How to Brand and Design Mobile Apps
Interaction Design: Keeping User Experience at the Forefront
Whether you’re launching a restaurant finding app or a dinosaur hunting game, many of the key elements of a great mobile app come down to ensuring that the user experience is a smooth one. What matters?
When it takes 20 minutes for a user to understand how to navigate your app and its features successfully, this is a sign that your design isn’t very intuitive. Although it’s good to stand out from other apps, you still want to make use of familiar patterns in order to make the transition smooth and not frustrating for the user. As Design for Founder points out, “don’t reinvent patterns.” Rely on them.
A phone is a small screen, and an app is not meant to replicate the experience of visiting a website. Pare down your offerings so that what remains is clean, easy to understand, and leads the user to the right place. Eliminate redundancy.
Give users feedback so that they know, for example, when they haven’t fully completed a task through your app (perhaps paying for what is in their shopping cart, for example). The feedback should be as unobtrusive as possible.
Branding: Simple and Powerful
It’s important to remember that among a host of competitors, your app is going to be essentially unknown. It’s important to have cohesive, clear branding across platforms so users know exactly what you’re about.
An easy to remember icon
At the end of the day, whether a user clicks to download or open your app or not can all come down to how easily understandable your logo is, and how much it stands out. We’ve given a number of tips on logo design; they basically boil down to keeping it simple, keeping it colorful, and keeping it original.
Understanding how your product is utilized
Oakley may be best known for their sunglasses and goggles suited best for extreme sports like surfing and snowboarding, but their Surf Report app focuses specifically on equipping surfers with the latest information about swell directions, tides, surf heights and more. A great tie-in that reinforces their brand image.
Consistency and interaction across platforms
Your app’s appearance and offerings, from the icon to the layout, should not be wildly different from your website, your storefront, etc. Not only should your mobile app be consistent across platforms, but you also want to make it easy for users to switch between platforms and to promote your app. As Think360Studio points out, word-of-mouth is often the “make it or break it” for determining which apps become successful or not. There are about 1.5 million apps out there, with more being designed and launched every day. Therefore, hiring an experienced mobile app designer is key to standing out from the other mobile apps.