Let’s start immediately from the fact that there are now hundreds, thousands, millions of Apps that crowd the stores and there is only one thing that counts, even more than the usefulness and effectiveness of that APP: the User Experience (abbreviated UX), that is the baggage of emotions, feelings that an App arouses in the user who is browsing it.
While capturing the attention of potential users is a fundamental step, especially for the marketer, keeping it is the aim of the designer who, with a series of visual precautions inside the App, can win over the user day after day, without making him regret the download. It is no coincidence that these two figures – marketers and designers – are often linked by a double thread: they are two absolutely complementary figures in the user’s journey towards his satisfaction.
In this article I will introduce you to some of the most common mistakes you can keep in mind when you find yourself commissioning applications that are not only functional, but also beautiful and clear.
Don’t Make Me Think
Every time a user launches an application, he must be able to navigate it without divergences, distractions, obstacles and to do so he must respect some golden rules of UX and UI. One of the most popular books by Steve Krug, a well-known expert on Web Usability, is entitled “Don’t Make Me Think”, which is the key expectation of the average user when browsing a site or an App: don’t waste time.
Most people “on the other end” of an App or website, in fact, are trying to do something and want to do it quickly, without having to think too much or concentrate. Research in the field of neuroscience has shown that the human mind in some situations activates a kind of automatic pilot that must achieve the result with the least possible waste of energy. The great thing is that cognitive mechanisms like this are innate, do not change from person to person, from generation to generation, but are “long-lasting”. And they can be of enormous inspiration.
The human brain’s capacity doesn’t change from one year to the next, so the insights from studying human behaviour have a very long shelf life. What was difficult for user twenty years ago continues to be difficult today –
Apps are now more and more part of our daily life but the “mobile” ecosystem is an ecosystem that is very different from that of the “web” and for many is still quite obscure. Don’t worry, this blog wants to guide you to the discovery of this world, with guides, tips and insights ad hoc.
The 5 User Experience errors that your designer must avoid
As we have already said, the success of an App depends on many factors and the most important one is the user experience. Here are the most common mistakes that your UX/UI designer should not make:
Machinose onboarding – the onboarding action must not generate any interruption and must only transfer the value of your App to the user. Simple yes, but not neglected: as on a first date, your app will have only one chance to win over its user. If it doesn’t succeed, there won’t be a bunch of flowers to repair the damage!
Navigation menu too long or too short – When users see a range of options in the navigation menu, they tend to leave it. This is partly explained by Hick’s rule that “the time it takes to make a decision increases in proportion to the number of alternatives”. On the contrary, menus with very few options end up confusing the user, giving the impression that the App is useless and/or that there is a lack of content and interaction.
Complicated interfaces – The best user interfaces are the self-evident ones, i.e. those that are so clear and coherent as to generate automatisms. Having an extremely captivating App can undoubtedly be a great result, but keep in mind that the time users spend contemplating aesthetic details is very limited. Users pay much more attention to interaction and evaluating how easily your app can solve their problems. The advice is: simplicity first of all, so entrust yourself to a professional who doesn’t load your App with too many design elements.
Icons too creative (read: unknown) – The use of unfamiliar icons is unfortunately one of the most common mistakes made by UX designers. For example, replacing the famous icons of the thumb up or thumb down with more creative or personal versions will have the only effect of making users feel lost, lost in a tower of Babel where everyone speaks a different language. Nick Babich’s advice to UX/UI designers is absolutely lapidary: “If it takes you more than 5 seconds to design an appropriate icon for something, it’s likely that that icon won’t communicate that meaning”. In short, for icons as for other graphic elements, reinventing the wheel is absolutely not recommended!
Interface without visual hierarchies – Understanding content is about how user interface elements are presented. A call to action without strong visual signifiers loses all of its appealing power. The more important something is, the more it has to attract the user’s attention (contrasting colours, bolder or larger text sizes).
Concepts that are logically related to each other are, in fact, a good idea to make them visually related as well.
If you want to get a culture on this issue, I recommend starting with Steve Krug’s 20 tips on usability. If you want to move from theory to practice, you can contact us at any time. We would be honored to develop an App for you with a captivating, intuitive and simple User Experience right from the start!