There are many great reasons to create an app. You can publish an app to help customers better engage with your brand, improve on something that other apps provide, or share your own unique creation with the world. Whatever your idea is, we’re going to assume it is a great one. Now, it’s time to focus on execution.
Millions of apps are currently published on Google Play and in the Apple app store. Most of them are deleted shortly after being downloaded, while others simply sit unused. Why?
Most of the time, the idea behind them might have been great, but they didn't perform well. Perhaps they run slowly or the user experience is lacking.
The hardest part of developing an app is often creating one that people want to use.
Before you begin coding, take a look at these 5 guidelines for creating fast, user-friendly apps.
#Build It For Performance
If your app runs too slowly, users will get frustrated and stop using it. The same is true for apps that consolidate too many functions onto a single screen.
Remember that mobile users are notoriously impatient. They expect the screen and data to be available at the same time and they want to get an immediate response when they tap something. Write and test your app with performance in mind.
User-friendly apps aren’t just easy to use. They work efficiently, and they don’t do things to degrade the performance of the mobile device or other apps.
Make sure that your app doesn’t:
- Drain battery power
- Eat too much memory
- Stop working in offline mode
Poor performance will essentially negate any effort you’ve made to build an app with great UX.
#App Onboarding Should Be Fast and Easy
If users have to spend several minutes entering in profile information before they can do anything useful, they're going to get frustrated. That's asking for increased bounce rates. It's even worse if you're asking for credit card information.
Whenever possible, ditch anything on the front end that makes it difficult to get started with your app. The fewer barriers there are, the more likely it is that users will continue to engage.
If you must ask for personal information for authentication purposes, keep your requests to a minimum. More importantly, give users a reason to love your app before you ask for information.
Consider letting users into your application, letting them explore the application and learn it on their own.
Introduce paywalls at specific moments. This will allow users to get more invested in your app before making a buying decision and (completing out any boring fields).
#Clean Up the Presentation
Finding the right layout for your app isn’t an easy task. You have limited real estate to work with. It’s important to take advantage of the space you have to avoid designing a cluttered app.
Once you think you’ve created a screen that’s functional and intuitive, take a step back. Review the app from the perspective of a user on the go, one who is in a real hurry. Perhaps they’re walking while trying to navigate your app or dealing with throttling.
Do you still believe your app is as intuitive and clean as it could be? Here are some things to look for:
- Contrast for easy viewing in different lighting (direct sunlight vs low-light situations)
- Large fonts for more accessible text that's easier to read
- Links and buttons that are large enough to prevent mistapping
If these features are lacking, your front-end design needs more work.
#Don’t Invent What You Can Integrate
Before you build any functionality from scratch, ask yourself if it isn’t already available. If it is, stop.
Do you really need to invent for your app that your users can find somewhere else. If you can integrate it instead of inventing it, you’ll save time and hassle.
When it comes to common functions like making or accepting payments, sharing files, signing documents, or interacting with a chatbot, there are popular tools that your audience might already be using.
Don’t waste time coding something when you can simply integrate a feature using an API or link out to the app itself.
#Build User-Friendly Apps by Knowing What Customers Want
Is a feature something that users want? Does it provide the functionality and user experience they need?
Many developers consider the things at the beginning of the app design process. Unfortunately, they get away from those questions during development and testing. The result is often an app that just doesn’t quite meet expectations.
One of the biggest roadblocks to creating user-friendly apps is tunnel vision.
Designers and developers often love their ideas. They test their apps assuming that users will interact with them in a certain way. Unfortunately, those assumptions are often wrong.
To prevent this, testing should be done as early as in the conceptual stag, and throughout the entire process. And it should be done with objective users who haven’t been involved in the design or development process at all. That way, all feedback will be based on actual user experience.
Here's more on learning what customers want:
- How to Validate a Digital Product Idea
- How Much User Research Should You Do For Your Website or App?
- What is Human Centered Design?
When it comes to building successful, user-friendly apps, the best approach is to learn what the user wants and keep their perspective in mind throughout the whole process.
If you’d like help building branded apps or other digital products that customers love, contact With Pulp. We’d love to work with you to create a fast, user-friendly app.