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9 Mistakes to Avoid when Designing an App


Tens of thousands of apps are added to the App Store everyday, each vying for your attention. With such an atmosphere where each app is trying to outdo the other, design is paramount in determining who comes out on the top. Design is not just limited to the way an app looks, but also the architecture and the all important user experience.

So here are a set of 9 common mistakes to avoid while designing you app to create a superior experience and stay ahead of the competition.

1.) Lacking a plan

Before opening Sketch or Photoshop, draw the complete flow of the app. Make sure you cover each and every detail of the design and the interactions. Many people stop here, but take it up a notch by creating a timeline and a well defined process on how would you go about designing the app.

2.) Lack of communication with development team

No matter how gorgeous your mockups look, it is the developers who bring life to your application. Ensure that you are able to communicate flawlessly with the development team and guide them through the designs, interactions and flows.

3.) Making assumptions about the user

A common mistake that designers make is that they assume that the user will have an idea of how to use the app. Hence, while designing ensure that you include coach marks, instruction overlays and subtle visual cues for the user to make him feel comfortable while using your app.

4.) Not tailoring your app for specific platforms

The look and feel of the iOS human interface is very different from the material design based Android. Thus, design tailor-made apps for each platform to ensure that it gels well with the overall look and feel of the device and the user experience offered by each platform.

5.) Sticking to lower resolution assets

With every new generation of devices, the screens are getting larger and there is a steady increase in pixel density. Using lower resolution assets such as photos and  icons may not be suitable for all devices and probably in 12 months would be too low to use on a screen with a higher pixel density.Try sticking vectors wherever possible.

6.) Too many animations

Animations add great interactive visuals too an app but at the same time, they should be used judiciously. Overusing animations will result in your app hogging battery life and making it heavy on the device. Also too many animations may slow the app down as the user would have to wait till the animation loads resulting in a poor user experience.

7.) Too much going on on the screen

If your app is a feature rich app with a lot of functionality, you might want the user to access all features from the first screen itself. But beware, this might lead to a lot of clutter on the screen which might annoy the user. There is nothing wrong with adding another step or two before the user gets to a different feature.

8.) Keeping the user hanging

Waiting for an app or a feature to load can take a couple of seconds, but without proper cues, you might leave your users hanging in confusion who has no clue what’s going on. Make sure you use loaders, alerts and progress indicators  to tell your user what is going on.

9.) Overusing or underusing gestures

Today’s smartphones come packed with gestures like swipes, tilts, multi-finger taps etc. Use them smartly to harness a higher degree of interactivity but at the same time do not overwhelm the user with too many gestures. Remember, not every feature requires a button and at the same time using too many gestures does more harm than good.

The whole process of designing and watching your app come to life might be a bit stressful experience and therefore, not making rookie mistakes and the situations arising later due to these mistakes can be the difference between your app being any other app on the App Store or a true blockbuster of an app.

 Until next time,