Are you thinking of making your own business app?
Experts say that the global app market will reach a value of around $366.34 billion by 2027. Currently, it is growing at a massive 11.5% per year.
As smartphones become increasingly intelligent, customers use them for more of their daily tasks than ever before.
This represents an excellent new avenue for companies looking to connect with their target audience.
Of course, like many business investments, branded apps will only generate the best results when you know how to use them correctly.
Done wrong, an app harms your brand reputation and could end up losing you both existing and future customers.
However, if done right, an app will accelerate brand awareness and deliver new sources of revenue.
Today, we’re going to share some of the biggest app design mistakes companies make, and what you can do to avoid them when building your own smartphone solution.
Mistake #1: Not Having a Clear Vision
Just like starting a company, when you’re building an app, you need a strong vision of the future, and what you hope to accomplish.
Before you even begin looking at designers to help with your app, you’ll need to decide what you want to accomplish with this solution.
Are you looking to create a simple sharing app, where your customers can find your latest blog posts, articles, and videos with a swipe of their thumb?
Do you want to create an app especially for your most loyal customers, so they can check how many rewards points they’ve earned and what kind of prizes they can trade their points for?
Perhaps you just want to give your customers an easier way to browse through your products on the move or reach out to customer service via chatbots.
Whatever your goals are, having a clear vision from day one will help you find the right designer to build your app, and determine which metrics you should monitor to boost your chances of success.
For instance, if you’re building a shopping app, you can track conversions, whereas a loyalty app would show its value through customer engagement.
Mistake #2: Overcomplicating Things
A lot of people jump into app design assuming that their smartphone experience should be just as feature-rich as their website.
However, the way we interact with apps on our smartphones is very different from how we use websites.
While your site might need a search bar, multiple product categories, and a comprehensive contact page, your app needs to be much simpler.
Using your vision of what you hope to accomplish with your app, ask yourself what the main functionality of the solution should be.
From there, focus on achieving that specific goal, with as few design flourishes and added extras as possible.
Remember, you can always add new functionalities in the future as interest in your app starts to ramp up.
The quicker it is for your customers to download your app and start using it, the more likely they are to have a positive experience with your brand.
Every time you add a new feature to your app, ask yourself how it’s going to deliver genuine value to your customer. If you can’t answer that question, forget about the update.
Mistake #3: Failing to Make the Right First Impression
First impressions are key in the business world. It doesn’t matter if you’re using video advertising to engage your audience or introducing a branded app.
Your customers need to see the value in whatever you offer straight away. With that in mind, think about the first impression your customer gets when they download your new app.
How easy is it going to be for your clients to create an account with your app?
Can they log in using their social media or Google/Apple user credentials?
Will you walk them through the onboarding process with helpful visuals, videos, or pieces of informative text?
Also, how easy is it going to be for your customer to reach out for help if they have any problems?
Creating an app that’s immediately intuitive and brimming with valuable features will engage your audience and convince them to stick around for long enough to see what else your app can do.
Try to introduce all of your best features as quickly as possible, without overwhelming your audience.
Mistake #4: Using Too Many Push Notifications
There are various things that make mobile apps appealing to business owners and innovators. Push notifications are just one example.
These notifications mean that even if you don’t have your customer’s number, you can still reach out to keep them up to date with your latest products, services, and offers.
Some companies even set their push notifications up to target customers in specific geographical locations.
Notifications are handy for keeping your customers engaged by your app, thus making them less likely to uninstall it.
You can also use notifications to improve your chances of getting regular sales. However, too many notifications can also be overwhelming.
Bother your audience too often, or at the wrong times (in the middle of the night, for instance), and you will likely end up alienating them.
Instead, make sure you’re considering the customer experience when figuring out how often to contact your customer.
You should also have a settings section within your app where customers can make their notification preferences known.
Being able to switch off notifications might prompt customers to stick around for longer.
Mistake #5: Ignoring Feedback
The mobile world is full of wonderful ways to collect useful information about your audience.
For instance, you can add polls and surveys into your app to ask your users how they feel about certain features.
Asking for feedback from your target audience is one of the best ways to ensure you’re making positive updates to your product.
Some apps can even be equipped with exit surveys, which ask customers why they’re uninstalling your app when they decide to remove it.
The more information you collect from your customer, the more you can update and optimize your app for better results.
For instance, you might learn that people love your apps, but find it difficult to click on buttons within your product pages.
In that case, making a simple change to your layout could be enough to generate additional sales.
Aside from requesting direct feedback from your audience through polls, push notifications, and surveys, make sure you pay attention to the reviews and comments left online.
Apps in the Google or Apple store have a comments section where customers can leave their insights.
You can also use social media monitoring tools to track what people say about you online.
Mistake #6: Poor Layout
The formatting and design of your app are among the most important things you’ll need to consider when building a branded experience for your customers.
First, the app needs to be naturally easy to use.
This means considering how your customers are likely to interact with their smartphone (through taps and swipes).
You could even look into implementing features like voice commands to make parts of your app more accessible.
The layout of the app when it comes to content structure and button placement is important too.
Having too much white space in the app can leave your customers scrolling for too long, wondering what they’re supposed to do next.
At the same time, too little white space makes your app pages seem cluttered and more difficult to navigate.
You should focus on making your app user-friendly.
If you’re not sure how simple your app is going to be for customers to use, ask members of your staff or beta testers to go through the app and explore the options first.
Beta testing is a great way to determine whether there are any issues you need to address before you roll your app out to the world.
Mistake #7: Disregarding Convenience
Finally, remember that apps are all about making our lives easier.
We use mobile apps because they’re simple, accessible, and have a set of valuable features to explore.
If your shopping app is more complicated to use than your website, no one is going to download it.
Similarly, your customers may avoid using your app if it doesn’t take convenience into account.
For instance, some ways to make your app more convenient to use include:
- Keeping the download size compact: People don’t want to waste too much phone space on a single app. The less space and bandwidth you’ll consume, the better.
- Making your app for the right operating system: Ensuring your app works with the correct operating systems is crucial. This might include designing a version for both Apple and Android.
- Allowing guest sign-in: If your customers need to log into your app to use it, then guest sign-in will save them a lot of time and frustration. You can allow sign-in through social media accounts or even smartphone credentials.
Think about what would make an app easier for you to use, then align those insights with your target customer.
A great app will engage your audience and help you build stronger relationships with your clientele.
However, like any great business investment, you’ll need to make sure you’re using your app correctly.
Avoiding the app design mistakes above should enable you to delight your audience and open the door for more sales.
Don’t forget to track your app metrics and keep optimizing over time to maintain great results.
About the Author!
Michelle Laurey works as a VA for small businesses. She loves talking about business and sharing her experience with others. Outside her keyboard, she spends time with her Kindle library or binge-watching Billions. Her superpower? Vinyasa flow! Talk to her on Twitter @michelle_laurey.