The secret to app success? Always design with the user’s experience in mind. Here’s how you can maximize your app’s usability.
Style Over Substance
“There’s an app for that” has quickly become a sort of a mantra for our smartphone-obsessed generation — a testament to our reliance on the technology. At its core, the simple purpose many apps share is providing small services that simplify and streamline our daily routines.
Everything from ordering food to mobile banking can now be done on your phone, thanks to these handy programs.
So now that the app market is larger than ever, it’s becoming increasingly clear which traits make an app successful and which ones can cause it to fail. While aesthetic is always an important concern, many app-makers tend to overlook the most important aspect of all: the user’s experience.
Why Is User Experience So Important?
According to Smashing Magazine, the increased focus on digital aesthetics is getting in the way of improving upon the fundamental purpose of apps. Author Dave Feldman compares the experience to a disappointing romantic encounter: “It’s like falling in love at first sight, then falling back out after a brief conversation.”
However attractive an app’s interface may be, if it doesn’t meet the basic goal of making the user’s life easier, it won’t see any real success in this highly competitive market.
How to Make Your App User-Friendly
It’s crucial to keep the user in mind through every stage of app development. Taking into account every variable and obstacle that the user might experience will help you create an app that’s both useful and versatile.
1. Know your users
Even in the development stage, you likely already know exactly the demographic you’ll end up marketing to. Know your audience and how they interact with technology. This simple step could be the difference between captivating and alienating your users.
The smartphone generation can largely be defined as a population that expects immediate access to things — be it news, videos, or take-out. By the same token, we want to use our apps as soon as we download them. If we have to endure a tutorial or take a few minutes to learn how to use it, chances are we’ll abandon it and move on to something more straightforward.
Keep things as simple as possible: the marriage of utility and ease is one of the most important traits your app can have.
3. Keep your platform in mind
Get to know the nuances of the platform you’re designing for and tailor the app to the expectations of that platform’s user. Or, make your app functional for any platform. Whether you’re designing an app for iOS or Android, the user never wants to feel like their platform was an afterthought.
4. Remember the 80/20 rule
When applied to apps, the 80/20 rule tells us that 80% of user experience comes from only 20% of the content, according to Web Designer Depot. Essentially, all this means is that consolidation is key when it comes to mobile apps. Focus on the most important aspects of your site and guide the user toward them.
To find which aspects or functions make up that essential 20%, track user data through session cookies and web analytics.
5. Observe the market
Although apps present an exceptionally busy market, the inundation does give developers the advantage of a wealth of user feedback at their disposal. Whether you want to Beta test your product or simply observe the successes and shortcomings of others, the data is all easily available.
Now armed with the secrets to a developing a successful app, head over to Appmakr to get started on creating the market’s next great app!
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