Apps are an indispensable part of modern life. They’re what we turn to when we want to order a meal or call a ride home from the bar. Apps have become so ubiquitous and so integral to our daily lives that many people feel lost without their smartphones.
One might assume that we all know how to design them by now. However, many companies, even those at the top of their fields, continue to struggle to see the point and value of good design. We’ve all seen them, apps with bad fonts, unclear navigation, and illogical layouts. Apps that make it hard to accomplish what we want and instead let us tap, tap, tap into frustration.
What makes for Great App Design?
Mobile apps were once defined as little more than digital versions of existing services. But today’s best apps are designed specifically with mobile in mind and take advantage of the strengths of smartphones and tablets. They’re easy-to-navigate experiences that take into account everything from thumb placement to screen space and colour themes.
But why Should you Care?
Because your customers do. If they download your app and find it to be poorly designed, clunky, or hard to navigate, they’re likely to abandon it—and you. It’s pretty simple!
Breaking down the cost of Unappealing app designs
Making your app look good is just icing on the cake, right? It’s the product that matters in business, not the packaging. Wrong.
People are visual creatures: if they’re not interested in how something looks, they’re less likely to engage with it. And if they don’t engage with your app, you could end up with a lot less revenue than you’d planned for. So what does having an appealing design mean for your business? How important is it to get this right?
Look, we’re not going to sugarcoat this one. If your app’s UX design isn’t up to snuff, it will cost you your business.
You may not see it at first, but eventually, all those little annoyances will add up and drive users away. That means you’ll have fewer people using your product—and unless you plan on giving it away for free forever, that means less money coming in. A poor UX can cause users to abandon your app even before they get started with it. A clear example of this is an onboarding process that requires a lot of steps or personal information from the user—if the user has to jump through too many hoops or doesn’t feel comfortable sharing their information, they’ll likely just stop using the app altogether. And you know what that means – loss of business.
How a Sleek App Design can help your Businesses
In an online economy where attention spans are short and competition is fierce, you need something to draw people in, and that’s where design comes into play.
Much like putting a good face on your business, the design of your app says something and it better be saying something good. Here’s how it helps:
Good App Design is a Differentiator
Good design can sway your customers’ decisions in your favour; and in today’s competitive market, where there are so many apps for everything, design counts more than ever. When your users sit down to choose between two apps which both do the same task, how will they decide which one to use? They’ll look at the user experience and the quality of the design of each app. If one looks better than the other and is easier to use, they’ll pick that one.
Allow Businesses Meet Regulatory Compliance and Avoid Costly Fines
Now more than ever, governments and regulators are cracking down on businesses that don’t use customer data responsibly. A well-designed app secures information coming into and going out of the platform to ensure that both the company and its customers are protected against identity theft and other cyber crimes. Everything is encrypted, so there’s no way for hackers to get their hands on private information such as credit card numbers, bank account details or other sensitive data. Even if you don’t collect such information or conduct transactions within your app, there’s also the matter app accessibility. For example, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires companies to make their digital products available to those with visual impairments or other disabilities and that means following specific design guidelines, from allowing users to change text size to providing audio descriptions for images. If you’re found in violation of any of these rules, it could result in hefty fines or even a lawsuit.
The best way to avoid all this hassle is simply by working with an experienced designer who can help you create an accessible app that will allow you meet regulatory compliance.
We’ve all heard stories of people who have found true love through apps like Tinder or Bumble, but did you know that those services have another thing in common besides encouraging dating? They both have brilliant designs. Nice colours, simple interfaces, and easy controls are the key ingredients in making their users feel comfortable engaging and interacting with the app (and others). Your customers will feel the same way about your app if it’s designed right – and they’ll stay engaged as long as your features continue to work well.
Good Design Encourages Spreading the Word
Think of the last time you told a friend about an app or software you found particularly useful. In addition to explaining what it does and how you use it, you probably mentioned that it “looks great” or “has a really clean interface.” The way something looks is a powerful consideration for customers, no matter what industry you’re in. The more appealing your product is, the more inclined your customers will be to tell their friends about it – and nothing is as persuasive than positive word of mouth.
Brand Reputation can Get an Eye-Catching Lift
App design also affects how people feel about your company or brand. If someone uses a well-designed app, they will think of you as innovative and forward-thinking. If they use an app that is poorly designed, they may think of you as behind the times or outdated. This can affect their perception of other products from your company as well – if one thing seems old-fashioned or poorly planned out, then so does everything else!
It Creates TRust with your Customers
When you have a high-quality design and seamless user experience, it shows your customers that you’ve got it together – that you’re on top of things and pay attention to detail. This builds trust in your brand. A poor design can do just the opposite by leaving customers frustrated or confused and making them wonder if they should be doing business with you at all.
Help Improve Conversion Rate
In the game of converting a user to a customer, making it easy for them to navigate and interact with your app is key. It’s not just about how the app looks – the way it functions and feels in the hand is just as important. The more intuitive the process, the more likely users will stick around. They’ll be more inclined to trust you with their money and feel confident making purchases through your app because they know they won’t have difficulties checking out or navigating your app’s features. For example, with a well-designed eCommerce app, when users like an item but aren’t quite sure whether they want to make a purchase, they can click on “Save for Later,” which stores items in a shopping cart that doesn’t expire. This makes it easier for them to return later and continue browsing, without having to start over from scratch!
You can have a great-looking app, but if it’s not easy to use or responsive, you’ll lose customers over time. Poor performance is one of the main reasons people choose not to keep an app on their device after downloading it. A few seconds of lag time can cost you that sale and cause users to reconsider whether they want to spend any more time on your app at all. On the other hand, an app that responds quickly and intuitively creates an experience that customers are more likely to return to again and again.
Good app design keeps customers happy and loyal.
Social proof is golden in business, and positive reviews can mean the difference between a thriving business and a failing one. Customers’ reviews aren’t just the opinions of a couple of people – they reflect an entire community’s opinion, which is where the power lies.
With so many options out there for what to buy, consumers are looking for validation from their peers that they’re making the right choice. They want to know that someone else has used and loved your product and that it’s worth their time and/or money.
If you have enough good reviews for your product, it will gain momentum on its own because other people’s praise will convince others to try it out too. The more positive feedback you have, the better your app will rank in search results and that means more visibility for you! With this extra exposure, you’ll be able to reach new customers who may not have seen your product previously. This is especially important if your brand isn’t widely known yet.
It enhances Business Value
The ability of a business to command a premium price is one of the key components of value. Price premiums can be driven by many things but if you want to command a premium price then you need to make sure that your product or service has the qualities that will demand it. That can be easier said than done, particularly when competing with other firms that are offering lower-priced alternatives. So how do you ensure your price is justifiable in the mind of your customer?
A good app design is critical for this process. If you want customers to pay more, then you have to make sure they get the impression that they are getting more too. They need to see that the extra investment they are making is worth it, and a good app will help them realise this fact. That is why it’s important not just to focus on features, but also on design – because a design-led approach will help increase customer value perception, which in turn drives business value.
Finally, it adds up to…
We would be dishonest if we said that the main reason why businesses invest in building their applications is to help improve their bottom line. In fact, an appealing look and feel is a selling point for an app. People are more likely to spend money on something they’re drawn to, so it makes sense that an app with a visually appealing interface is going to have more users than one with a drab and uninspiring design. The same pattern holds true with the apps themselves: when a user is more drawn to the look of an app, they’re also more likely to use it and take advantage of the features it offers. With each purchase made or ad clicked, both the user and the app’s developer are benefitting from the success of its design.
You’ve probably heard that first impressions count. That’s as true for apps as it is for people. Studies show that app design has a direct impact on download rates and user retention rates – both of which impact your ROI. The fact is, if your app is not intuitive or easy to use, people will stop using it and uninstall it – even if they downloaded it for free.