Some people may think that the application development market has stalled, but the numbers paint a very different story.
In January 2019 there were 9.8k applications submitted to the iTunes App Store alone. And keep in mind, that’s only a small percentage of the app market.
It’s possible for ambitious designers and developers to make it big in the mobile app world. The only issue is that many don’t know how to design a mobile app that can keep users engaged.
If you’re curious about what it takes to design successful mobile applications, you’ve come to the right place. We’re going to share some of our knowledge around mobile app design that can help you build something you’ll be proud of!
How to Design a Mobile App: Our 6 Essential Tips
For awhile the app market was a literal virtual cash cow for anyone that had some design and development skills. But in today’s very over saturated app market, it takes more than a good idea and some code to put together a good app.
Apps need to function flawlessly and add true value to its most key users. More systems and devices need to be taken into account, and design and development need to work together to create a great product.
If you want to turn your interesting app idea into something truly unique and functional, make sure you follow these tips from start to finish.
1. Study the Competition
One of the worst things you can do is to think of the ultimate idea for an app, then find out that someone released it 6 months ago.
Originality is key to having a successful app. If you decide to copy an already popular app, you won’t have nearly as much success as an original app idea would.
Think about the top apps in your space, and see where you measure up. Think about the features and functions the most popular apps have, and see if you can improve upon them.
If you don’t think you can release something better or different, it’s time to go back to the drawing board.
2. Interview Your User Base
If the only people that think your app is a good idea are you and your business partners, it’s time to throw some other important opinions into the mix.
User interviews are going to play a big role in the app development process. If you want to build something that can truly appeal to your users, you’re going to need to know what interests them the most.
Take some time to conduct some user interviews so you can see what motivates them when they use an app. Ask them specific questions about what interests them, their current favorite apps, and what they’d want to see from your app.
Also, be sure to collect key demographic information like their age, income level, phone usage, and location. You may be able to uncover some interesting insights and trends in your data.
3. Make Your Designs Responsive
In the past, most mobile designers and developers only thought about Android and iOS. Those two platforms may be popular, but they certainly aren’t the only ones available for apps.
When you’re designing your app it should be compatible with a large range of devices.
Trying to anticipate every single device people could be using to interact with your app can be difficult, so it’s a good practice to think make your designs responsive and scalable.
4. Go Down the Iterative Route
People that plan on releasing an app that’s 100% complete and in need of no updates will end up never completing their digital product.
You should always aim to release an app that’s functional, but don’t stress about releasing something that has every single feature you’ve thought about adding.
Think about your app in tiers of features of the most important and essential ones and ones that could be nice to have later. Then you can prioritize design and development around the most key features.
Taking an iterative approach to building your app makes it easier to make an app that your user base truly wants, and makes integrating new technology and features simpler.
5. Go For Function Over Flash
Too many ambitious developers want to add in every feature they can think of. The load screens will have elaborate animations, they’ll add more sound effects and background music, and add any bell and whistle they think is cool.
Adding too many extras can take away from the core functions of your app. “Cool” features can easily make your app run slower and could take up far too much space on people’s phones.
It’s okay to add a little something extra where you can, but you shouldn’t try to make an app that’s made up of everything extra.
6. Test to Validate
User testing should naturally be a built-in part of your app development process. And if you’re going about it the right way, it’ll be present in some form from start to finish.
Testing is one of the best ways to not just ensure that your app is working well, it’s also a great way to gauge the market’s response to it and see what updates you could make to improve on it.
Dedicate a developer to QA the app and all of its features throughout the development process.
Saving QA until the very end of the development process could make easily fixable problems difficult to solve after too much time has passed.
Also, be sure to test your app with people that aren’t familiar with it. Looking over certain errors can be easy when you know how the app is supposed to function. Having fresh eyes on everything can give you valuable insight into your app.
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When you learn how to design a mobile app, you see that technical expertise is just as important as methodology and planning. When you focus on the right aspects of the design process, it’s much easier to create an outstanding app.
Do you have more questions about the app development process? Are you interested in finally bringing your app idea to life?
We’re here to help you every step of the way. Be sure to contact us today so we can start giving you the answers you need.