Design Mistakes that Kill Your Application (Part 1)

  • Jul 19, 2017
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Web design mistakes

Have you ever thought how much information we perceive every day? In the digital era, the amount could be really huge, but we don’t even notice it sometimes. Our smartphones and PCs are those tools that give us the most of our knowledge – and this process of learning should be extremely simple and engaging at the same time. But what if something goes wrong?

Today, we will focus on the wrong side of application design. All of us make mistakes, and we should do everything possible to avoid them.

Mistake 1: Not Thinking of the Overall App Flow

We all know that design starts with sketches, and while you’re drawing them, imagine the step-by-step flow of your app. Try to make a journey with the user – which actions to make, where to begin and where to end up.

Even the simplest solutions may be confusing for users – that is the reason for a designer to think thoroughly about every action made in the app.

Mistake 2: Neglecting the First Impression

How much does it take to delete an app? This decision can be made by users within a few seconds because of a bad onboarding experience. Several moments – that’s all you’ve got to earn people’s attention.

To avoid big mistakes at the onboarding stage, focus on these issues:

  1. The home screen should be loaded as quickly as possible.
  2. Remind users about the main goal of the product – in other words, why they are here.
  3. The first actions should be easy to find and perform.
  4. The overall onboarding style should reflect the main design idea of the app.

Application design

Mistake 3: Allowing Design Inconsistencies

Now, we travel further in the app navigation. When the first impression is left behind, users expect certain icons and actions to appear – that’s what we call an intuitive design. If such expectations are not met, the user gets confused and looses connection with your app’s interface.

Things you should remember on this stage:

  1. Choose certain elements (words and buttons) for a specific action at the very beginning and stick with it in any part of the app’s flow. One style will help users to get used to the app faster.
  2. Create your own style guides to consolidate the unique standards of the app.
  3. Some exceptions are also possible – if it’s a login page, for instance. But even when you decide to break out the rules, the new elements should have something in common with the overall design.

Mistake 4: Placing Too Many Elements on the Screen

What a temptation it is to use all space you have on the screen for design ideas. But be careful! Even if you work with phablets (big-sized smartphones), you should always think of the one (and only) element on the screen. The more information you have, the more chances users will be overwhelmed with it. People don’t like any complications when it comes to their everyday mobile routine.

People don’t like any design complications when it comes to their everyday mobile routine. Click To Tweet

On the other hand, customers will wonder what to do next when one small action is finished. Let them gladly tap and roll – create communication within iOS or Android design throwing all clutter away.

App design

Mistake 5: Placing Small Touch Implements

When we figured out how little data you should have on the screen, take care of the easy access to this data. By this, we mean a comfortable size of buttons and other touch elements. Users should use the app without looking for the right tap or display zooming.

No matter what audience you have, create enough space for its fingers. In this case, app analytics can be a really helpful tool for a software designer. If something goes wrong and a user can’t get to the next screen at once, you will be first to know it.

Mistake 6: Forgetting About Feedback Loops

Okay, buttons of the right size have led us to those districts where users expect to get a feedback – whether they do everything right or wrong. This is where the real communication takes place, so check twice and thrice all control elements.

These are the milestones of feedback loops in the software design:

  1. Showing users how exactly their state changes within the application. For example, you can change the color scheme for the hover state.
  2. Letting users know that the action is completed – with success or failure.
  3. Telling how the things are going. It’s especially useful for the process of downloading files or when you want to show what to do next (use navigation pointers, for example).

Good application design

No Mistakes in the Perfect Design

Mobile applications should make a long way before they get to the app stores. But the best app designs never end up on this stage – they continue changing and improving day after day.

We’ve just looked through some basic points that mean a lot for any UX designer. Imagine how the things can change in a month or even in a year! So, to avoid pitfalls in future, follow users every step of the way, learn reviews and app analytics – use all chances to get better.


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