure your app is mobile-friendly  

It seems obvious, but a mobile application needs to be mobile-friendly. There’s no point asking users to type in lots of information like you would on a desktop site, since typing on a smartphone is slow, laborious, and prone to errors. This means you should keep any forms short, simple, and ideally provide choices instead of input fields.  

It’s also important to design the right size of touch targets for any interactive elements. A button that’s too small will only lead to mistakes, while a button too big could end up taking up too much space on a screen. In keeping with button design best practices, the ideal size is between 7 and 10 mm (26 px and 37 px).  

Don’t make users wait 

Mobile apps need to be more convenient to use than websites, whether mobile or desktop. Your users will be expecting a fast, responsive experience, so don’t make them wait for content to load with a blank screen. 

Don’t try to replicate the web experienceAs we stated above, a mobile app is not a mobile version of a website, so don’t make the mistake of trying to replicate the web experience. Users expect intuitive, responsive interactions on a mobile app, so adding in website elements, such as underlined hyperlinks, feels awkward and confusing to the end-user. 

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