Key Principles in App Design

Most Americans have smartphones. Typical users spend hours a day on apps and use around 30 apps per month. All of this makes it more important than ever for organizations and businesses of all kinds of have apps of their own. This is why more and more leaders are turning to professional app development teams to create the right mobile presence for their organizations.

But what makes a great app? Going to the professionals is key, but everyone can benefit from an understanding of the basics. Here’s what top app developers know about mobile app design, and what you should look for when you go shopping for the right development team.

Keep the splash screen simple

A splash screen is the first screen a user sees when they open the app. It signals to the user that the app is booting up and is ready to use. Like the cover of a book, it serves as a visual introduction to what is to come.

But splash screens can be distracting or annoying if they are too busy. This isn’t the theme song to a TV show: a splash screen should be short, sweet, and simple. This is your chance to put a logo or wordmark front and center, building brand identity without overwhelming or annoying your users.

Make sign-in easy

There are a lot of reasons to allow app users to create profiles on your app. You want to be able to get valuable data from individual users, and you may want to have customers pay for things through the app. This is why so many apps have sign-in options and user profiles.

But sign-in options and user profiles are useless unless app users and business customers actually sign in. That’s why it is imperative to make the sign-in process quick and easy. Single sign-on is one way to streamline the process — by connecting your app’s user profiles to existing sign-ins that your customer may already have, you’ll get more users logged in and using your app faster and will lose fewer to frustration and boredom.

Use notifications wisely

One of the most valuable things about a mobile app is that it allows you to communicate with large groups of people quickly. You can communicate within the app, but you can also send notifications that will appear on users’ lock screens and notifications screens — as long as they’ve allowed your app to do so in their settings.

A lot of users will default to allowing apps to send notifications. But if you use your power to pester your app’s users, then you can expect backlash pretty quick. Excessive notifications can cause customers to switch their notification settings around, and ban your app from reaching their home and lock screen. Or, worse yet, they might delete your app entirely. Balance is key, and great app designers will be able to recommend the right frequency of notifications — and give you concrete reasons for why their numbers work best.

Integrate your app solution into your online presence

Do you have a website that allows consumers to create things like usernames and payment profiles? These days, we use the internet for everything from shopping for Christmas presents to finding our date for Friday night, so you’re wise to allow customers to interact with your business in concrete ways online.

But if you ask your customers to create a whole new profile on your app, you’re going to annoy them and confuse them. That would make your online presence clumsy. You should use the same sign-in information in both places. Synch settings. Integrate your app into your larger online presence, and make things seamless. When your customers switch platforms, they should feel like they are accessing the same features through different means — not using entirely different systems.

Image Credits: App Design from Syda Productions/Shutterstock

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