7 Common App Design Mistakes That Will Tank Your Project

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Updated on: August 23rd, 2022Ken Braun5 min read
7 common app design mistakes that will tank your project

Usually when people start down the road of app creation it goes something like, “Hey, I’ve got this great idea for a killer app!” Unfortunately there are thousands of other people out there with great ideas along with millions of apps already in existence. That is not to say that you shouldn’t pursue your great idea, as you should, but it should be done wisely which means avoiding pitfalls and problems that have plagued other apps. So with that we would like to share our 7 Common App Design Mistakes that will tank your project to enlighten you on trouble areas you need to avoid.

App Design Mistakes to Avoid

  • Skimping on UX – The user experience is paramount in an app. Unlike a user’s expectations when on the web using a desktop or laptop, there is simply no patience when it comes to apps. A good product design with an emphasis on UX means just about anyone can open the app and quickly understand how to use it. Bad UX can cause confusion or irritation which can then lead to your app being one of the 70% plus that are opened once and never used again. Things that can help with UX are using good visual cues and standard icons.
  • Bad First Impression – That 70%+ drop rate for new apps happens for quite a few reasons and the first impression your app provides is one of them. If your app appears mediocre or boring then why would a user want to use it more than once? You need to immediately grab a user’s attention and foster engagement.
  • Overstuffed App – This can happen in one of two ways; too many features in your app or two many things shoved on the screen. In either case the mantra for an app is always, “less is more.” Too many things on the screen make it difficult to navigate easily and can cause confusion with a multitude of options. By the same token, stuffing an app with features makes it harder for users to use the app for the primary reason they downloaded it because often more features equals more bugs and slower response times.
  • Design Inconsistency – Having a level of consistency in the design of your app is a must these days. As a user navigates the app they should be able to pick up on the patterns used to utilize the app. A lack of consistency means no pattern which makes it harder to use and stunts the learning experience. This consistency needs to continue during subsequent updates and add-ons of additional features.
  • Forgetting the Analytics – This is something many new app designers overlook. You need to plan a design that includes analytics to help make data driven decisions down the road. Even if your app is a hit right off the bat you are going to want to make revisions and improvements which are where analytics come into play letting you know things like retention rates, app crashes, engagement level and so on.
  • Lack of Testing – Testing is critical for the success of any app and should always be an important part of the design life-cycle. Testing should be done at multiple phases to ensure that the various aspects of the app, such as functions, are working as expected but it should also be done to ensure of a great first impression and smooth UX is in place. It’s like the old carpenter saying, “Measure twice, cut once,” and in this case it should be, “Test twice (or more), release once.”
  • No Marketing Plans – Successful apps are built on more than just a good idea; they are often also marketed well. Before the app is even done a plan needs to be formed for marketing at multiple points including pre-launch, launch and post-launch. How is this design related? Not only do you need to factor in when you are going to have screenshots ready for pre-launch marketing, but you also need to consider if you relate your marketing plan to subsequent updates and the like. Not factoring marketing into the overall design plan can be a big mistake.

The bottom line is that these 7 common app design mistakes will tank your project if not considered. There is a thin line between success and failure in the app world so it makes sense to consider these ideas to help ensure you are on the right side of that line.

Published on: April 28th, 2016
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