Mobile Apps are an inseparable part of our lives now. To show you the direction; there is an app, to order food; there is an app, to forecast weather conditions; there is an app. You just name it and there is an app for it. Mobile apps are extremely popular at the moment, and they’re paving the way for all kinds of new and exciting business ideas. Now what If you have a breakthrough business idea too and you decide to bring it to life by developing a mobile app. Then more than knowing what to do; you must definitely know what not to do while designing for mobile app.

1. Don’t start anything without a flowmap
Even before the wireframes designing for mobile app begins, the user flow should be made ready. This ensures logical and reasonable navigational structure. In fact a well thought, simplistic, and natural flow is paramount before any actual mobile app development begins. Only once the basic flow has been ironed out, would the work with a professional start which includes detailing the wireframe of app functionality.

2. Not enough space
One common mistake a mobile apps developer makes is “biting off more than he can chew” He tries to include many vibrant design elements, but in this attempt he does not provide enough space. Stuffing too much into one screen makes it hard to navigate and not just leaves it cluttered but also unattractive. The developer ought to take into account the width of a finger, in addition to the fact that users move extremely quickly and would find it difficult to tap a tiny cluttered area of the screen.

3. Do not make a generic designing for mobile app for all platforms
Just like one shoe size is not meant for all feet. In the same way one great design cannot be applied to multiple platforms and devices. There are intricacies involved for each platform. In fact each application must be tailored to its associated native operating system. One such example is that Android devices have a hardware back button, while the iOS devices do not. Hence it is obvious that an application design when applied to IOS will need to include back buttons as a navigational element in the app itself unlike Android apps.

4. Don’t give the user a blank screen to stare at
Nobody likes to be confused. And what is more confusing than your mobile showing a blank screen? Not informing the user when the app is loading or processing could confuse users and may even lead them to think that the app is malfunctioning. Moreover it is a bad experience and hence the users waiting on a blank screen need to be kept in the loop about the processing. Thus, loading indicators, progress indicators and animations must be used to ensure they are not left perplexed.

5. Do one platform at a time
Even though you may aim to get your new app into as many hands as possible but a bird in hand is better than having two in a bush. Thus one greatly executed app is much more important than two poorly executed apps. This is in case budget is an issue, it would be better to do one platform at one time instead of racing for more. This would enable you to focus better and dial in your features more profoundly, and get one minimum viable product to the market faster. Thus getting a few iterations under your belt before you move on to another platform. But if you are not constrained by a budget then by all means, just go for it.

6. Don’t be greedy for more and more features
Of course we all want everything in life but we also know that we cannot get everything. So even if you have a long list of exciting features that would love to include in your new app, pull the brakes right away. You should focus on your core features which are of most importance instead of being greedy for more features. The list of features you have in mind must be trimmed down according to the importance and cohesiveness of the features. Ensuring that these features are implemented should be the priority. Once this is done then, get users to use it, see how they react, get their feedback, and then add on from there. New features can always be added later as an up gradation.

7. No logical steps
The user must not be left clueless about what is to be done next. Let us face the fact, a user getting stuck at one point in your app and the user is lost forever. Thus it is important that you should provide clear easy and logical paths to your users to let them accomplish what they want to. If your users are able to derive value from the very first stage of using your app, the number of new active users will be much higher than otherwise.

8. Don’t count yourself as a user
Just like one can never see his own faults; in the same way we can easily get biased towards our own app since a lot of time and effort is put into it. Hence it is mandatory to have fresh unbiased judgements of the app during the beta testing. For example if it’s a general consumer app, an outside focus group could be hired to act as the unbiased third party test the app and provide out of the box feedback. Even if the app is targeted towards a niche market; you must make sure you have the targeted qualified audience to do the testing of the application, as they are the ultimate users after all.

9. Don’t force your users to use the app
The competition in m-commerce is fierce and is building up to a higher level each day. The users are often presented with a plethora of choices when it comes to apps of similar function. Hence users are bound to take time to decide the most favourable application. Giving a user the chance to try out your app like a test drive would be of great value to you since the user already has a pool of options to decide from. Thus user registration should be a smooth and natural process that ought to be initiated by the user. Forcing them to sign up right away without getting to know your app is a mistake. Give them the opportunity to come to you for added benefit.

10. Not taking customer feedback
It is the age of social media, unlike earlier times people are not shy anymore of voicing their opinions. The mobile app developer sees this as a golden opportunity to obtain feedback on his work. Mobile app store reviews acts like a goldmine of advice. This is definitely not to be taken lightly. These user insights are extremely valuable and can be used to improve upon the app in next iterations. One of the worst mistakes that a developer could make is ignoring user reviews. Let user feedback inform and mould your development as time progresses.

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