10 Design Tips for Building Kick A$$ Mobile Apps

Do you have an idea of an application that will probably change your life? Does the revenue it will generate give you sleepless nights? Do you literally feel its success with your fingertips? Do you want your application to stand out?

I’m here to ensure that your dream app won’t be lumped as poor/bad like some of the applications out there. The tips below will enhance the appeal and usability of your application.

Take Your Audience into Consideration

Social Apps

There are two major questions that you need to ask yourself. One, what is the objective behind developing the app? Two, what type of audience am I targeting?

Having a clear objective gives you a direction. A direction will guide you in each and every stage of the development process. This will result in an optimized use of the available resources.

Having a clear objective will also help determine which kind of audience you are targeting. Your users’ motivation matters more than your own. Talk to the prospective users and get their input on what they need in such an application. The features and the feedback mechanism, if there will be one. When you understand their requirement at a deep level, you will be able to put the trigger in their path appropriately.

Combining the above two approaches, will give you a solid ground to mold the best of user experience. Your application will not only be beautiful; it will also be well customized for your users.


Typing Computer

This is the most important aspect of mobile development. Testing and debugging is intrinsic before the rolling out of your application. Otherwise, you might end up releasing an application that is full of bugs or one that frustrates the users.

There are two ways to go about this; you can do it manually or in an automated system.  I suggest you do both. The automated system will help you increase the testing efficiency and a fast marketing time; basically it will help you fix the bugs but it won’t give you a reliable conclusion on the users’ experience.

Manually, have a couple of friends and one or two potential customers test the app. If they find a bug, note It down: see if anyone else experienced the same issue. If there are navigation issues, ask them what they think would be the best way to fix that. These are things that need to be rectified before rolling out the application. It will save you from the trouble of taking you app off the market to go and fix it.

Keep the Application Simple

Simple Applications

Your everyday application users are normally people from all walks of life. Some understand the technical part of the application; others are clueless on the technical techniques applied. These non-technical users are only after results. They want an application that serves their purpose. That’s all. The wow factor does not apply to them.

Your application needs to be simple and easy to understand. Give descriptions and instructions where necessary. These will give them an easier time understanding how the application works.


Web Accessibility

Fingertip size! Screen size! I preach. This is a sermon from the book of user friendliness. So let ye that have ears hear. Listen closely.

We all have experienced how annoying it is to click the wrong button on our devices and end up on another accidental screen. Unlike a computer’s mouse cursor which is precise, the same cannot be said of fingertips. Secondly, the phone screen size is a lot smaller in comparison to the computer screen. These limitations weigh heavily on the number of icons and buttons that you can have on the mobile interface.

It’s of utmost importance that you consider the number of buttons/icons that your application is going to have on each screen. Having the right number of buttons will ensure that they are well spaced out avoiding faulty clicks by the user.

Research on The Application

Market Research

It is very much possible that someone else might have developed a similar application. Check on the major mobile app stores (android and IOS) just to be sure. Your application needs to standout. Having your application mirror the functionalities of another, is not exactly standing out.

In the event of such an application being in existence, explore it. Brainstorm with colleagues or friends, and decide which features you need to include in your application to make it a catch. Make it different from your competition. Make it great and “new”.

Good Code and Good Graphics

Code Editor

By now you probably thought I was not going to speak about graphics, right? Or code. What sort of a tech enthusiast would I be, if I was going to leave out this part of design? Cruel huh. Lol. Well no. I was not going to. I mean what sort of an application would we have, if everything else was working beautifully but lacking good graphics. This would be a turn off to most of us.

Your application’s layout, logos and choice of colour(s) all lie in graphics. Choosing them wisely and combining them in a detailed-compatible manner will result in a beautiful interface.

User Grids

Design Grid

Grids enable a two dimensional layout architecture of columns and rows concurrently. They help your application maintain a consistent touch as one navigates the different pages/screens in your application. This will give you an intuitive responsive design.

Make It Multiplatform

Social Media Sharing

There are quite a number of platforms and devices out there that need to be covered by your app. They include web, tablets, desktop, smartphones and even watches. These are the avenues that users use to access services offered by your application. A good approach would be to design an application that is accessible through all these platforms. Beauty is relative to the platform.


Design your application in such a way that it has a short response time. In the event that it’s loading, make use of a progressive bar or some indication to notify the user that something is happening. This will give them a rough idea on how long it will take to generate a feedback.

Spread the Word

This had to be the last tip. It’s an outlier kind of tip if you were to compare it with the other tips. But hey, you need to create some excitement before releasing the app. You need your users to look forward to its release. This will increase the number of download the minute you launch it.

Parting shot

This will not apply to all applications but for those that can, make it accessible offline. This will expand the number of potential users. Inform the user of any limitations that they may encounter in case they use it offline. Upfront information will save them from future frustrations.


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About The Author
Freddy Muriuki
Freddy Muriuki

Freddy is a WordPress theme reviewer at WP Theme Raves, writer, web developer and founder of Vista Media Enterprises, a nice place dedicated to the online entrepreneur looking to boost conversion rates using effective web content.