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How to avoid the most crucial mistakes in mobile app design

Dec 24, 2014 by Petr Kudlacek | Post a Comment

When creating a mobile app it’s important to take a deep breath and really spend time planning how your app will function and what it will look like, all with the user experience in mind. Many times, businesses skip this crucial step, and their apps end up disconnecting with users and creating and overall poor experience. It’s difficult enough to gain people to download your app. Why spend all that time, money, and efforts if the user just download it and then delete the app? Learn from the most common mistakes, and avoid them when creating your mobile app:


1. To treat the mobile experience as if it was the desktop

A lot of mobile apps are just smaller versions of the brand’s desktop with the exact same functionality. Yet, a mobile app is an entirely different thing for experiences, and it should be treated according to the new opportunities it provides. It’s rather common to suppose that a customer will enter as much information on the mobile device as they do on the desktop.


mobile vs desktop


It is critical to make sure your fonts and images are properly sized. Tiny text or giant images that take up an entire screen will confuse and frustrate users. In addition, take into account the width of a fingertip when designing your touch targets- buttons that are too small for a user to tap will make your app useless. Ensuring that touch targets are evenly spaced with enough room to be easily tapped is also vitally important to creating a user-friendly app. With the small mobile screen you focus on what is truly important.


2. To Ignore the fold

The fold, which is the content visible before you initiate a scroll, shouldn’t be ignored during mobile app development. This is because mobile users are still getting used to scrolling smartly.
In the mobile app design industry, we’ve spent a lot of time convincing ourselves that the fold is dead and people know how to scroll.
Apps still retain most content from their web counterparts - where a responsive, longer web layout has become common. Therefore, it’s important that you put important actions above the fold.


3. To Assume All Users Are Created Equal

No one is going to use the app exactly like you do, and to assume so could be the death of your application. User testing is increasingly important to make sure your app really runs as great as you think, and that using it is intuitive to your target market. Organizing a testing group of designers and other trusted colleagues will help you make sure that the app is well-designed and thought out completely before releasing it to the public.


not all users are equal


4. Not to Let Items Breathe

Cluttering your app is easy to do and can be harmful to the user experience. Over-stuffing a display with images and text can depress the user and create confusion on what to click- without mentioning poorly designed, stuffed interfaces can make users simply leave and delete your app.
App navigation is key to impressing the user and actually creating a useful application. If there’s too much going on, the user won’t know where to go or how to move around the app.
Always preview your work on the actual devices to make sure the user can see the most important parts of your design, and that everything has room to breathe.


5. Unresponsive gestures (taps, swipes, pinches, etc.)

While designing your app to fit many screens that smartphones have (especially with Android), you might come upon some user confusion regarding gestures. Because gestures such as tilt, shake, double tap and rotate are still in their gestural infancy, it might cause some confusion when using your app which could frustrate the user.


unresponsive gestures


Additionally, for example, images you might feel to convey just as images, to users may be mistaken for action items that your users may try a number of ways to interact with them. This can also lead to frustration and in many cases it can lead to users dropping the app entirely and moving on.


6. Don’t ask users to register before offering value

Forcing users to register before they have tested your app is one of the big mistakes. Ask yourself the question while designing the UI of your app: If it was a web application that you were designing would you force the user to register?
Before a user registers for your app and gives his credentials, he must have a benefit of using your app. Your app must show some value and inspire user engagement, so registration becomes a natural, not a forced process. So your app must be first felt by the user who acknowledges its values and later decides to register automatically.



What unites all these elements of design? The fact that the best designs are always considered carefully. Knowing mistakes made by others can really help in your development cycle. Avoiding these 6 mistakes when designing your app will help you make an app that users love and keep engaging with.

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