When it comes to making an app which is likely to offer returns for your hard work, there are multiple elements which need to be thought of, even before you begin on the arduous task of building and developing the app. While, much focus will be placed on the pricing structure used for android monetization, it is worth remembering that the user experience must always be central to the development of an app. If the app is not user-friendly, then what is the point? Creating a good design for your app, is therefore, essential to an app’s success. While there are many ways to ensure your app looks the part, here are a few top tips which are common to all app designs.
The first major tip is to make sure that your app is designed for the users that you expect to use the app. This means essentially adopting the perception of one of your users. Try to think how they will want to interact with your app, how they will want to navigate your app. In fact, you can effectively plan out the entire user experience based on what click will lead where and before you even begin contemplating the actual app. Knowing the intricate ways in which a user will want to encounter your app (from their perspective), will ensure you are building to suit them and not adapting to keep up with them.
In fact, once you think you have the user experience perspective down, then you can literally map out the entire design of your app on paper. Might sound counterintuitive, but sometimes backward steps, lead forwards quicker. This mapping out will ensure that once you do move forward and ready to build the app, every action, reaction and user interaction will be already incorporated into the design. To get the ball rolling on this, you could just start out with easy instructions on paper. ‘User wants to do this’, ‘user pressed this’, ‘then this happens’. You will be surprised how many interactions become included in your overall design. Better to know them know than have to find out about them later.
When moving beyond the more basic interactions that your app will be designed to do, it will be time to start thinking about the smaller details that might have a bigger impact on the design of your app. Take gradients for instance. They might not be what is en vogue at the moment, but that does not mean they should not be included in your interaction design. Research has always shown that humans process shadows and color gradients much more effectively. Therefore, whether you are designing your input fields, radio buttons, checkboxes or sliders, gradients can help to offer the user a more engaging visual experience. Black might be your immediate preference to go for, but take a moment to consider adding a gradient. Of course, if you like to mix it up, the old with the new, then there is nothing stopping you opting for a semi-flat design.
Before moving away from your buttons, sliders and the likes. There is one more aspect to consider when designing them. And this one is a little more unusual. Finger physical size. Not everyone’s fingers are the same, but the goal is to make sure that the user experience is the same, regardless of the user. Therefore, ensure points of contact are not too small or too sensitive to ostracize those who will inevitably need larger contact surfaces. This might sound trivial, but for those who experience your app, it could be a deciding factor between keeping it installed or not.
While designing your app, one excellent point of reference is apps that are already available on the market. Of course, going back to the ‘know your user’ mantra, you do not want to be looking at the most popular apps for inspiration, just because they are the most popular. Instead, you want to hone in on the apps which are relevant in content. See the designs they use and ask yourself – whether they could benefit your app. After all, the chances are that the more apps you look at, the more common UI elements you will find. These are specifically the factors you want to make sure your app includes, whether they are animation, gesture or otherwise.
Finishing up, it is always good to remember that although you are designing an app, you are not redesigning the wheel. App design (although functionally different), is not fundamentally different from designing anything else. Therefore, common laws of design should be included in your app. Make sure it is fit for purpose, its function is in line with the design, it is usable, easy to use and offers your user what they came to the app for in the first place.