Design is the biggest USP
A million different applications are driving the fiercely competitive app market towards saturation. Thousands of new apps are added every day to this overcrowded space. The situation intensifies further when we consider the limited real estate available on our smartphones! It is therefore important to figure out “how do we stand out from this crowd” to vie for a spot in this limited space. Having the next big idea might do it, but the highly saturated marketplace is making it increasingly difficult to do that. New competitors must instead focus on improving their ideas backed by great design to make an application that really stands out! One of the most effective ways to achieve this is ‘creative design’.
Importance of creative design
While we would like to believe this is obvious, many app developers do not actually spend enough time on design. What an app looks like is the first thing that people notice even before they download it. The entire user experience is dictated by this first visual impact or impression. This is critical to determining the future success of an application. We do not have to look farther than Apple to draw inspiration in design. Apple essentially pioneered the field of app design with its simple and elegant UI/UX. It set lofty standards for creative design in this sector. Great design has been the underlying principle behind all Apple products and services right from the start. Successful application developers have smartly taken cues from this.
User interface & User experience
For most people who are not app designers, user experience can seem a little vague. UX describes the user’s workflow and functionality of the app (which includes the number of clicks, the way he has to hold the device to reach buttons in the case of phones, intuitively being able to understand symbols on the screen etc.). User interface or UI on the other hand is a lot about the look and feel of the application. It focuses a lot on visual appeal and impact. Design for web and mobile platforms are governed by their own set of rules and standards. There is a lot of difference between the approaches to website design and mobile based application design. While maintaining consistency of look-and-feel across devices is pivotal to product branding and feel, it is also important to adapt to conventions that have been established for specific platforms.
Simplicity in design is the key
One of the biggest factors in application design is simplicity. Clean non-flashy intuitive interfaces that are easy to navigate are the new industry standard. Less is more! Great ideas backed by simple, easy-to-use design and intuitive functionality go a long way in improving user engagement and experience. It is also imperative to note that simple and fun are not mutually exclusive aspects of creative design as long as we don’t overdo it. Incorporating interesting creative design elements with a clean and simple interface helps. A very important aspect of design is its relevance to the context. It is alright if a little compromise in simplicity can make an app more exciting. Sometimes use of vibrant colours, bold designs, buttons and icons are necessary to attain the right look and feel that we want to achieve. It is all about a fine balance across all aspects that blend well with the concept.
“Good design is obvious. Great design is transparent.” — Joe Sparano
Modern businesses are fast paced and are driven by stiff deadlines and ambitious targets. These goals are increasingly being accomplished through web or mobile based applications designed to make it easy for the customer to engage. A picture is worth a thousand words. User interface and user experience can make or break a product. Anything less than an amazing user experience leads to unhappy customers today. It is therefore important to build and design a product that is efficient, easy to use and stands out from the crowd. Good enough is just not enough anymore!