Avoiding Seven Deadly Sins While Creating App Design

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September 14, 2018

Design processes and best practices can only take you so far, but there are some deadly sins that you need to check inside yourself before you begin designing any mobile app.

1: Lust

There is a lot of competition out there. Specially when it comes to Android. When you see the wonders other people can do, that might over whelm you. Copying off what everyone else is doing will only result in “Yea, I have seen this design before” responses. If you want to wow your clients and build a good, formidable reputation, you will need to rise above from this sin.

Design is about creativity, if you are just looking at what other people have – how will you create something that is different and unique?

Appreciating good design is a great thing, But lusting after it and wanting the same isn’t. You will start to copy and then steal.

You might be arguing, Everyone does it, so why not me ? well by doing so you are corrupting it. What you produce will never be as good as the original and in that race, you will forget the actual things that matter. The usability and accessibility of the design. You would be running after flashy graphics, while instead you should be meeting the needs of users.

How can you fix it

Do not start with the aesthetics of your project. Start your journey with the required usability and accessibility. Work on creating prototypes and wireframes first. Get those right by iterative rounds of testing. Once you are satisfied, only then start with the aesthetic elements.

2: Greed

Money is a great motivator. In fact, it’s what motivates everyone, but if you are all about the money, you might not get very far. Even if you do, you won’t build good relations on the way and money can only get you so far. Be it a mobile app or a web app, if greed drives your results then your designs will reflect that. You will resort to trickery to up-sell and increase the average order value. Greedy for another sale, another conversion. Adding items to shopping carts without asking, pushing annoying overlays in people’s faces, Setting the checkboxes ‘checked’ by default.

You might think these acts are invisible to the user, but they will become quite evident for people re-using your app. And when it does, you will lose your customers on an alarming rate.

How can you fix it

User testing is a great way to find out what users feel.

Go for user testing and you will see how much it irritates and annoys the users. The huge number of drop outs might knock the greed out of you.

3: Gluttony

Gluttony, by meaning is eating excessively. How does that apply to an app design? Sometimes we go overboard by having it all. You put too many features and designs in one app. If a button is fine in one color and two effects, just let that be. Don’t put in a gradient, with a shadow and glitter and bold effects. That just overwhelms the users and is considered a bad design practice 101.

Keep it clean and minimal unless explicitly required. The less you throw at your user, the more engaged they are with the actual value of your product.

How can you fix it

Start by working on the essential design elements. Once done, conduct your testing. If the users feel a lacking of any kind, only then add whatever is required.

4: Sloth

The sin of being lazy. Every designer goes through a phase of laziness once in a while. Especially when you are thrown at projects similar in nature. You tend to reuse the same design templates or patterns. That is a somewhat forgivable act, provided you do it right. but when you start shifting your burdon on your users, that is where you need to draw a line.

From poor performance to excessive password settings, it becomes a habit of shifting our problems onto the user. Let’s talk about “CAPTCHA” for instance. You can prevent spam without resorting to CAPTCHA, but that require a little more work. Rather than coding spam filters, you would just slap on a CAPTCHA field and make it the user’s problem.

That might get the project done faster but it will cost you your client’s satisfaction and even customers.

How can you fix it

I say User analytics. Monitor your analytics and user behavior, to see how the shortcuts you chose cost you in the end.

You will see the number of cases a CAPTCHA form leads to drop-offs in form completions because users couldn’t read it right. How excessive password requirements result in forgotten password requests and a lot more.

It helps a lot when we can actually see the consequences of our actions, to change our ways.

5: Wrath

You must have heard the phrase, a little bit of patience goes a long long way. I could not agree more with it. Especially when it comes to design, it becomes hard to explain some things to clients and when they don’t agree that might flare up some nerves for some people. When that happens, take a deep breath and relax. Never get angry on a client. Even if you feel like it, take on a different approach to get your concerns across.

An angry design never pans out well. You will miss out on attention to detail and a lot more. You might forget an angry moment, but that design will leave a bad impression and an unprofessional signature forever. See the meaning behind, A little patience goes a long way?

Take that patience pill and design with your hear not with your wrath.

How can you fix it

If you are angry, calm yourself first. Never start designing angry. Focus on your goal, and when you are calm, then start your process.

6: Envy

Ah! the gravest of the deadly sins! Jealousy. When you tend to feel deprived of the kind of success other people around you might be having, it creates a sense of loss or underachievement. Let me stop you right here, DON’T FEEL THAT WAY!

Do you measure your feet with other people’s shoe size? No sane person would

Just like that, do not compare your effort with other people’s rewards.

If you don’t, that might lead you in following in other people’s footsteps unintentionally. That is good when you do it out of inspiration, but this way you might just be copying what other people are doing or take up on something that isn’t really your style. That will not only damage your reputation, but create a bad impression on your clients as well.

You would be just copying your competition. Remember, YOU are not your competition and the envy in you will damage the user experience your users require.

Every user wants a tailored experience, not a cheap knock off!!

So, for example, Something that works for Amazon will not work for you. You might have the same audience but not the same scale and line of products as Amazon. But when you are doing it out of envy, you will be oblivious to this fact.

If you don’t stop, you’ll just be running after things you don’t really need.

How can you fix it

Take a leader’s approach not a follower. Do look at what other people are doing, but use that as inspiration. Find out the missing element in your market and work on that!

7: Pride

Too much of anything is never good. That applies to pride as well. Keep it in moderation. If you don’t, it will blind you of your flaws in the design and that my friend will kill you. Taking too much pride in your work makes you becoming resistant to any feedback on improvement, mistakes and quality.

That also blinds you of the contribution of other important members of the team like the developers, copywriters, marketers, and many others.

Slowly but surely, you start to ignore the real users as well.

Could not say it better than this guy Gafyn Townsend

“A good designer gets married to the users’ problems. A bad designer gets married to his own solutions.”

Such behavior will stop you from learning and evolving into a better designer and you might lose all your efforts into something that set sail to fail.

How can you fix it

Be humbly proud in your efforts and never skip on an opportunity to learn and improve. Always keep the stakeholders and users in the loop. Give feedback from everyone on the team high value and use it positively.

If you want to see how experts do it, follow our top designers and see how they come up with sin free great mobile app designs.

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