Ever since the first iPhone launched way back in 2007 the popularity of apps exploded right along with it. Creating your first app is going to be a bigger challenge than designing a website. If your app isn’t very well designed or coded then you’re left with an inefficient app too difficult for the user to figure out and they will uninstall it fairly quickly. When you develop your first app you need to consider the end user and their experience.
Here are some tips to develop a better app that works for you and the user.
- Plan carefully before you develop your app. After the app is done and you want to make changes to it, that can be quite complicated. Before you make life more complicated for yourself, use a wireframe and plan the app out completely before you even start one line of code. Make sure the user experience is right at each step before you move on and complete your app.
- Tooltips are your friends. Your end user can get bored pretty quickly by interfaces that are too busy. Make sure the app isn’t ruined by text that is splattered all over, use tool tips on icons instead. Your user gets the chance to explore the icons at their leisure without ruining the experience. You can always use buttons that will toggle the tooltips off and on for a better experience.
- Elements that are related should be grouped. The easier it is to use the app the better. Make sure that when you put elements on your app that are related together, users can find the information they need without difficulty. Put the grouped controls under a drop down that way they don’t interfere with the other features that are on your app.
- Give your users status messages. When you use a function on an app the user should know that something is actually happening. If you use messages like ‘loading’ are big enough to be noticed. There is nothing worse than trying to input information again and again without knowing if it was accepted. Status messages let your user know that something is happening.
- Avoid using modals they make the user experience awful. They are as irritating as the old popup windows they replaced, so if you have to use them at all make it very sparingly. Again if you must use them make them very easy to close with a button or icon that is clearly visible. On a mobile device modals take up the entire screen so if the user can’t close them quickly they are done with your app.