How to design a successful Mobile Application ?
- Be understood rather than being pretentious
Every travel application has its own concerns. For some, selling is a main concern and for others engagement is. Identify the business objective and define the brand identity.
- Analyse your target audience
Today we live in the world of niche. Every product/application has a defined end user. A complete analysis of the market is critical to the success of any application. Understanding the target audience and knowing how to effectively reach them is vital. When you know your audience, it is easy to understand the end product.
- SWOT analysis of your competitors
Travel domain is huge. Do not blindly believe that your idea is unique. Extensive Search for the applications who provide services similar to yours is a must. Knowing your competitors, Identify their strength and weakness both on their business perspective and the User experience on their applications and to determine your USP is a priority.
Remember app stores have Editor’s Choice applications, they are chosen to be Editors Choice because of the best designs and the guidelines they have followed. Some designs may not suit your application; however the latest trend can be adopted. Example iOS7 had introduced the blur concept, which looks good when used well.
- Good decisions are data driven
Along with the research on designs also make a note of important data that needs to be shown for the customers. Although booking sites seek attention towards reviews and price, data always comes in handy. More the data, better the chance of converting a prospect into customer. Do not place heavy words for small features. The users understand your data only when it’s simple.
You can use an eraser on the drafting table or a sledge hammer on the construction site. Prototyping is always important before you move to the design. Prototyping will help reduce errors on your final product and maximize user experience. During this process you will also identify the important functions and not so important ones.
- Adhere to platform guidelines
Before you even start with designs, spend time on checking out the UI/UX guidelines for the application. Apple provides strict guidelines and they insist on keeping the latest OS trend on the application. Example, the latest OS on iPhones are iOS8, the applications which have iOS6 designs will be rejected.
- Test the prototypes
Give these prototypes to bunch of people in your network and gather feedback. Remember not to get carried away and include all the feedback. Just check the important ones and those which make sense. Prototyping it with a clickable wireframes is still better as users get to know the flow. Interact with them and find out if they are able to proceed without any help. Give a final polish to your wireframes and proceed with a final round of feedback.
- Interactions and animations.
Mobile applications are more of interaction based. A good design can be built but great interactivity will only be achieved when the animations are added to the application. If a user does not find it interactive, it will not work. Do not overdo it, add them wherever it is necessary. Make sure you add engaging animations and not the ones that will agitate the user.
- Design is not how it look, but how it works
Now that your design is complete and has gone through necessary feedback, resting is not an option. Pay attention to the design integration done on the app level by the developers. Remember that you know the design best. Early feedback will reduce errors. Compare the same with your original designs and make sure your design is pixel perfect. Real estate is quite important, make sure the padding, margins are exact same as seen on the designs. Also make sure the animations are the same that were finalized.
- Relish positive feedback & Respect criticism
Once the application is in the app store, collect feedback from people. The app should evolve and the end goal is to audience usability. Keep checking for the app’s reviews on the store and note every point for future enhancements. You will find a lot of valuable opinions make sure you add them if required. You will also find some impractical negative and baseless reviews, ignore them.