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Design, 6 MIN READ

4 Marks of User-friendly
Design + Instant Fixes

August 27, 2019
Mariia Bohatyrova
One in six startups fails because of a user-unfriendly product. Despite this sad fact, the debate around the definitions of user-friendliness and usability is still ongoing. Today I will try to explain what makes the product user-friendly and share some instant fixes that could turn your unpopular solution into a hit. If you implement my advice at the app development stage, your UX reviews will be off the charts.
app design

Make Your Product Simple

When you come up with an idea, you want to get your customers excited and get an app development company to throw everything onto a single screen. As a result, users get overwhelmed and don't know where to start. Multiple choices make people indecisive, stressed, and they prefer to leave instead of dealing with a wide selection.
A user-friendly product does not overwhelm customers with options, it focuses on one main idea.
Everything else can be left for further user touch points. Think about Google with its minimalist interface that consists of a logo and a search bar. Yahoo, on the other hand, can be overwhelming, as the search bar gets lost within a sea of info blocks.
yahoo app design
How can you make an existing product simple?

  • Leave one big thing per screen. Let it be a single promise, an order form, or a search bar. Let customers decide if they want to move forward and learn more.
  • Cut the non-essentials. Less is more. This applies to navigation elements, words, photos, links. Reduce the clutter, and your customers will appreciate the simplicity of your design.
  • Divide large blocks into manageable chunks. You know bullet lists and short paragraphs are easier on the eyes. The same is true for lengthy forms. Split them into smaller parts and throw in a progress bar, and your customers will be happy.

Clean up Your Solution

While seemingly similar to the previous point, clean design deals with user flow rather than a static product design. Customers are unlikely to spend money without leaving the website's homepage or an app's main screen. App development with a clean design means their journey throughout your solution is frictionless and quick.

Dribble, a social platform for designers, is a perfect example of a clean interface. The navigation and filter systems are both clear and make the user experience seamless, while the whole website relies on a set of consistent design elements.
dribbble app design
If the design is cluttered and busy, employ mobile app development services to:

  1. Make navigation obvious. Hamburger and drop-down menus are never as easy to use as a simple sidebar or header navigation panel. You will find the necessary space to make it happen if you follow my previous tips.
  2. Stay consistent. Do not invent five ways to display the same button throughout different parts of the interface. Users should be able to transfer their knowledge from one screen to the next without confusion. Create one design for every element and keep true to it.
  3. Make your labels clear. Cues, labels, and buttons are not ideal places to be creative. Make sure users understand what information they need to provide and what happens once they press the button. If possible, add default values during the app development stage. This will make the customer's job easier and speed up the sign-up process.

Ensure Your Design Is Intuitive

You want users to pay, not waste their time in the FAQ section or flood your support team with questions.
Intuitive design can seem dull because it relies on familiar and well-known principles. However, familiarity makes it so comfortable to use for your customers. It's when you try to stand out and build an app that has a unique navigation system, that you will probably run out of adopters soon. Instead, put web and mobile app development services to good use and make the design less flashy and more understandable.

Mint is among the most popular financial trackers, and its intuitive design is yet another factor of the app's success.
Your customers won't have to think twice if you and your web, iOS, or Android app development team:
    • Replace icons with text. You can also supplement icons with text if there is enough room, but images without explanations are more confusing than helpful, especially for new products on the market.
    • Provide visual feedback. Users need to see an evident change once they press a button or launch a process. Otherwise, they will assume an error and try again until your product crashes. Add color changes, animation, or tooltips where appropriate. Users will appreciate it.
    • Let interactive elements stand out. Users should not have to guess what to do and where to press to achieve their goals. Buttons and links should look different from ordinary images and text. Even small distinctions, like a shadow or a highlight, make a world of difference.

    Make Your Product Reliable

    Your app will never have a 5-star rating if you ask for reviews after a crash.
    People do not trust easily, and they want to be sure your solution is safe and stable. Every error and bug reduces your credibility and causes customer churn.

    But how does reliability translate into design? You can instill confidence in your users if you seek app development companies that:
    • Prevent users from making unconscious mistakes. For instance, do not let customers rent cars or book flights for past dates. A filter system on Booking is an excellent example of this.
    • Integrate inline validation. Let users know the login is taken or their password is too weak before they submit the form. Your customers will appreciate your foresight during the app development process when they don't have to search for one small mistake within dozens of form fields.
    • Collect information sparingly. It is tempting to ask for emails and phone numbers as soon as users come in. However, this will probably alienate most customers. Instead, follow Airbnb's lead and ask for contact info only once the person chooses to use your services or buy your product.
    UX design example
    User-friendly design is simple, clean, intuitive, and reliable from home screen to the payment form.

    If your product is struggling with usability, try implementing one of my tips during the app development stage. Any of them will have a positive effect on your project. However, if you want to keep app development cost as low as possible, make sure you hire professional designers who understand usability and can ensure it from the get-go. As always, if you are looking for affordable, yet quality app development, Ukraine is your best choice.

    If you want to learn more about user-friendly app development or UI/UX design, let me know in the comments section below. To see more great usability examples and get inspired, follow FreshCode design team on Instagram, Dribble or Behance.
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