Today, every self-respecting company invests in an enterprise app. Moreover, 67% of businesses emphasize that having such an app is a growing priority for them in the upcoming years.
There are a few good reasons why you should have a branded app, namely:
● Improved targeting capabilities
● Multifunctional customer service
● Higher customer loyalty and engagement
● Increased conversions
Of course, not every application is capable of delivering these benefits. There are too many examples when an app brings more annoyance than value. We’ve picked four of them and figured out the design sins they committed to help you avoid the same mistakes.
Let’s dive in.
Responsiveness is one of the most crucial factors you need to consider when designing an app, among the components of which is the loading time. No matter whether your app works on- or offline, it should take each page of it to load in no more than two seconds - the same as with internet pages on mobile devices.
A good example of an app failing to load quickly is Hueber, a publisher of books many teachers around the world use during German lessons. This app gives access to audio files necessary to complete listening tasks. But even though the app has such an important purpose, it takes forever for it to download one audio file (in our case, it took more than half an hour):
If you’re planning to build something similar to this app, it’s better to make it online and keep all the audio files on the cloud for faster access. Besides, making a list of files like this makes the app look too crowded, and they all start downloading together once you hit the button for one of the files. As a result, you lose even more time as you won’t get access to the audio until all of the files get downloaded.
When you log into an app, you usually expect easy navigation. If it takes you too long to figure out how the app works, then its developers definitely committed a sin of bad UX.
Basically, a good practice to follow would be to make well-organized information architecture. It is usually based on thorough user research and proper testing that show what a target user would expect from an app like yours. If you overstuff your app with tabs, pages, and links, it will not only make it slow but will also hinder a positive user experience. Steam is an example of an app that failed to implement this practice:
You can see just how overloaded the design is, as it contains too many tabs and visuals that distort the user’s perception. The design is also far from clean, which is another requirement if you want users to enjoy using your app.
It’s common for an app to ask for permissions. Usually, they include location, the use of a microphone, camera, etc. These permissions are necessary for the app to function properly and for the user to take full advantage of its features.
However, it’s important to regulate the time when an app asks for such permissions. The user will definitely not enjoy it if they get bombarded with requests right after installing the app, no matter how necessary the permissions are for the app to function.
For example, if you install the Weatherbug app, it asks you to allow using your current location to show you the weather. You have an option to allow tracking the location while using the app or all the time. If you choose the first option, the app will request going to the settings and manually changing them to give it full access to your whereabouts:
Basically, by doing so, you steal time from the user and kill the initial intent they had when they downloaded your app. To avoid it, make sure to let the user explore your mobile app for some time before insisting on giving any permissions.
Placing ads in an app is a normal monetization practice. For many developers, it’s also the only way to make their creation profitable. Besides, the paid app price distribution is pretty low, at least for Android apps - Statista reports that over 30K app owners pay less than one dollar.
Based on the nature of your branded app, you can also place ads in it, but it’s important to know where to stop. For enterprise applications, it’s definitely inappropriate to block certain features and open them only after a user watches an advertisement, like in this Dog Translator app:
Credit: Dog Translator
And even if you want to design an app that you simply want to monetize later, using such practice is unacceptable. It’s better to warn a customer beforehand that your creation includes in-app purchases than to fool them.
We already touched upon this idea a bit in the second section of this article, but cluttering the interface with a bunch of promos and offers is unacceptable, even if they seem relevant to the needs of your target audience.
Think about it - what do you want to see when you download and log into an app? We bet that you expect an easy-to-navigate interface, not filled with eye sores in the form of product promotions like Shein does in its app:
As you can see, there are so many offers (some of them are even animated to attract attention) that it’s hard to notice the main app menu categories. These offers are definitely helpful to the user, as they contain some promo codes, but making them clutter the interface like this makes this app unusable.
Apart from that, the way Shein does product listings in its app also looks pretty messy:
Product images listed in each category are too small to display properly on a smartphone, and depicting several products per category actually makes the menu look even more cluttered. So, it’s definitely not a good idea to overstuff the product pages on your app like this.
So, which rule should you follow here?
Always bet on white space (also known as negative space). Its task is to put forward different elements, such as app menu icons. It also facilitates more effortless interaction with the app interface and navigates the user.
Negative space is also important for improving comprehension, in other words, making app content more digestible. Besides, you’d be surprised, but white space can also help attract attention to certain design elements. So, you can absolutely use promotions in your app, but maintain the balance between the content and the negative space.
Designing and developing an app is very costly. That’s why you can’t let yourself make mistakes. Otherwise, your budget will incur significant losses. So, let’s recap the most common designs sins you can commit when working on a mobile app:
● Long loading time - it should take no longer than two seconds for an app to load.
● Overcomplicated UX - the user should spend hours trying to figure out your app’s structure.
● Requiring permissions once the app launches - give a user some time to get to know your app before asking for permissions.
● Placing too many ads - it can break your app’s UX and usability.
● Cluttering app interface - it diverts the attention from what really matters.