App Design, the Devil is in the details



Consider your favourite App. Regardless if you’re an Android or iOS user, you love it, you use it on a daily basis, you’ve recommended it to your friends and you can't imagine living without it. What’s the secret for creating such an engaging App? After all these years working in web & App design here are some of the conclusions we’ve reached.
First of all, uniqueness. Your app should look and feel like no other. There may be many more apps like yours out there but your specific design, tone of voice and presentation should reflect what makes you distinct from the competition, effortlessly and naturally. That means not only that you should keep up with conventions and adopt best UI/UX practices, but also that you should be willing to go the extra mile.
A great example is our very own Story Chaser game. We showed no fear when we tried to provide a new and unique way of storytelling, while also training our speed reading abilities, all in a unique UI presentation that centers around the stories themselves, without all the usual fuss and annoying pop up promotional banners.
It goes without saying that another extremely important point is research. In fact, no matter how many best practices you incorporate, “you or your team are not your target user”. You should really reach out and document what your audience needs, what works for them and what doesn’t. You should speak to them, gather their feedback and utilize all that knowledge to continuously improve yourself and your product.
This practice has been extensively followed by many App Developers, noticeably Facebook ones. Their user base is huge, 1.18 billion daily active users on average for September 2016. They always gather analytics and insights during the usage of their platform and they fine tune and create new features that make our experience even better. Our QTales platform is in active monitoring phase since its beta release and in the lookout for features and fine tunes, generated from our custom analytics and user feedback.
The third element is focus. Your App, no matter how diverse it is or the technologies it uses should convey a single message. Users hate having too many options. You should really make things simple for them and make them feel like your whole workflow is the simplest thing they will do all day, no matter the complex and challenging problems you have to solve in the background.
PayPal is aware of this and has made payments and money transferring look simple. Also, although their app looks extremely clean and straightforward there are many complex and awesome mechanisms behind the scenes. At Publisto we follow the same philosophy in our apps.
Last but indeed not least, go the extra mile. I can’t stress that enough, your users will value your eye for the detail. Maybe it’s just a super cool and well thought out animation, a super image or a fantastic google maps skin. Something as simple as that might be enough to stand out and prove that you are here for excellence. In an ecosystem of over a 1000 new apps a day, that’s the only way to prevail.



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