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Five App Design Mistakes That Can Destroy Your Mobile App

Think you’ve got a handle on good mobile app design? Think again.

Plenty of mobile apps are a hot mess of bad design. Here's how to avoid common app design mistakes.

Plenty of mobile apps are a hot mess of bad design. Here's how to avoid common app design mistakes.

Luke Konior, COO of the mobile design company All in Mobile gives some great app design advice in his blog post How to not utterly ruin your mobile app’s user interface on freeCodeCamp. Here are five app design mistakes that he warns can destroy your mobile app.

The First App Design Mistake: Abuse Fonts

Years ago, when word processors first gave anyone the power to use many types of fonts, a new design faux pas was born: The ransom note effect, the incoherent look you get when you mix and match too many types of fonts. Konior warns against doing that in your mobile app. He also says to take care when using one of a mobile device’s system fonts, because the user can change the default, which will change the font in your app. He says keep fonts “simple and coherent.” And also make sure that you’re not using a font without first getting a license, because it can cost you big-time.

The Second App Design Mistake: Make the Screen too Busy

These days, most smartphones have big screens, and tablets have even bigger screens. That makes it tempting to throw everything possible onto the screen. Resist the impulse. Konior says, “More isn’t more, so be selective… If there’s too much on the screen, users can easily get lost and wonder what to do or where to click.” So think carefully about what’s important, include only that, and then use design to focus a user onto the most important content right away.

The Third App Design Mistake: Be Inconsistent

People take their cues from the visual elements you use, so make sure to use them consistently. Konior advises: “If you use one element for a specific action, stick with it. Users learn by doing certain actions, and if they encounter unexpected or ambiguous actions, it can really ruin their experience.” Also, keep a consistent layout throughout.

The Fourth App Design Mistake: Transfer your Design Directly from iOS to Android

Even though both are mobile operating systems, what works for one doesn’t necessarily work for the other. So although it makes lots of sense to have the same look and feel for both apps, make sure that you’re taking each OS into account when designing an app for each.

The Fifth App Design Mistake: Ignore the Information Hierarchy

All information is not created equal; some is more important than others. So before designing your app, decide which information is most important and which least. Then use colors, fonts, size, and location to draw attention to the most important information.

App design is only one part of building a great app. You also need an easy way to build, an easy way to deploy, and a method that lets you quickly make changes and constantly iterate it. See how Alpha Anywhere can help you build mobile apps quickly and effectively.
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About Author

Amy Groden-Morrison
Amy Groden-Morrison

Amy Groden-Morrison has served more than 15 years in marketing communications leadership roles at companies such as TIBCO Software, RSA Security and Ziff-Davis. Most recently she was responsible for developing marketing programs that helped achieve 30%+ annual growth rate for analytics products at a $1Bil, NASDAQ-listed business integration Software Company. Her past accomplishments include establishing the first co-branded technology program with CNN, launching an events company on the NYSE, rebranding a NASDAQ-listed company amid a crisis, and positioning and marketing a Boston-area startup for successful acquisition. Amy currently serves as a Healthbox Accelerator Program Mentor, Marketing Committee Lead for the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge Launch Smart Clinics, and on the organizing team for Boston TechJam. She holds an MBA from Northeastern University.

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The Alpha platform is the only unified mobile and web app development and deployment environment with distinct “no-code” and “low-code” components. Using the Alpha TransForm no-code product, business users and developers can take full advantage of all the capabilities of the smartphone to turn any form into a mobile app in minutes, and power users can add advanced app functionality with Alpha TransForm's built-in programming language. IT developers can use the Alpha Anywhere low-code environment to develop complex web or mobile business apps from scratch, integrate data with existing systems of record and workflows (including data collected via Alpha TransForm), and add additional security or authentication requirements to protect corporate data.