When thinking about creating a new mobile application, the overall design can be your best friend, or your worst enemy. Be sure to avoid some common mobile app design pitfalls that can make or break your new mobile application.
Make sure to design the overall flow of your application first
During the beginning stages of designing a mobile app, be sure to create a flow chart and wireframes that makes sense. Make sure that your most important functional screens are at or close to the top of your chart rather than buried underneath other levels. Leaving your mobile app without any organization will leave your potential users confused and turned off.
Don’t over use animations when your app is being loaded
At times, mobile applications may take longer to load due to a slow connection. Animations don’t load until the application has finished loading, so the user is being delayed even longer.
If some type of image is necessary when loading an app, make sure it’s simple, that the transition into the actual app is seamless, and that it doesn’t inhibit the user’s experience.
Do not copy the same basic design for different mobile platforms
Every mobile OS platform has its own unique style and layout. For example, using the Android or Windows layout for an app that’s being created for the iPhone platform will only be confusing. Or vice versa. Keep in mind that a user will most likely keep their smart phone for a period of two years and therefore will be used to a specific design and platform.
Streamline content; don’t cram too much into one space
Use a one-column format when writing content for your mobile app. More than one column will create a cluttered image; a major turn-off for the user. Also, a larger font is preferred over smaller font. Reading smaller font with the phone closer to your face is uncomfortable.
Overused visuals: Don’t do it!
This is probably the most common of the mobile app design pitfalls. Overusing visuals to make your app more appealing is a big no-no. Think about a website that uses a lot of images and animations. It’s very distracting to the user, and at many times it causes the website to load much slower. The same holds true for mobile applications. When you use images, make them count. If your app is either a gallery or displays large number of images, look at leaders in delivering this content via mobile device such as Pinterest or Fancy.
Don’t forget the call to action!
This is another very common mobile app design pitfall. Content is often well designed for the mobile app or site but there’s no obvious call-to-action like: contacting customer service, following on Twitter, or taking other desired action. Take full advantage of the native abilities of the phone – it is a smartphone after all so if there is a way to generate a call, email, sale or social media activity using the app or mobile site, don’t miss your chance.
Keep in mind the above mobile app design pitfalls when designing your application or mobile site. Remember two key points: Always keep the user in mind, and always keep it simple!
DJ Smith is the CEO of CiV Digital. He encourages you to be considerate of your customers and create websites and mobile apps that are focused with your audience in mind. You can follow him and CiV Digital at @civideas on Twitter.