Why Is Design Important?
No matter who an app is designed for, or what purpose it serves, it must consistently perform well and deliver steadily on its promises. In addition to being intuitive and easy to use, it also needs to offer a clean, aesthetically pleasing, and pleasant experience for its users. To achieve successful mobile app design, your business must compile different elements of interaction design to work together as a whole. The most important elements include user interface (UI) and user experience (UX).
In a time when there is an overwhelming number of apps in the marketplace that solve similar problems, standout design becomes a vehicle in which different brands can express themselves and stand out from the competition. Not only is quality design important to the end-to-end user experience, it has a significant impact on the customer journey. Today’s consumers expect to trust the brands they use, realize an emotional benefit from the product they engage with, and improve their quality of life by using their favorite apps. With so much at stake, it is critical for businesses to distinguish good app design from bad app design – and how to ensure their product is innovative, unobtrusive, and friendly.
Bad UI + Bad UX = Bad Mobile App Design
A poorly executed mobile application design can cause an otherwise useful app to fail. Even so, there is still a rampant lack of capital investment in the space. The reasons for the disconnect between a product’s intended use and bad design vary. While small businesses may have budget restrictions that impede their ability to hire skilled UI and UX teams, executives may not fully understand the critical importance of a well-performing site. Some entrepreneurs desire complete control over every aspect of their business, which keeps expert design professionals from reaching them in the first place.
Regardless of the reason for poor design, there are several red flags that can help business owners decide if it’s time for a revamp. The telltale signs of bad mobile app design include:
- A Crowded, Cluttered Interface
Clunky interfaces can be both overwhelming and off-putting to users. The biggest bad UI design offenders include huge images and text that keep users from reading and scrolling, as well as auto-play video and flash features that force users to pause their experience. Some colors are too bright for the eye, while elements and images that are too small can make it hard to understand what to do next. While every app should be engaging, there is such as thing as making calls to action too clever and graphics too stimulating.
- A Poor Onboarding Experience
When users are introduced to your app, they should quickly understand why it is unique and helpful. Most companies will only have a matter of seconds to achieve this. A quality onboarding experience creates a positive, lasting first impression and lets users know what kind of value the app will provide. An app with a bad onboarding experience is slow to load and fails to provide natural next steps. For example, navigation should be easy to use and tap targets should be intuitive.
- Complex Navigation
When designing an app, it’s easy to confuse innovation with complication. A skilled design team will know which features to omit – and which ones are essential to guiding the user on their journey. Bad interface design tries to “reinvent the wheel” by creating complex gestures that they think will be unique or memorable. Instead of trying to stand out through navigation differentiation, great apps use familiar swipes and taps that are proven to work on some of the most popular apps in the Android and iOS marketplace.
- Difficulty of Use
A bad app requires users to perform gestures with two hands. This can make it almost impossible to use the product in a mobile environment – and especially on the go. Every app should strive to incorporate simple, one-handed gestures that do not have to be repeated to be successful. UI/UX fails also include apps that fail to complete tasks due to timeouts or a poor connection with other APIs.
- Inconsistent Design
Every app should have a consistent design flow that matches the company brand. Colors, font, and appearance should be the same or complementary during every product experience. Users should never feel jarred when using a different element or service within the app.
- An Unclear Purpose
While many apps are pretty to look at, users quickly become frustrated when they don’t understand how it will help them. This is why design planning is so important. Expert design teams draw out user queries, or what the user will want, before they create the site, which keeps beautiful font or vibrant colors from standing in the way of how the user considers the problem they need to solve. Too many pages, unclear buttons and labels, and functions in strange places can keep the user from being won over.
- Missing Calls to Action (CTAs)
Calls to action, also known as CTAs, are the primary way businesses use their app to convert leads into customers. They’re also helpful for guiding users to the highest-value offer. Bad apps fail to provide clear content download buttons and contact forms. They also forget to incorporate social sharing options.
- Unnecessary Animations
While users are used to consuming more information now than ever before, there is still such a thing as data overload. Animated backgrounds, poor font contrast, and animations that are too quick for users to conceive and understand can all lead to bad UX design. Moving images should always be clean and purposeful, whether it’s a completed checkout verification or the implementation of a fluid scrolling motion.
In a mobile-dominant world where user experience is more important than ever, it never hurts to consult with a skilled design team. Entrepreneurs and executives may succeed in closing deals and winning over customers in a face-to-face environment, but the user interface is another world entirely. A command of intuitive gestures, fluid design, and form composition are necessary to help users understand the purpose of your app and how it makes their lives easier and more delightful.
By working with a startup or enterprise product design team like the ones at iTexico, you will avoid bad user interfaces and make the most common UI/UX mistakes a thing of the past. You will also create a user experience that is beneficial and memorable to your customers. Click here to get started by contacting the iTexico Design Studio.