When launching a new app, getting the app just right is as important as marketing its launch. There’s nothing worse than creating a buggy app that fails to meet your customers’ needs, no matter how amazing it looks. Some business owners might argue that a poor launch for an amazing product is better than an amazing launch for a substandard product.
That’s because you can always pick up marketing momentum after launch day when the product is good, but when a poor product gets a lot of attention, the bad PR can take a serious toll. The company also has to go back to the drawing board to resolve issues with the app.
So, what can you do to make sure that you have both a successful marketing launch and a successful product?
1. Start With Your User Base
As a business owner, you probably have a clear idea of how you want your app to work and what it should achieve. You have most of the bells and whistles planned out and have a good idea of what everything should look like. Maybe you even looked at apps from a few competitors and picked out what you love versus what you hate.
This might seem like the best starting point for your app, but the actual best starting point is the people who will use the app. Only your customer base or future users can tell you precisely how they will use this app, what they will use it for, and whether your suggested features are worth adding.
2. Stick To a Minimal Design
Smartphones are like little computers in the palms of our hands. People use them to create presentations, to film, and to edit videos. Keep in mind though that while many users have expensive smartphones with remarkable capabilities, some users use more basic or older models. Even those with the latest and greatest devices may have limited capacity because of all the large files stored on it.
Consequently, it’s best to choose a minimalist design, and this comes down to more than just aesthetics. A minimalist design removes all the extra features that look great on a top-tier smartphone. It also minimizes the likelihood of the app using too much data, taking too long to load, freezing, or crashing.
3. Ensure Readability
When it comes to app design, readability plays out in several ways. First, the text must read well and sound like natural language. Second, the text must be the right size for the screen. Even if users have the option to make the text bigger or smaller, the default text should be suitable for the screen size. Accessibility efforts might also compel business owners to consider colors and contrast ratios.
To add to this, readability can be affected by the layout. Some web designs have a large navigation tool at the top or on one side of the screen. On a smaller screen, this layout would make the space for content even smaller. Pop-ups are another consideration. Sometimes closing them can feel downright impossible on a smaller screen. Address these and all other issues that hinder readability.
4. Prioritize Your Tap Targets
Apps are a lot more interactive than websites. People rarely use them solely for informational purposes, so the design must prioritize the places people tap. This can vary by person, but most people use their thumbs to navigate smartphone touchscreens. Because 90% of the world is right handed, thumb placement primarily follows right-hand use.
The size of tap targets is also important. If the buttons are too small or too close together, users could hit the wrong one and then have to back out or wait for the information to reload. While this might not matter much for a game, imagine a vegetarian accidentally ordering beef teriyaki or a patient canceling an emergency dentist appointment.
5. Consider Easy Sign-In Options
Not all apps require a sign-in, but the user experience is much more personal when it does. Unfortunately, remembering dozens of usernames, passwords, and their combinations can be overwhelming. Make sign-in easy to increase the likelihood of people using the app. Here are some excellent options to consider:
- Signing in via Google or Gmail
- Signing in via Facebook or Instagram
- Using biometric data
- Sending an email link
6. Start Small and Grow Big
When you first create an app, you might be tempted to throw in all kinds of extra functionalities. If there really aren’t that many or if the app serves a very specific purpose, this could be just fine. For most businesses, however, it’s better to make a list of all the functionalities you have in mind and start off with the most important ones.
For example, consider a dentist who wants an app that makes it easy for his patients to book appointments. Instead of calling the office, they can pick a slot and receive push notification reminders. Maybe after several months, it might be time to add other features, such as remote check-in, installment payments for pricey procedures, or chatbots for after hours.
7. Pilot Test Your App
Publishing an app without first letting customers test it is like marrying someone you met on the first date. No matter how well you may have prepared yourself to be the perfect spouse, there can be many surprises after the vows have been spoken. Apps work similarly when put in customers’ hands.
Even big companies like Google have beta testing programs for their new apps. Chrome browser, for instance, was a beta browser for quite some time before it launched. All it takes is reaching out to loyal customers or people in the target demographic. People love to share their opinions.
The Bottom Line on App Development & Design
The truth is it takes a lot of research, time, and creativity to build the perfect app.
If you need more help on your app's design, we specializing in helping clients map their app needs to their business goals. We then prioritize the most important tasks and design an app that creates an amazing customer experience. If you're interested we encourage you to get in touch.