Today’s mobile users have at least one app that they use daily. Apps are great because they often have enhanced functionality that a website may not support. You can be sure that the customer’s view is standardized and won’t get warped, rather than web browsers that all show a website slightly (or completely) differently.
An app is a great way to expand your brand, because it stays semi-permanently on a user’s device. Unlike web pages, the user won’t forget the URL, close the window, or open another URL on the open window. This is a great way to show up for your business. It really pays to stay front of mind to your customers.
However, when you develop an app, there are some important items to keep in mind. For the purposes of this blog, we are going to focus on three.
The branding must be spot-on continuous with the rest of your published media, or else your reputation and reliability come into question. Your logo, colors, and fonts must be the same as they are everywhere else. You must thoughtfully choose a name for your app that is consistent with your brand, makes sense to the user, and is memorable. Don’t forget they will be searching for it on the app stores and your app will get lost if the name isn’t both catchy and obvious. You must also carefully choose the app icon because it must visually stand out from the rest of the apps on a user’s phone. It must also be recognizable to the brand and catchy as well. I would suggest an A/B test to see which icon connects the most emotionally with users and also communicates the app’s function.
User experience and user interface (UX/UI) design is also paramount because customers are much less forgiving on apps than websites; if an app is difficult to use or navigate in any way, the user probably won’t download it again. However, customers often understand that websites sometimes have technical issues that resolve later in the day or with a different browser. They will usually try and visit again if they are truly interested in your service or product.
When designing your app (whether in your head, on paper, or with Flint Avenue!), you will want to try to create a click through flow that uses as few steps as possible. Make your navigational elements (arrows, buttons, directions) clear and bright. We call this a wireframe, and it helps make sure that the user’s experience has a logical flow and gets them exactly what they need. It’s important to beta test your pathways for accuracy and test many times on both Apple iOS and Android. Our best advice on UX/UI is to keep the end user in mind and try not to assume any prior knowledge. When you make the design clear, it improves user adoption. If your app is difficult to navigate, your user will find a workaround or another tool.
How will you gain your users? We have dozens of strategies for onboarding new app users and downloads, but here are a few quick tips. Add sharing capabilities. You want users to be able to share directly from the app, through social media, text, and email methods. If they have to jump off the app to share, your word of mouth referrals could suffer. Make it easy for them to love on you!
While we’re on the topic of making it easy for your users, consider including a help section or Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) content on the app.
Although mobile apps come with several user and design considerations, the effort is well worth the time. Evaluating the application of your brand into an app focused on your end user experience will keep your users happy, using the app daily, and maintaining loyalty for years to come.
Do you have a great idea for an app? Give us a holler, because we’d love to develop it for you!
Melissa Dusette is Digital Project Ninja for Flint Avenue, as well as Brand Anthropologist at Golden Wolf Photography.
She specializes in Personal Branding Photography.
Contact Melissa today at: firstname.lastname@example.org