Mobile App Design Checklist | Best Development Practices

App Color Design

Great design is important for any application. But when it comes to making money with apps, the small screen presents unique design challenges.

Design is powerful.  It can influence a customer's purchase behavior, or directly impact the popularity of your app by how long a user is retained.

When most people think about design, they consider the look and feel. But it’s actually much more than that. The best designs incorporate form and function.

Where do I put ‘Buy' buttons?

What colors should I use for purchases?

What is the best font to use?

Successful developers test their designs because they know that design is all about delivering a fantastic user experience.  On launch day, design could be the difference between success and failure in the App Store.

What can you do to keep design errors from turning your app development dream into a nightmare? This design checklist will help you create the best possible mobile app.

Keep your most important buttons in the bottom corners of the screen

stickman rushMost people hold their phones in a way that allows them to use their thumbs for navigation. Right handed users can easily reach buttons located at the bottom right of the screen.

That makes it the perfect place for important buttons like Buy and Store.

Checkout the highly addictive and simple game Stickman Rush.

Notice the Admob Banner and the most important buttons are at the bottom.  That button on the very bottom right closest to the players thumb, guess what that is?  Yup, you guessed it!  The in-game Store with ALLLLLLLL the fixens.

The ideal button size is greater than 1cm

If buttons are too small, users won’t be able to touch them accurately. For the most part, buttons should be larger than 1cm. But all buttons don’t have to be the same size.

A bigger button tells users that it’s more important than the others.

Test different button colors

Button color is a hotly debated topic when it comes to conversion optimization. A simple button color change can have a huge impact. For example, HubSpot ran a test and found that red outperformed green by 21%.

But those results may not directly translate to your situation. The good news is that it’s super easy to test button color with A/B testing tools like Optimizely. You can test a variety of colors to see what works for your audience.

Get familiar with basic color theory

Color is one of the most powerful items in the design toolkit. Developers use color to impact emotions, grab attention, and encourage purchases. With so many colors to choose from, it can be hard to pick the right color scheme for your app.

But it’s a lot easier if you understand basic color theory. You might remember the color wheel from grade school. You’ve got your primary colors: red, yellow, and blue. And your secondary colors: green, purple and orange.

Complementary colors are more stimulating

lumosity screenshotComplementary colors appear on opposite sides of the color wheel. Red/green, yellow/purple, and blue/orange are examples of complementary color pairs.

This color combination attracts attention and builds energy.

For example, take a look at the Lumosity app.

The complementary color scheme is stimulating and energizing. Plus, blue is associated with intelligence and orange is associated with success.

Analogous colors are more harmonious

Yoga FreeAnalogous colors are beside each other on the color wheel. Red/purple, yellow/orange, and blue/green are examples of analogous color combinations.

For example, Yoga Free uses analogous colors to help users feel relaxed and peaceful for yoga practice. Plus, light purple and red are great choices for feminine design.

Take advantage of color psychology and associations

Businesses regularly take advantage of color psychology in advertising. Color can be used to make people hungry (red), encourage trust (blue), or give people energy (yellow). Here are some additional associations:

  • White – purity, innocence, cleanliness, neutralitycolor emotion guide
  • Black – power, strength, authority, sophistication
  • Red – love, intensity, appetite, excitement
  • Orange – success, optimism, enthusiasm, happiness
  • Yellow – energy, cheer, warmth, youth
  • Green – money, health, fertility, tranquility
  • Blue – intelligence, loyalty, truth, focus
  • Purple – wealth, royalty, prosperity, spirituality
  • Brown – stability, reliability, security, comfort

Colors may also be associated with certain industries. For example, blue is associated with technology and green is associated with healthcare. Depending on your audience, you may benefit from meeting customer expectations or going against the grain.

Choose the right font

Typography is an essential element of design. On mobile devices with high resolution screens, thinner fonts tend to be more readable.

Many developers are using custom fonts for logos and header elements. But simply changing the size of the system default font (Helvetica Neue in iOS) can completely change the appearance and make the text easier to read.

Make a better “rate this app” experience for users

App reviews are extremely valuable to developers. Positive reviews improve rankings in the App Store and get people excited about your app. That’s why you want to make it easy for users to provide feedback.

Asking for feedback right away doesn’t give users the opportunity to have a positive experience. The approach to designing a “rate this app” widget should focus on engaged users. The feedback button should be easy to find in the main user interface.

Use positive language like, “Love this app? Rate it now!” Some developers only give users two choices within the app: “Rate this app 5 stars” or “Complete this later.” This strategy can help you get more 5-star reviews.

Learn more Pro design tips with our Mobile App Development Guide.  It has everything you need to know, and yes… it's Free!

What design tips are you having trouble with?  Tell us in the comment section.

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COMMENTS

  • Jarred Davis April 29, 2015

    Very informative article, it’s good to be reminded of all this important information.

  • Sumon April 29, 2015

    Could you please visit my site and send me some feedback to improve this site. and looking for co founder for different Apps ideas.

  • Carter Thomas Carter Thomas April 29, 2015

    @Jarred

    Ya this stuff is epic and super interesting. I’ve found that sending posts and examples of design tips to my designer ONCE, sets up a domino-effect for the future. It helps shorten revisions with my designer and increases my app conversions.

    Keep rocking!

  • Deanna R. Jones June 4, 2015

    I agree, app reviews can be very helpful to give developers more feedback on what their users think about their app. You’re right, it seems like it’s best to allow your users to get some experience with the app before asking for a review. I’ve used apps that wanted me to rate it before I took the time to use it. It seems like people are more likely to give more positive reviews on apps that aren’t pushy when it comes to getting a rating.

  • ITS-COMSATS September 9, 2015

    Really like how you showed real app examples.

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