Alpha Software Blog

Tips for Mobile App Design

These tips will help you avoid the most common errors in mobile development, especially when building business applications.

Do you know the top errors developers make in mobile app design? As you develop business apps, here are some key mobile app design tips to consider. 

Mobile App Design Tip #1: Do Not Ignore Responsive Design

Tablets and smartphones have very different screen sizes and are used in very different situations. For example, smartphones are often used when a user can only utilize one had to hold the phone and capture or manipulate data. Make sure you take responsive design and smaller screen size into account when doing mobile app design.
mobile app design tips

Mobile App Design Tip #2: Do Not Make the Screen Too Busy

As smartphone screens get larger, you may be tempted to add more to the app to utilize the bigger screen. This is not necessarily a good idea. Users want to get in and out of apps quickly to do business tasks. Don't make them get lost or hunt around for next steps. Help them get what and where they need, quickly.

design consistencyMobile App Design Tip #3: Do Not Be Inconsistent

When designing a mobile app, keep a consistent layout throughout your mobile app. Use consistent toolbars, icons, colors and styles (rounded boxes or square boxes, for example. Keep the layout consistent -- if the toolbar for most screens is usually on the top, be careful about suddenly moving it to the bottom or the size of the screen. If your design becomes inconsistent, you risk confusing or frustrating a mobile app user with your design.

Apple vs Android designMobile App Design Tip #4: Do Not Transfer Your Design Directly from iOS to Android.

Both iOS and Android are popular and heavily used, but a mobile app design that works well on one, may not work well on the other. Be sure to field test designs on EACH OS carefully before the hard launch.

Mobile App Design Tip #5: Do Not Mix FontsWelcome mixed fonts

In a fast-moving, mobile world, mobile app designers should make it fast and easy for users to read information in the app and make quick decisions. Keeping fonts consistent allow users to process quickly and won't slow them down as they process new fonts and styles.

These mobile app design tips aren't a comprehensive list but are a manageable list of 5 to bookmark or post nearby your desk and keep in mind as you design new mobile apps. By following design rules, even developers without design experience can begin to improve their mobile app design skills.

View our guide on mobile app design for beginners.

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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.