The roaring success of both Google and Apple App stores have opened up a whole new vista of opportunities for developers and designers. But only a few of all people who jump into the app developing business actually taste success. If you want your app to be successful, there are some key aspects you should devote you utmost attention to.
The icon that represents your app will be your first chance to make an impression on the user. Developers tend to focus more on the functionality of their app, without paying proper attention to icon design. Instead, you should devote a fair amount of time designing your icon so that it looks enticing and the user feels compelled to check out your app. It should capture the essence of your app, and should be clear and must have something identifiable, so that the user remembers it.
Good examples of icons are Instagram, Dropbox, Evernote etc.
Splash screen is what the user sees after an app is launched. It acts as a welcome screen for the user, while your app loads in the background. It’s always a good practice to display a progress bar if your app takes more than a couple of seconds to load.
You splash screen should always carry some aesthetic value. It can just bear the name of your app, or an image to signify what your app does, or both. It should make the user feel that a good app experience awaits him after the loading is done.
A few good examples of apps that have distinctive splash screens are Path, airbnb, and Where’s My Water.
When the user loads your app for the first time, a tutorial that explains the features of the app should get activated. More often than not, an app which looks simple to use to its developers is not as simple to understand for most users. Therefore you should always include some kind of tutorial in your app. A game, of course, needs a fully-fledged manual on what to do and how, but mini tutorials work best for most apps. For example, if you tap the help button in the Google Mobile App, the main screen fades into the background and all the interactive areas are highlighted with question marks. The user can then learn about each function by tapping those question marks.
In essence, make your tutorials short and precise, preferably with a dash of humor through cartoonish visuals. This gives out positive vibes to the user, and shows him your commitment to enhancing the user experience.
This is the lifeblood of your mobile app, and even the best ideas can fizzle out if not presented properly. It is often very hard to design a simplistic user interface, without missing out on functionality. But the market has spoken, and it has not spoken in the favor of complex and ambiguous templates. Navigation should be native to the platform you’re developing for, so that the user can easily navigate from screen to screen without actually having to learn anything.
Always try to reduce clutter by employing hidden menus, displayed by the touch of a button. Minimalistic design is always preferred, and gesture driven navigation is in vogue. If you’re designing the template yourself, choose a good color scheme with contrasting colors. Or else, get your template done by a profession designer and use his or her experience to your advantage.
All in all, even the best of ideas have to be baked in a brilliant design to make it appealing to the masses.
This is a guest post by Iddy of App Design Central. They offer android design templates to developers to make their apps more appealing without having to spend thousands on designers. Get a free android app design here.