When we talk with our customers about mobile application development we do our best to drive home our mantra of “do not under design, do not under research and do not under invest”. Failure to do any of those three items correctly is almost guaranteed to lead to immediate failure of the app.
Just imagine how much time and money is spent by any successful product manufacturer. It could be the new make of car, it could be it could be the latest designer clothing collection or it could be your mobile app.
And of course design isn’t just about the way things look, it’s about how it operates and it’s about the user’s experience with the product.
In this day and age consumers expect any type of product to work the way they want it to work right from the start. So, how do you ensure your design is going to be pleasing all your potential users? This is where a bit of research comes in. You need to get out and talk to people who you feel will be potential purchasers/users of your product. Ask them what they like, ask them what they don’t like, ask them what would give them the best user experience they could possibly imagine. But be reasonably selective in who you ask and don’t have too large a group. Steve Jobs once said, “It’s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times people don’t know what they want to show it to them.”
After you have collated all that information think about building a prototype. If you were launching a new make of car you would spend your time creating models and continually improving on all aspects of the vehicle until you felt it was ready to go anywhere near production. Exactly the same theory applies to developing an app for a phone or tablet. Get a basic working version built and then take that out to the people you asked the questions of earlier and see if you have matched their wishes.
And don’t skimp on the graphics. Everything the world sees of your app “brand” needs to be consistent — that includes the app on the device itself, the supporting website and, of course, what appears in front of the user in the online stores.
So before you dive headlong into your exciting project make sure you’ve got a clear idea of your app’s design and branding.