With hundreds of new apps rolling on the market every day, the industry is getting saturated in every niche you can imagine. To set one’s product apart in a tremendously competitive field like this, the app design plays a major part. Let us look at how android apps can be designed better by keeping a few simple things in mind.
Tips for Designing Great Android Apps
The mobile app industry is a place where one does judge a book by its cover. Also, as is the case with any good design example, it is not enough for the product to be pretty, but the fact is that good design must be a testament to good usability. Over the years, there have been many design philosophies that have begotten classic solutions to age old problems. Ever since the advent of smart mobile technology, a gauntlet has been thrown by the Apple designers to create products that are both visually stunning and end up making life easier for the user. But things are comparatively easier for iOS designers. Their work is cut out with respect to the hardware limitations and a design philosophy. An iOS designer’s canvas is limited to either the iPhone or the iPad and their few variants. On the other hand, an android app designer has to deal with creating an interface that must run seamlessly on a plethora of devices, large and small, with unique screen specifications, touch interfaces and resolutions.
Thus, it shouldn’t be surprising that for a long time, Android apps were considered to be visually inferior in front of the classy, sophisticated design touch that Apple tended to provide through its software. But times are changing fast. With 4.0 Ice-cream Sandwich, Android laid down specific design guidelines for its developers for the first time, while introducing the beautiful, modern Holo interface. And with KitKat, its latest release, Android is seen taking giant steps towards providing a beautiful, complete and visually satisfying user experience. The secret to success in the Android app market is to create an app that speaks to the aesthetic of your market, while making sure that the design compliments the usability of the product. Here are some guidelines that one can follow to make a good Android App design.
One look at the comprehensive design guidelines that Android provides on their website tells you that what is expected is building ‘visually compelling apps that look great on any device.’ With each of its new releases, Android is advocating a modern, subtle aesthetic style with prominent blues and muted colours. The idea is to promote a certain ease of access to the user by not overwhelming them with graphical information, while at the same time not being drab and dull. Android promotes the use of user interactive animation, seamless transition screens and to-the-point content. While designing your app, make sure that its aesthetics are planned in a way that the user will be engaged for a long term. This means making it coherent with the OS aesthetic, while subtly putting your own mark on the screen.
Scaling on Multiple Devices
This is where Android design drastically changes direction with respect to Apple’s. Since an app, once in the market, is presumably downloaded on a plethora of devices with multitudes of screen sizes and qualities, care must be taken that the app has a comfortable usability irrespective of the screen size. The portrait to landscape transitioning must be smooth. This means that Android designers cannot have the liberty to play with every pixel, knowing where it is going to go on the screen like Apple designers. But it also means that the designs will have to be more robust and resilient to change. Android advises designers to be flexible, while making maximum use of the screen space with the larger devices, and substitute that with multiple screens for smaller ones.
Android advises developers and designers to keep the content short and to-the-point, so as to increase the user’s attention span. So, instead of asking, ‘Would you like to sign into Google?’, one could simply ask – ‘Get Google?’. This informal approach makes sure that your user attention is not diverted from the more important details of the service. Keep the content concise, simple and friendly. Make sure that the user specific goals come before the imperative action in the string. So, instead of saying ‘Restart your device to run the application.’, use the more result oriented ‘To run your application, restart the device.’
Many times, we take our design problems for granted because we are conditioned to use a product as it is. Finding design problems comes before finding design solutions. Try to make the user experience interactive. Let the app have subtle visual responses to touch. Essentially, let the user know that the apo is listening to them. Small animations, clever use of transition screens, multi-pane layouts and a handy widget won’t go to waste.
Your Brand Recognition
You have to create a place for your own brand in a market filled with competitors. Study the rival applications and the design problems while using them. Create a simple, visually meaningful app logo that can be instantly recognizable. Even your app name matters a lot when it comes to success in the market. What users want along with a good operating experience is the feeling of using a cool app on their phone – a tasteful design that they can flaunt. Do not forget this x-factor while creating your app’s look.
Get in touch with OptimusMobility to know more about great app design. Our amazing designers are always happy to help!