Mistakes that one should avoid while designing apps

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Mobiles are evolving as are expectations of users. An app developer must not only be technically competent to develop future-proof apps but also ensure that he avoids pitfalls along the way. A well thought-out and implemented app will always receive favorable responses.

Fix a budget
Always work within a budget, especially if the app development is for a client. The budget also influences how complex or simple you can make the app and how easy it would be to modify any part in the shortest possible time. From the developer perspective, it means less returns. From the client perspective, it means that the app they have got developed will be slow to market and requires longer to upgrade or to remove bugs.

Start with a flow map
Once the budget is fixed the app development should start with pen and paper to chart out a roadmap of the app’s visual design and process flow. You can list out pros and cons of each design aspect with a note to address them once the app is designed and tested.

Design for latest, high-end phones with high resolutions
The trend is for users to go for devices with higher resolutions and this will continue in the foreseeable future. Designing apps to take advantage of highest possible resolutions is a good starting point. Making use of vector graphics instead of bitmaps makes it convenient when developers have to scale up or scale down graphics.

Screen real estate and the touch area
Developers might be tempted to put buttons close together and make them small in size with the result that people with larger fingers will hit the wrong buttons. Buttons closely spaced together might work for larger screens but will be a pain to use on smaller devices. Developers need to find the right balance in spacing apart buttons and defining the touch areas.

Functional and to the point
Some developers may have a tendency to include a starting animation for the app or a series of buttons to touch before the user arrives at the intended point. This only serves to irritate. Users these days are impatient and like apps to launch fast and work right off the bat. It pays to check the app for loading times once it has been developed and pare it down if it takes too long to load. If the app is somewhat complex and takes a little bit of time to load, it pays to include an animation or a progress bar to show the app is loading.

Maintain the OS logic and style in aesthetics and functionality
Each operating has its own system of aesthetics and styles. Aligning the app and its logical sequences as well as button styles with that of the OS on which it will work is a good practice. Developers must keep in view the human interface guidelines of each OS when they set about developing apps, even if it means extra effort. It is better to stick to developing apps for one just OS to start with.

Keep screens simple
A designer may be tempted to stuff a page with too many graphics, images and text that only serve to confuse a user. A simple, logical layout with the use of a few navigation buttons is the way to go for mobile app development. Once developed the screen appearance should be tested on various devices with varying screen sizes and resolutions.

Forethought and planning help avoid common pitfalls, and the developer makes the best use of his time while giving maximum satisfaction to clients and end users of the app.

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