10 Nightmares in the app design...
October 31, 2018

1. “Pull your eyes out” icon.

The best way to spoil the icon is to put your logo on it (if you have one), no matter of the size. Do not think that the name will be legible on the phone screen even if its the bomb in raising brand awareness.

Tip: first, the icon must be visible (standing out from the rest) and, second, the icon must be catchy (so that the user does not lose it in the margins of his smartphone).

2. Heavyweight Screenshots.

The next thing the user will look at before downloading your application is screenshots. It’s understood that the temptation to make them remarkable is very high. But what is the purpose of stunning design when the user's patience is running out and the app screenshots still won’t load?

Tip: this nuance is not indicated in the store requirements but it is very important to consider the loading time. When the speed of the Internet leaves much to be desired, the user chooses the fastest app out of a dozen.


3. Immortal tutorial.

Are you frightened that your app concept wouldn’t be understood at  the first sight? Or be deleted straight away without acknowledging the benefit it provides? If those are the only reasons you decided to hide the “Skip” button for, well, we have some info for you. The app will be removed because you have breached the store regulations by trying to impose your rules on users without giving them a choice.

Tip: tutorials as instructions? Nobody reads them! Don’t think that the user is dumb and won’t figure out how to use your app! It is better to make your product more intuitive, so there’s no need for explanation.

4. Uninvited and Unwelcome users!

That's right, those who do not even want to introduce themselves are not welcome in your app! The longer the registration form is, the more secure is your product from these pompous anonymous guests. If they don’t want to register, you don’t need them!

Tip: You will be surprised, but even if the user has downloaded your application, most likely that they are still in the process of comparing several apps and choosing the best fit. Let them get a feel of your product. Do not rush with demanding personal data from users, leave the guest access open and allow them trying your app first. Be more hospitable and it will pay off for sure!


5. Color mess.

You have discovered one of these magic “color palette selection” services. Your application will never be the same again. Now it will bloom from the smartphone screen. But how do you go about applying the proposed colors?  “All at once off course, and more red! Let it be vibrant!”.

Tip: If you decided to go without a designer, than start from small. Leave the background white, set the text to be dark and choose favorite color from the palette for the buttons. Too simple? Maybe, but much clearer to the user.

6. Freaky popup.

What could be better than surprising your user with a beautiful window that emerged from nowhere and for no reason? Everyone loves surprises!

Tip: Nope. Everyone loves pleasant surprises.I think you understood. There should be no surprises on this matter, all pop-ups are strictly on schedule. If you really want to ask the user about something, select the moment when she/he is most loyal to you.


7. Links, buttons... What's the difference?

Who needs these buttons? Who wants to waste time on choosing colors and coming up with a shape for them? Pfff.The links can do the same job, it's easier to draw them and you can fit much more on the screen. No need for buttons!

Tip: These are completely different controls. If the user sees the link in the application, she/he rightly believes that by tap the browser will launch and they will be kicked off the application. If you want the user to navigate in the app, use buttons, not links. FYI:  the buttons do not have to be in shape and color.

8. Scrolling is a serial killer.

Would you know how many nice apps were ruined by poor scrolling? Give the user an option, and they would mindlessly scroll the feed in the app back and forth all day long. If only everything was smooth and without brakes.

Tip: Scrolling is the kind of thing that the user considers tactile and she/he gets extremely upset if the list does not behave the way it should. Keep that in mind, the devil is in the details.


9. ”Sausage” Fingers.

Evolution is a damn slow thing. User’s finger size has not changed from the first smartphone times, which was a dozen years ago. Our fingers are still like sausages and even now it can be hard for them to hit the buttons, with the active area limited by the 3x3 mm icon.

Tip: do not save space on the active area of ​​the buttons if you want them to be pressed at all. 10x10 mm will be enough.

10. Strangers from the home screen.

Btw, on the topic of evil: The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Remember this when you duplicate every functionality on the home screen ‘just in case’.

All these buttons, icons, fields and titles filling the main screen, are just like uninvited guests in the “Mother” movie... What would you think as a host? Well, the user is no exception, they feel nearly the same:

-“How can I take all this and throw it out, leaving only what I really need?”

Tip: Do not overload the main screen. It is the face of your project, let it be clean, open and simple. If the application has at least a standard menu, do not worry, the user will not be lost. Leave on the core things only on the home screen, all the rest can be accessed by intuitive navigation.