The Importance Of Design In Mobile App Development

Originally published on TheAppLabb's website. Find on Linkedin here.

Mobile app development encompasses many elements, but one of the most important is design. While It’s possible to create a mobile app off pre-built templates it’s well worth it to invest in design talent that can help you create a truly tailored product. You only get one chance to create a first impression, and design is what makes that impression. If you’re a business looking to use your app for revenue generating purposes then good design is especially crucial.

Mobile users spent an estimated $58.6 billion USD on apps in 2017 through in-app purchases, subscriptions and premium apps. These figures go to show the huge money-making potential of well executed mobile apps. Without good design, however, an app can quickly be forgotten about and result in wasted time and money.

Top-tier design is about more than just having an app that looks good. App design is vital for app performance, achieving business objectives and encouraging widespread use. Here are some undeniable reasons that good design is fundamentally important in mobile app development:

1) Good Design Builds Trust

Good design immediately displays thoughtfulness, professionalism and attention to detail. This creates a sense of trust between a product and it’s users. When a product has finish and polish, it builds trust. When a product offers value, it builds trust. Trust facilitates the user journey and makes for smooth transactions.

Trust is one of the newest and strongest currencies in the growing sharing economy, so it’s important to consider whether the look of your app promotes trust or instills doubt. Thrown together design indicates a disorganized strategy process. Your users will be extremely hesitant to enter personal information such as their home address, credit card info or driver’s license copies if the app has obvious flaws in it’s basic design. 46.1% of people surveyed in a study by Stanford University indicated that design is their main criteria in deciding whether a company is credible or not.

2) Good Design Indicates Professionalism

You don’t have to be a professional design guru to create a nice looking image, but you do need design expertise if you want to create something that will be on par with industry competitors. The biggest companies in the world have dedicated design departments that adhere to strict brand guidelines and quality standards. Having a poorly designed mobile app tells the world you’re not at the level of your industry peers.

More than keeping up with the Joneses, good design shows that your business is meticulous when it comes to their product offerings. The design of your mobile app is a direct reflection of whether your business strives for the best or is content with merely mediocre. In short, how you do anything is how you do everything.

3) Good Design Brings Value

In design there is a concept called the aesthetic-usability effect, in which beautiful things are perceived to be easier to use and are regarded to be more valuable than ugly ones. The same can be said of a well designed car versus an old beater. Both may get you from point A to point B, in effect delivering identical value. A beautiful luxury vehicle, however, is highly correlated with greater value, ease of use and increased enjoyment. This raises it’s value perception significantly.

The same is true with apps, where design is on display at all times. A well designed app projects value to the user. Poorly designed apps resemble anything else possessing design flaws: cheap and breakable. This is a perception a business can’t afford to project.

4) Good Design Results In Higher Conversions

Whether you’re aiming to maximize revenue through in-app purchases, number of sign-ups, volunteering of user information or other metrics, good mobile app design makes for increased business outcomes.

38% of people will actually leave a website if they’re not fans of the design, a figure that is likely very similar for mobile applications. This is over a third of users that have actually taken it upon themselves to visit the site who are clicking away, resulting in a major share of lost leads.

Good design doesn’t just prevent user attrition, it can channel people towards making the conversion you desire. Experienced design talent will take into consideration psychological principles that help people make decisions, move them through the sales funnel and make the process as easy as possible for the customer. A user may have every intention of using your app but will quickly give up if the design doesn’t help them to do so.

A great mobile app is made of two components: great user interface (UI) design and great user experience (UX) design. Scrimping on mobile app design in your development budget will make the challenge of attracting and retaining users much more difficult. Good design is essential in creating a trustworthy, professional customer facing image and will maximize your return on investment, validating all the hard work and strategy you put into your app.

People are attracted to design, they trust design, and they stick with design. In today's world of digital prominence, a company's focus on design can be one of their best assets, or it can be a factor that drives new customers away before an introduction is ever brokered. Predicting how your customers will respond to your company's design is a powerful way of putting them first.

In short,

Paul Rand's quote that says: design is everything. Everything!