There’s no doubt that mobile apps are changing. You can no longer design a simple app and expect it to thrive. There has to be an underlying strategy for engagement. Otherwise, you risk falling into obscurity amongst the hundreds of thousands of other apps that are currently flooding the App Store.
Check out the following factors that can make apps for 2016 and beyond great.
1. Unique and Responsive Visuals
Visuals are everything in modern app design. People want simple, intuitive, and responsive visuals that are friendly and non-threatening. Whereas app design of the past focused on packing in as many features as possible, simplicity is the goal in 2016.
If you want to see what a simple, streamlined app design looks like, check out these 19 apps. They’ve all received awards and recognition for their designs.
2. Focus on Engagement and Social Experiences
In the past, apps were very passive. They relied on the user activating them and did very little to reach out and engage. That’s changed over the past couple of years.
Today, the most successful apps are the ones that prioritize engagement and social experiences. People want to be a part of something bigger than themselves. It is very important for big events to increase attendee involvement. This is something you see in apps built by DoubleDutch. The success of these event apps is rooted in the fact that it engages, energizes, and brings users together, as opposed to merely spitting out information.
Another great example is Slack. The interface of this popular messaging platform draws people in and keeps them coming back for more.
3. Prioritized FTUE
You don’t get many chances to impress a user. That’s why first time user experience (FTUE) is critically important. You either seize this opportunity, or you squander your chance of engaging them in the future.
So, how do you ensure a positive FTUE? Well, the only thing you can do is focus on simplicity and intuitiveness. This may include an optional, brief walkthrough. Another strategy is to implement simple overlays that direct the user to the best aspects of the app.
However, the last thing you want to do is overwhelm the user. If you have to conduct a long walk through, ask yourself if the app is too detailed. The best apps always have a fine balance of intricacy and simplicity that allows users to easily navigate and engage.
4. Keep Battery Life in Mind
“The design and functionality of the mobile app can directly affect the battery life of the device. Too many bells and whistles or features that are highly complex can drain the battery quickly,” says UX designer Suhela Kapoor. “Designers should understand how the app works in order to help minimize strain on the battery.”
A surefire way to turn users off is by developing a mobile app that quickly drains battery life. Most phones now have technology built in that shows which apps and features are draining the battery. If an app happens to show up near the top of this list, it’ll quickly be deleted. This goes double for data draining.
Design Better Apps or Suffer the Consequences
Today’s mobile users are more specific and demanding with the apps they download and use. Not only are people downloading fewer apps per month, but the average person is spending the majority of their time accessing just two or three of their apps. If you don’t make it into this mix, you’ll suffer the consequences of irrelevancy.
The solution is to design better apps that are immersive, engaging, and useful. Gone are the days when you could produce a clever app and expect thousands of downloads. In today’s marketplace, you have to work hard for each and every customer.