Choosing the right smartphone app design is crucial to an app’s success.
Users immediately judge an app within the first few minutes of use based on several design rules.
If the app falls short in one or more areas, the users might not return to the app. These rules are easy to implement and encourage users come back again and again.
1. Choose The Right Topography
Fonts might not seem that important, but if users can’t easily read the text within an app, they’ll uninstall it and opt for a better designed app. It’s important to choose the right font type and size for the platform the app’s designed for. For instance, a smaller font might be easier to see if the app is for tablets only. If it’s for smartphones, a tiny font might be impossible to see. To keep fonts easier to read, try to limit text or provide an option for users to change the font size if the app is text heavy.
Takeaway: Users shy away from apps with text that’s difficult or impossible to read. Ensure your app’s text is easily visible on all screen sizes and doesn’t blend into the app.
2. Keep Colours Simple
A beautiful colour scheme catches a user’s attention. However, using too many colours or colours that obscure app features only hurts the app. Keep the overall colour scheme simple and uniform throughout the app. All of the apps buttons and text should be easily visible against the background colours or images. When an app’s colours are too loud or chaotic, it simply distracts the user.
Takeaway: Colours aren’t the most important aspect of smartphone app design. Create a simple, yet elegant colour scheme. A professional app designer knows how to incorporate the right blend of colours to ensure elements stand out without seeming overwhelming.
3. Create An Intuitive Interface
The UI is the first thing a user sees. The UI must be clutter free and intuitive. The user shouldn’t need a manual just to figure out how to go from one screen to the next. Since smartphones have smaller screen sizes, it’s vital to keep the UI as uncluttered as possible. This makes it easier to see functional elements. If the functions aren’t immediately obvious, the user will download another app instead.
Takeaway: The most important app design element is the user interface. Focus strictly on adding necessary elements only and leave out any fluff. If an element doesn’t have an obvious purpose, leave it out. App designers help you determine which elements should stay and go in your UI.
4. Make Navigation Obvious
Most smartphone users are accustomed to certain navigational elements such as swiping, slide out menus, icons on buttons and tilt controls. Navigation isn’t the time to be extremely innovative. Let the features be the innovative part. For navigation, keep it simple and obvious. For instance, users know a gear on a button means Settings while a question mark means Help. Many apps have a brief tutorial when the app’s first opened to guide users.
Takeaway: If users can’t navigate through an app quickly and easily, they’ll lose interest. Keep navigational elements to a minimum to avoid cluttering the screen while providing the same type of buttons, menus and touch gestures users are familiar with. App developers understand the importance of navigation in smartphone apps and know how to keep it simple, yet effective.
5. Incorporate Social Elements
Incorporating social elements is important for spreading the word about an app. From sharing a recent purchase to updating game scores, users expect some social features worked into the design. The key to making this work is keeping the social aspect as inconspicuous as possible. A small social share button on each screen with options to share on different networks is best. A simple pop-up after completing an action is also appropriate as long as the user has a way to turn off the notifications.
Takeaway: Today’s smartphone app design needs social features. It makes the app more user friendly and helps boost the app’s popularity. Experienced developers will help you find the best ways to include this element without it taking up valuable design space.
Effective app design means catering to your users’ needs. Following these five rules is simple, especially with the help of an app designer. Apps don’t have to be complicated. They just need to fill a need and be easy to use.
Ready to create a stunning, effective smartphone app? Contact StuartMedia today to ensure these five crucial rules are followed.
Image: Sean MacEntee