You’ve worked hard to launch a new app, users download it, and disaster strikes. That’s right – it ends up with a user ruthlessly pressing the delete button.
It might sound like a worst-case scenario, but it’s more common than you think. 56% of users will delete apps they don’t use. So, you must avoid your creation becoming part of that statistics.
Building a striking, usable, and engaging app home page is crucial. To help you do that, discover the top five mistakes you should avoid during your app design phase.
1. The Danger of Information Overload
The internet has changed our access to information. The rise of AI will likely do the same. It’s made information plentiful rather than scarce. That might seem like an advantage, but it has its drawbacks.
It’s possible to become overwhelmed with too much information, and that’s a danger with your app.
Information Overload and the Impact on the Brain
The brain has to process information it sees on a screen. Too much data leads to something called cognitive overload. This term comes from psychology.
In simple terms, it means the information in front of someone is more than they can process. It leaves a person feeling tired or confused.
If you present too much information to someone when they log into an app, it can make them miss important features. It also deters them from exploring the app.
What Information Overload Does to User Engagement
Your app’s home page is a central hub. It acts as an introduction and navigator for the rest of your platform. Users becoming overwhelmed by what you present on that page gives them a negative perception of the rest of your app.
The result is a lower engagement rate.
That means users are more likely to click away and less likely to return. You’ll get higher abandonment rates and lower scores on your app store reviews page.
Employing User-Friendly App Design
The best way to avoid falling into the trap of information overload is to approach your app design from a user’s perspective. Use core design principles to create an intuitive app layout that’s easy for users to grasp.
Offer a simple step-by-step onboarding before they reach the home page to boost engagement, too.
Use lots of whitespace and reduce clutter that doesn’t serve a primary purpose. Finally, use familiar icons rather than text, where possible.
2. Poor Navigation
User experience is at the heart of any good app design. The most critical element of this for your home page is your navigation. It will confuse the user about what you expect from them if it’s unclear.
The User Journey
The user journey is the path people take through your app. It’s like a path in real life – it needs clear signposts.
That’s why your navigation is critical. It must hint at where they should head and provide a seamless sequence of steps for their journey. It will transition them from one part of the app to another.
Your home page sets the scene for the rest of your app’s navigation, so it requires careful consideration.
A lack of a clear app navigation structure can leave users clicking aimlessly from one place to the end. It leaves users frustrated and confused.
Part of making that navigation clear is creating design elements that are visually striking and familiar.
Don’t try and do something unusual in an effort to be different. If the manage profile app doesn’t look like a standard icon, it’s unlikely to be clicked.
Plus, you’ll end up with more support queries from people unsure how to use your app.
Add Clear Signposting
To improve your navigation, start with clear signposts. Use standard icon designs and make them prominent so they are easy to spot. Put them in places where users expect to see them.
For example, most apps will have the home button in the bottom left and the manage profile button in the bottom right. If you need to explain something unusual or complex, use your onboarding process to show users how it works.
3. Failing to Optimize Your App for Different Devices
Mobile technology is changing all the time. As an app developer, you must be agile enough to respond to these changes. Users expect apps to work on any device, so always ensure this is your priority.
When building an app, you need to consider different makes of smartphones and tablets. You might need to think about wearable tech, too, especially smartwatches.
So, don’t forget about the importance of testing across multiple devices. You could miss something important, like a button not showing on screen. The mistake could leave you with costly negative reviews from unhappy users.
Don’t make the mistake of ignoring the responsiveness of your app, too. That means ensuring the content is fluid across different devices – texts, images, and other elements align to fit on the screen.
Users shouldn’t feel like one device is noticeably less responsive than others. And don’t forget that some people will access your app across different devices. For example, they may have a phone, iPad, and smartwatch.
Don’t Forget About User Behaviour
When putting together a responsive design that performs well on different devices, don’t forget the importance of usability.
Some devices might demand a different user experience based on how people interact with these devices. Smartwatches are a good example.
The small screens mean you’ll need to think about how to present your home page in a way that keeps things simple but equally functional. Don’t make home page buttons too small, for example.
4. You Forget to Check the Speed
All app home pages need to load fast. If you keep a user hanging, they are likely to either get distracted or assume your app isn’t working. So don’t make the mistake of building your app without checking the speed of the home page.
Consider a Modern User’s Priorities
Unfortunately, we now live in an era with short attention spans. People can access millions of pages, posts, and hundreds of phone apps.
Remember this when you set benchmarks for how fast you should expect your home page to load. It’s essential. If it doesn’t connect with users in milliseconds, it’s likely to get a poor engagement.
Always check the industry-standard benchmarks for your app niche to ensure you aren’t leaving users waiting.
Remember to Strike a Balance
Despite the importance of speed, it’s important not to become so obsessed with a fast-loading home page that you do it at a high cost to your app’s functionality.
Simplicity helps optimize speed, and fancy features like animations can slow it down. However, your app still needs to look great, and it must be highly functional. You need to find a balance that fits all three demands.
Don’t Forget to Run a Performance Test
One mistake inexperienced teams make when developing an app is failing to run performance tests on their home page.
Performance testing should be a central component of your testing period, and you must include your home page.
Use tools to help and simulate different scenarios and networks so that you have a comprehensive picture of how your app will perform in any situation.
5. Neglecting Feedback From Users
Reading negative user feedback can be hard when you’ve worked to create an app. But it’s crucial you read everything – good and bad.
That feedback will help enhance your home page and allow you to develop your app in the right direction.
Remember That Expertise Has Limits
Even talented design teams with years of experience can get it wrong occasionally. Big names like Instagram have released new designs that went down badly with their users. So it’s a valuable point to remember.
It’s hard to put yourself in your audience’s shoes, even when you have plenty of design talent. Always remain humble enough to accept different ideas and preferences that go against how you want your home page to look.
Don’t Ignore Your User Testing Phase
Remember to spend time on user testing when you conduct your testing sequences. Let real people navigate your app design and gather feedback from them about your home page.
You may want to do this with a beta test phase, too. It will help you fine-tune your layout and resolve any bottlenecks before releasing your app to the wider public.
Remember That Feedback Is Continuous
Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can stop listening to feedback after you have launched your app. Apps need continuous improvement.
What works now might not be a design that’s so enthusiastically welcomed a year from now. Always look at user reviews and comments to examine ways to improve your home page.
Make a Great First Impression With the Best App Home Page
Even with a perfect development, there are opportunities to make mistakes with your app home page.
Follow the tips in this guide, and ensure you take steps to create a useable app that will keep your audience engaged and bring you those sought-after five-star reviews.
For more help with your app development, schedule a free IT consultation with our team.