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The Three Rules of Engagement in Mobile App Development

Winning the battle for the hearts and minds of mobile users is not for the faint of heart. Mobile users are on the go, show no mercy and give no quarter to dull apps that fail to engage them, especially when they are hard to use. Understand that your competition isn’t the other apps on their devices, it’s the real world which competes for their attention.

Mobile users aren’t sitting at desktop computers in quiet library rooms. They are dynamic and actively involved with the world. Your mobile app must engage an easily distracted person who habitually multitasks with their environment. To win their attention and loyalty, follow these three rules of engagement in your mobile app development lest your app join the countless other app casualties buried deep and forgotten within their mobile devices.

Design for the User

It’s easy to allow one’s own biases and preferences to influence app design. However, the app designer is not the end-user. Unless you are also an avid user of the app type you are designing and are well-connected with the tastes of other users, you must do your research.

Study user reviews of similar apps and pay attention to detailed reviews of those with the highest and lowest ratings. These not only tell you what works and what doesn’t, it gives you insight into the psychology of the user. Also look for more general research on the demographics of your users. Age, education level, gender, marital status, and other factors all influence their reaction or lack of reaction to an app.

If you are thinking of violating the standard conventions that people are used to seeing in apps, tread carefully. People don’t like being forced to think about doing basic things. They view this as a barrier to getting what they want.

Make the Design Clean and Simple

Make your design uncluttered, intuitive and attractive. Ease and simplicity of use empowers the user. It makes them feel in control. They want to effortlessly use the app for the purpose for which it was designed and not get bogged down in the mechanics of the app itself. Remember that your app won’t always have their full attention because they are multitasking.

Make Your App Fast and Responsive

Speed of response is an important lesson learned the hard way by many web developers. This lesson is no less true for the mobile app developer. The patience of people is directly proportional to the amount of time they have on their hands, of which active mobile users have very little. Not only does a time lag cause impatience, users may think the app is broken if tapping on the screen doesn’t produce the instant results they expect.

Spiralogics builds, deploys, and maintains mobile apps that run on most common devices. To learn more about our expertise, contact us today.

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