There are a lot of developers out there struggling with mobile app design to create the right app for the various OS. Even when it is easy to develop apps for Android, it is becoming increasingly difficult to get developers to develop the right app for the right OS.
A lot of mobile app designers end up creating bad designs or apps that are not structurally perfect and competitive. Good design is a critical need for mobile apps. The small screens they possess need you to build the right app for them. Only good design can overcome the space constraints in these mobiles. So, how can developers consider delivering good app designs? Here are ten tips for excellent and effective mobile app designs.
Don’t Import Apps
This is a basic mistake most app developers commit to. They port the apps designed for Blackberry to other OS and so on. This may sound easy but is not good for your app design. When you port apps, you are not really looking into the look and feel of the app across platforms.
Camera Genius is an app independently designed for multiple platforms.
Moodswings is another example of well planned, well executed app.
Each platform differs from the other in various ways. Instead of delivering the same app across platforms and compromising on the look and feel; developers can create some changes and make the design applicable for the new platform. The degree of standardization becomes important for corporate apps as against regular consumer apps. Do keep this in mind!
Creativity with Constraints
This tip should be exploited by every mobile app design developer.
AirCasette is one of the better examples of app design.
Meernotes uses simplicity, the mightiest design formula of them all.
You need to make use of the space, size and other constraint important for your creative abilities when designing the app for your mobile. In face recognition apps, cropping is an important feature. Instead of checking for all the available crop sizes, make sure you can crop from the center of the image. This will save all the anticipation, space and make the app more user friendly. Similarly keep the anticipation levels low on your mobile.
Exploit Mobile Capabilities
There are some obvious features on your mobile that are not available with your PC. You need to exploit these features to benefit your app design.
Probki.tv is a wonderful example of utilizing the mobile features.
Image from: Sudoku
You can use the images to search for instead of typing. For example you have a camera, click the image you want to search and search for the same. This pictorial search will help in case of mobiles unlike PC. There are many other sensors available with mobiles that are not present on PC. This will also help you in mobile app design.
Accessing the Design
The design constraints are such that it can be read by the young but not legible to the old. If you are facing such design constraints you need to change the way you design the app for the mobile. Having small pixels and retina effect as part of the mobile app design is a bad idea!
Image from: eBoy FixPix
You should ideally avoid that. Small text and small layouts is another thing that you should avoid when designing mobile apps. This is not effective especially when considering people beyond 40.
No Metaphors Please
This tip comes handy for developers involved with mobile app design. Some graphical metaphors are unlikely to be of any help to you at present.
Image from: Air Dictate
Image from: Jet Lag
Icons for these graphical metaphors like Cameras, filmstrips etc. should be avoided. You can use text instead. Metaphors are aging and are not the perfect way to describe the thing you want to convey.
Some designers go overboard when it comes to designing mobile apps. They think oversimplifying it would be the best way to design them. But, what you don’t seem to understand is that you are actually complicating things. Instead make them as simple or as complex as necessary.
Image from: Kuvva
Image from: Flipboard
Don’t overdo anything! Keep this tip as handy as possible.
About the Author:
Juned Ahmed, Consultant at IndianAppDevelopers Company, he is also blogger about app development India with a keen eye of details.