What Not To Do In App Design

Dec 11, 2022Martín Etchegoyen

This article will discuss what not to do in app design. Have you ever looked at the design techniques and elements you use to build mobile apps and evaluate whether or not they are still useful or relevant? If you have not done this in a while, stop what you are doing and read this.

It is easy to get attached to things when they serve you well at one time or another. But if you take a closer look at the stuff you have accumulated, you will realize that a lot of it has lost its usefulness along the way. It is key to run through a similar type of decluttering exercise in your work as a designer. That way, the apps you build always look fresh and modern instead of being weighed down by antiquated features or functionality that at one time had a purpose.

Before you start charging ahead into the new year, take a moment to reflect on how you approach mobile app design. If you are still holding onto components or functionality that no longer serve any purpose or, worse, intrude on the user experience, it is time for a change.

5 Tips on What Not To Do In App Design

In this section, we will briefly discuss some things that you should avoid doing in app design.

Application Design

1. Poor Information Architecture

Poor information architecture results in bad app design as the layout and structure of your app’s information are not easy to understand or use. As a result, users will be confused about navigating your app and will likely end up abandoning it. Here are some common problems with poor IA in mobile apps.

First, having too many screens or pages can be overwhelming for users and make it challenging to find the information they need. Also not using clear and concise labels for buttons and other interface elements, having navigation that is not intuitive or easy to use, using complex or unfamiliar terms instead of plain language, or placing important information in unexpected or hard-to-reach places.

It is essential to consider your users’ needs and ensure your app’s ease to use. By following some basic principles of good UX, you can help make your app more successful among your target audience.

2. Overdoing it with features

A big mistake that a lot of people make when designing a mobile app is incorporating too many features into the app straight off the bat. While you may want your app to cover a wide range of tasks, including too many features might end up taking away from the app’s core purpose.

In the first place, cover the core purpose, and only when the app becomes more popular and people become used to using it should you start to integrate new features slowly. This will avoid confusion, and it will allow your users to adjust to your user interface as the app evolves.

With that being said, you still need to know when to stop. If you bring in too many features, your app might end up with an information overload, that is your app become too cluttered and confusing, despite bringing in the features gradually

3. Harmful FOMO Elements

You know why marketers, influencers, and designers use FOMO. Nonetheless, you also know how damaging it can be for users’ mindsets, not to mention the distrust they feel towards brands as a result.

You know that, when left to their own devices, mobile app users may forget that your app even exists on their phones without something to pull them back in. But it is too easy to go overboard with FOMO-inducing components. Even if reminders for each of the countdowns were sent as push notifications instead of disruptive pop-ups, it still would be bad for the user experience. There are just too many things competing for the user’s attention and each of the clocks is like a ticking time bomb.

I know it might seem like giving app users more reasons to engage is a good idea, especially if you are struggling to attract and retain users. But if that is an issue, then you need to work on improving the core product first and foremost.

Application Design

4. User testing with a low range of personas

User testing allows you to gather insights about usability, functionality, speed performance, and user experience by letting real people test out your mobile app. It is key to test across different types of users, from different gender, ages, and backgrounds as they might have different reasons for using your product and displaying different behavior patterns.

This way, you can get an idea of the diversity in your users and identify unique behavior or what can be generalized to improve your design. So the takeaway here is to do user research before UX design. Test your design with every user set. Show them different design examples, do other types of user testing, and check if you have the right answer to a problem AKA good design.

If you test with just one user type, you risk being misled by actions that might be accidental or in the spur of the moment. This can lead to bad app design, and, as a result, low conversion rates and usability issues further down the line. It can be significantly more expensive to fix these once your mobile app has launched rather than performing user testing on multiple personas beforehand.

5. MVP version of your mobile app

The idea behind an MVP is to identify one critical problem your users have and how you are going to solve it. This way you can focus on your main value proposition and prioritize the core features that your users need the most. Instead, businesses add too many non-critical functionalities to impress stakeholders.

The result is a clustered design that can overwhelm visitors and lead to poor user experience. You also create more work for your developers which can result in slow development and delayed launch. All of this can hurt your business including discouraging people from using your mobile app, low perceived value, and low-profit margins.

Bottom Line

This guide tells you exactly what not to do in app design. If you follow these guidelines, your career in this field will grow quickly and you will outstand the average app designer.

Martín Etchegoyen

Martín Etchegoyen

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