Creating the next big mobile app means keeping your end goal in mind throughout the building process. Here are some simple design tips that will help increase the chances that your next app is a smash success.
App builders often fit into one of two different character profiles: first, there are the long-term planners, carefully formulating their ideas and spec’ing out every minute detail over the course of weeks and months. Then there are the spur-of-the-moment mavericks who dive into the process of creation at the very moment of inspiration, and follow it until the final product is complete.
The point here is that, regardless of how you come up with your initial idea, the process of actually constructing an app and getting it ready for market requires a great deal of time and careful consideration.
Developers have to make a number of important decisions right off the bat, including graphic design, features and functions, pricing models, etc. But don’t get discouraged by the details — the mechanics of app creation have become more accessible and intuitive than ever before, and if you know the best way to go about it, you can turn your big app idea into a reality.
Get Feedback From Family and Friends
If you’re feeling stuck right out the gate on how to take your abstract idea and turn it into a functioning app, try sitting back and asking yourself: “What would the user want?”
Simply put, maintaining a customer-focused attitude throughout the building process will pay dividends in great design decisions. Many of the biggest apps out there achieved their success by recognizing a pre-existing need and filling it, so always try to adapt your idea to best fit what mobile consumers are looking for, according to TheNextWeb.
Talk to friends, family, and colleagues to get a better feel for what people are looking for in their app experiences — getting out of your own head and listening to others will provide you with valuable insights on areas you may not have considered in your original idea. If you want to get as much insight as possible from your peers, check out Scott Berkun’s tips on how to facilitate a productive brainstorming meeting.
Build, Build, Build
Once you’ve got some feedback on your idea, it’s time to start thinking about how to present it to the world. It’s important for app design newbies in particular to remember that the app is its own animal: don’t fall into the trap of treating yours like a watered-down webpage. Remember, good design facilitates intuitive function.
Structuring your app around a centralized homepage with clear and intuitive navigation items will improve the user experience and ensure that people are getting the maximum amount of functionality and value from your platform. Design elements like color scheme and font choice are certainly important, but functionality and user experience should be your primary considerations.
App guru and founder of product development company Fueled Rameet Chawla explains on Mashable: "What's going to determine success isn't the added polish, but what the app is doing. If you aren't adding value to the user experience, then it won't end up being a popular app."
Generally speaking, keeping your app as sleek and simple as possible (i.e., leaving out unnecessary bells and whistles) will guarantee a smoother experience.
To Bundle Or Not To Bundle?
Along with function and design, the decision on whether to create a bundle of apps or to combine several functions into a single one-stop-shop platforms deserves some careful consideration. How many functions will your app have, and will they be used in conjunction with one another, or separately? Would the uncluttered design of a single-function app in a bundle be overshadowed by having to spend time shuffling around between apps? Again, it boils down to your target user and what they need/value.
Even if you keep all of these principles in mind during the building process, it’s still easy for a good idea go bad — especially if you don’t test the app’s usability frequently. Conducting regular tests throughout development will help keep your new app free of annoying bugs and other unexpected issues. It’s important that your app is flawless when it hits the market, so take your time, test, and retest until you’re satisfied everything works as it should, every time. Once your app is ready to go, make sure it garners the attention it deserves by crafting a killer app store description, then setting up your distribution correctly.
While all of these considerations and steps may seem overwhelming, in reality, building a great mobile app requires far less technical know-how than you might think. The next breakthrough app might not be the brainchild of a professional, but a regular person looking to fill a niche with a big idea. Intuitive, DIY app-building platforms like AppMakr not only make the design process a relative cinch, but also help to ensure that these vital questions are answered.
The idea for the next big app could be in your head — all you need to do is find the right platform to bring it to life.
Latest posts by Ciorstaidh MacGlone (see all)
- Activism Apps: How Going Mobile Can Help Your Cause - June 2, 2016
- How to Build the Perfect App - March 10, 2016
- Why Every Band Should Have an App - March 9, 2016