Small Screens and Fat Fingers – plan information rich content smartly
(PRWEB) January 20, 2014
If you are planning to build a mobile app, you don't want to miss these 5 points!
1. INTERFACE IS KING
People expect simple, intuitive and beautiful interfaces. Apple has raised the bar for design and most successful apps have great looking and functioning interfaces. A great idea with a poor design is bound to go nowhere.
Some tips for a good design:
- Keep in mind that a great programmer / software company may not necessarily be a great designer. Invest generously in design; hire the best UX and Visual Designers.
- Download some well-designed apps from the AppStore. Study them and get acquainted with what is best and provide guidelines to your app developer.
2. BATTERIES DON'T LAST FOREVER – minimize use of location services, avoid background tasks, avoid unnecessary animations.
Batteries are still a precious commodity. Not all apps consume the same amount of battery power. Users stay away from apps which could possibly drain their phone batteries.
Some tips to use battery optimally:
- Ensure location services that use GPS are used optimally and are shut as soon as not required. Careless use of location services is sure to drain battery life.
- Avoid background tasks. Apps running in thebackground, especially on Android, keep consuming battery powereven if it's not required. Remember to avoid background tasks unless this is absolutely required. An example where background task would be required - bulk/large file upload (one of the apps we developed - "photo prints", required photos to be uploaded to the server). Remember that background tasks are different from an app going in the background. iOS and Android both can save the state of the app without them consuming resources.
3. A NATIVE APP DELIVERS A BETTER USER EXPERIENCE than a mobile web app
You might be faced with a decision to go with a native vs. mobile web app (e.g. phonegap solution). While there are advantages in going with a mobile web app (cost / one code - multiple platforms,etc), as a thumb rule, if you are willing to spend a little more to have a native app for each platform, go for it. Native apps execute faster, are much smoother and in general provide a much superior user experience. That's one reason why Facebook now has a native app; they already had a mobile web app wrapped in a native frame but had to write a native app all over again for speed and performance; the same is the case with the original Gmail app on iOS.
4. SMALL SCREENS AND FAT FINGERS – architect information rich content smartly
Mobile interfaces are tiny compared to the desktop counterparts. People with a mindset of web based interfaces unwittingly make the mistake of designing interfaces that are suited for larger monitor screens. Mobiles, with touch input and smaller screens call for a different user interface paradigm.
- Avoid too much information on a single screen.
- Follow Platform Specific UI guidelines. Apple iOS / Android / Windows Phone all have interface guidelines and recommended best practices for their respective platforms.
5. PLAN FOR THE OFFLINE EXPERIENCE
If your app requires an Internet connection, what happens when connectivity is not available? Plan for things like availability (what will be available offline), behavior of certain features when in offline mode, etc. If you are designing an app like twitter, where new tweets are downloaded when an user opens the app, decisions like 'should older tweets' be still accessible? (of course yes! but it's surprising to see many poorly designed apps throw a sad 'no internet connection available' message).
ABOUT RIKTAM TECHNOLOGIES:
Riktam Technologies helps its global clients build amazing mobile apps. We have designed and engineered more than 250 apps for iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows, and Web that have won awards and have topped charts. If you are getting started with a mobility project, get in touch with us to see how we can help you.