CEO, TechAhead Software
Vikas is the CEO at TechAhead Software. TechAhead, set up in India in 2009, has diligently positi... more>>
While there is a need to create an app that is unique and offers consumers additional features compared to those already in the market, often the failure of an app is a result of overdoing its design or functionality. Developers need to maintain a fine balance between beautiful visuals or complex code of an app with its usefulness to the customer. This blog takes a look at some of the common mistakes that developers make while designing iPhone apps and how they can be avoided.
1. More is not always better
While designing an iPhone app, it's easy to get carried away with the number of things it can offer. However, not all customers will be motivated to explore and figure out the various features. Trying to cram too much information within the small screen makes the app visually unappealing and also gives the impression that its more complicated than it actually is.
2. Not Everyone Reads the Manual
The iPhone's key feature is its ease of use. A customer may download an app because of its utility only to find that it is difficult to use. Rather than having a complicated set of instructions explaining how to use an app, incorporating visual cues that help navigate the app will be more useful to a customer as they won't have to spend time reading a manual. The screenshots below show the difference between an easy to use and uncluttered app (left) and one with too many instructions and information (right).
3. A Mobile is Not a Computer
At the end of the day, the iPhone is a handheld device with limited technological capability compared to a PC or laptop. Often app designers overlook this vital aspect and end up with an app that doesn't work as well due to limitations in download speeds, processor capability and system architecture.
4. Being different doesn't guarantee success
While creativity is an important aspect in making an app stand out in the crowd, it should not be at the cost of the effectiveness of the app. There are already several apps in the market with formats that work well due to superior design. Analyzing them and understanding the reason behind their success is a better alternative to being over creative or overdoing the design.
5. It's all about the customer
Research the customer, understand his thought process and think about how the app can satisfy his needs. Many an app has failed in the market despite having a unique idea because customers did not feel the need to use them. A good example of this is Wander, which initially started off as an app that helped native English speakers teach conversational English to people from different countries. Subsequently, an interaction with people on ground showed that rather than learning English, users were downloading the app for social interaction with people from across the world. This insight into customer needs led to a modification in it's focus and resulted in the app succeeding.
So, clearly developing a visually appealing app, which is unique and has well written code is not enough to ensure it's success. A well thought out development strategy that combines customer research with creative design is more likely to result in an app that creates a loyal customer base. This in turn can increase the prospects of earning long term revenue through in-app purchases.
Experts on Mobile
Chief Tech Architect
Sr Software engineer