The average online user may put up with a poorly designed website and user experience, but mobile users will quickly give up and delete your app if it’s too difficult to use. 20% of apps are only opened once and another 48% of apps are opened just ten time times or less, and never again. The design and user experience (UX) is crucial to engaging and keeping users in your app.
When it comes to designing your app, avoid these three common mistakes to better your chances at engaging and keeping users.
Not starting with a user flow map
The first way to destine your app for design failure is not beginning the process with a user flow map. A simple user-friendly design begins with a flow map. If you skip this step, it is likely that your design will be a confusing experience that has users unsure of how to navigate it.
A great tool to use for designing prototypes and creating a clear user flow is proto.io. Proto.io lets you create a full mobile app experience without any coding and even includes interactive elements such as gestures and touch events. It’s a great place to start your design process, and don’t skip it!
The second design mistake to avoid is forcing registration or a subscription before properly demonstrating the value your app will provide to the user. There is absolutely no reason to make the user register for anything immediately. The registration process should be a natural process, where the user wants to sign up because they want to unlock the full potential of the app.
A great example of forcing registration can be seen in comparing the “Rue La La” and “Guilt” flash-sale shopping apps. The first screen the user lands on when opening the Rue La La app is a registration/sign-up screen. As a user, why provide my information if I don’t even know if I’m interested in the sales going on or the app in general? Guilt, on the other hand, takes you right to the sales and you are able to view all the available merchandise. You are not required to register and provide your information until you want to purchase an item. Guilt has a natural registration process where it clearly demonstrates the value the user is receiving by spending the time to sign up. Don’t lose users by making them register when you have not demonstrated the value you are providing!
Packing too many features into the app
The third mistake to avoid, a very common one, is packing your design with too many features. Many developers or app owners get caught up in wanting their product to offer too many things to its users, taking advantage of every feature the phone has to offer. This results in the app being cluttered with features the user will never use in the first place.
You should think of the single most important thing you want to accomplish--the true value you are providing to the user. Focus your design around this one goal, making it as simple as possible with every screen and feature being necessary to support that goal. If you have additional features you really want to include, leave them out of the main screens and put them in a swipe or slide-up menus. When it comes to choosing which features to include, think less is more!
Photo credit: William Hook
/ CC BY-SA