It takes a great deal of experience and expertise to build an effective app that users enjoy for the long term. So lets better understand what it takes to build a successful app.
Let’s take a closer look at the 7 most important fundamentals to building an effective app.
1. Research and Test
Every project should start from a place of certainty. Knowing exactly what needs to be achieved, ensures the entire product team is clear on the expectations. Once this is clear, it’s time to delve into a few very important questions: What are your users’ likes and dislikes? Why would they consider your app over another?
User research and usability testing add significant value to the User Experience (UX) Design process. Research deepens the clients' and the design and development teams understanding of the users' needs and behaviours. Research is imperative because you won’t have a solid foundation. Building an app on assumptions increases the likelihood that your app will fail. Implementation of the user testing phase can confirm or challenge your assumptions.
Both user research and testing are necessary to create and enhance the quality of the users’ experience, ensuring that using your app will be meaningful and worthwhile.
As one of the 7 fundamentals to build an effective app, one must remember that this phase of the design process requires time and planning.
2. Focus On The User
After you’ve gathered all the necessary information, you’ll have a thorough understanding of the user: what their needs are, their likes, dislikes, behaviours etc.
Base all your designs and development on this information. When you emphasise this, you’ll build an effective app, one that is user-centric and set apart from your competitors. It is also vital to clarify what your competitors are doing – what are you providing your users with that your competitors aren’t?
3. Get Clear On Colour
UX designers place great emphasis on the colours that they use. There’s a reason for this: colour triggers specific actions or responses from users. Colour psychology states that this significantly impacts designs, particularly how users perceive a brand or application.
Designers choose and work with a specific colour palette, reflecting the emotions they want the user to feel. And effectively for them to respond in the way you want them to - this is because each colour evokes a particular emotion.
Red (Power, Excitement, Strength, Passion and Energy)
Orange (Confidence, Warmth, Innovation, Friendliness and Energy, Bravery)
Yellow (Optimism, Warmth, Happiness, Creativity and Friendliness)
Green (Health, Hope, Nature, Freshness and Prosperity)
Blue (Trust, Loyalty, Dependability, Logic, Serenity and Security)
4. Watch your Words
Microcopy is an integral part of the UX Design process as it evokes emotion and desired actions from users. Therefore, check every bit of copy – the snappier and more precise your copy, the better.
Remember, the copy should represent a human voice – the tone and voice of your brand. Microcopy blurs the line between humans and technology – it makes your app relatable. And, if you do it well, it will set you way ahead of your competitors.
5. Plan The Way Forward
A successful product begins with a solid plan, which helps you foresee stumbling blocks and pitfalls.
Set up Design Problem-Solving Workshops at the very start of your project.
The workshop includes a team of developers, founders (or clients), Project Managers and Designers. They gather the necessary information, dissect the project, the various avenues and brainstorm ideas about developing a user-centric product. It's the best way to stay ahead of the game and the competition.
6. Set the Standard
What would you have to achieve to deem your app a success? When you have a clear destination in mind, you’ll have something to measure your achievements or feedback. So, in the initial stages of your project, set a standard: list realistic expectations but be sure to keep the information that you’ve gathered via the Problem-Solving Workshop, as well as the user research and usability testing in mind.
How do you set a standard?
Start by defining your expectations, then set short-term, mid and long-term goals. Next, it’s advisable to take small steps towards achieving your overall goal – lay out your week-to-week and monthly goals. Tick them off as you achieve them. If you don’t reach your overall standard, you’ll likely need to go back to the drawing board to figure out how to do things better.
7. Monitor To Improve
Regular check-ins with your team ensure you’re always on the same page. You’ll have a clear view of what needs to be improved or changed. Set up a bi-monthly Problem-Solving Workshop and communicate regularly to make improvements.
There are many components to building an app, but it is essential to consider these fundamentals to set your app apart from your competitors.