Tips for Designing a Native App

Jackie Micucci
Thursday, Sep 29, 2011 at 11:00 AM

We’ve been talking this week about mobile design and how to create a great user experience. It’s important to maintain engagement with your customers while building a total mobile user experience, which is why Tag is such a good tool for adding another dimension to mobile marketing campaigns. So with all that in mind, we offer some tips for designing a native application.

design an app image

  • Functionality. The app should add different functionality than the mobile website would allow because it is native to the device. Make sure the user experience is optimum and complements the device’s operating system.
  • Graphics. They should look good and work well on the device, as well as add to the application as a whole.  
  • Know your devices. Designers should be aware of how each device operates. They should also be aware of how users operate in the native app on that device.
  • Long hold. Users need to be able to press and hold with ease. People who use their smartphone all the time understand how their particular device’s press and hold works. It is this very intuitive to them; however, newer users don’t always get it. Make sure you have a hold that all users can understand and use properly.
  • Back Stack. This comes back to knowing your device. On Android phones, the back stack is erased. It is very frustrating for users to drill far into an app and then decide they want to go back, but can’t.
  • Don’t be afraid to make it look good. Just because you are working on a smaller scale, doesn’t mean you can’t design an app that looks amazing. The right graphics can make all the difference for any application and enhance not just the look, but also the total user experience.
  • Test, test, test. This sounds like a no brainer, but you would be surprised how many companies build and release an app in a month without really testing it. While it can be great to be the first one out of the door, it also means bugs will more likely than not be discovered by your users. That will ultimately affect the app’s ratings in the short term if not the long term depending on the users’ perception.

What other tips would you offer for designing a native application? Let us know with your comments below or on Facebook or Twitter.


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