Mobile phone users spend ninety percent of their time using mobile apps versus the mobile web. This statistic is indicative of the incredible mobile takeover that is currently sweeping the world. More companies than ever are investing big money in their mobile applications in order to meet customers where they are. Mobile app design is crucial to ensure that consumers are having a positive mobile experience with your brand.

Statistics You Need to Know

With mobile app usage skyrocketing, it’s important to know the challenges along with the advantages of launching your own mobile application.

  • 25% of installed apps are never used. — Google
  • 26% of installed apps are abandoned after the first use. — Google
  • The average Android app loses 77% of its daily active users (DAUs) within the first three days after the install, and 90% within the first 30 days. — Quettra

So, what does all of this mean?

These statistics indicate that while mobile usage is increasing rapidly it is incredibly difficult to keep consumers engaged and active within a mobile application. Mobile app design is the key to a flawless and addicting user experience that will keep your consumers coming back for more.

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Let’s take a look at the most common mistakes made in mobile app design.

Messing up the onboarding process.

Providing adequate training to your mobile app users is crucial, but it’s important you provide onboarding services in a way that’s going to give them control of the process. Overwhelming a new user with training videos, pop-ups, or mandatory onboarding screens that they have to click through can be a HUGE turnoff when they’ve first entered the app.

For example, it might be easier to provide training and tips as they use features. This will help them learn how to use the app confidently without bombarding them at the beginning and creating barriers to them getting started.


Designing poor touch targets.

Have you ever entered an app and realized you can’t even properly click on items to navigate the app because they are too small? Having touch targets in your design that are big enough for ALL fingers is crucial to a positive user experience. No one wants to feel like they have fat fingers. Design buttons and navigations tools that are big enough for a stress-free user experience. This will make everyone happy.

Not creating actionable cues.

When a user enters an app, they should be able to take action. What are they trying to accomplish by using your application? When designing your mobile app, create clear and actionable objectives for each screen. This will keep users moving through your app effortlessly – constantly making decisions and gaining value.

You can think of actionable cues as creating “calls-to-action” for each page of your app. A user should be able to move from each page easily and progress through your content flow.


Packing in too much on one screen.

Each screen should have one objective. This will make it easily navigable and less overwhelming to users. If you try to pack too much content on one screen, users might not understand how best to use your app. Throughout the design process, continuously focus and set objectives for each part of your design. How do you want users to navigate this? Remember more options and more content is not always the best.

Forgetting to keep standard icons.

If a user can’t understand what you’re saying, you’re doing something wrong. Often times in mobile apps, you don’t have room to spell things out, so you have to include a LOT of iconography. But, if the user doesn’t understand your icons, you’re out of luck. Some apps try to create new icons for their brand, but this is a huge mistake. A user will be confused, and you risk them leaving your app.

Use standard icons that everyone knows. This will keep things easy and straightforward for your users.

Not being aware of the design differences between iOS and Android.

This is a big one! You can’t just design a mobile app for one operating system and think it’ll translate over to the other system just fine. Be aware of design guidelines and take on designing an app for each operating system like its own project. This will help you satisfy users who are loyal to either system have an optimum user experience.

Related: Android vs. iOS: What App Developers Should Know Before Beginning a New Project

Blocking users with a login wall.

Okay, so this is a tough one. On one hand, it is very valuable to have users login to your application in order to create a more customized experience, but it can be harmful if you make them do it right away. If you block entry to your app with a login screen, it can turn them off from your app completely. They might want to initially explore and search through your app before committing to creating an account.

Allow your users to explore your app first and then give them the option of creating an account and logging in. This will make them more likely to stay connected to your mobile app as well.

Not including default values in the app.

Allowing users to save default values is incredibly useful. It can help them learn how to use your app and make it more personalized to them. Integrating default values into your mobile application can add tremendous value to each unique user of your app. It gives them a starting place and helps your app (and you) learn about them as you create a more custom experience.


Bombarding new users with permission settings and push notifications.

Once a user starts using your app, it can be easy to overwhelm them with permission settings and push notifications. Don’t do this! Ease them into it. Make push notifications triggered by behavior or lack of behavior. If you notice that they aren’t responding to your push notifications, stop sending them after awhile. Annoying them will only lead to them deleting or not using your app. Moderation is key here.