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What is practical design?

Is your app designed for practicality?

Cover Image Source: material.io

As a kid, I remember being so excited to use my new Gameboy. Going to the shops, bringing it home and opening it up.

But then hit with the worst realisation. I have to wait for it to charge.

Charging always took forever. It probably felt like forever, because I sat there staring at it.

Image Source: amazon.com – Not exactly practical.

But nowadays, everything you buy comes charged. Its usable straight out of the box.

That is practical design.

Design for usability. If you’re here you may be looking at getting an app made.

Designing it practically should be front of mind when you design it.

Examples;

Confused? Let me show you a few examples of practical design.

Image Source: uber.com

Take Uber for example. The taxi industry wasn’t a great one. But if you’ve ever caught a taxi, you’ll know that. It didn’t hold the drivers accountable. The drivers could be late, or not show up. They didn’t have to keep their actions in check.

Until Uber came around. Uber (for those living underground) is a ride sharing app. It allows everyone to be a taxi driver. Uber holds the driver AND rider accountable, by reviewing each other.

It’s designed for usability, for both parties.

Image Source: play.google.com

How about Netflix. Netflix is a video streaming service.

Netflix realised the time of gathering around the TV at 7.30 to watch your favourite show was over. It’s impractical, no one has time for that. The ability to watch what you want, whenever you want. No waiting week by week for the next episode. It’s just there, ready for you. It’s obviously working as Netflix has more US subscribers than Cable TV.

Netflix was designed for usability.

Some designs to avoid:

Image Source: bresslergroup.com – If it needs an assistant to be used, it’s not practical.

Image Source: au.pinterest.com – I think I’ll take the stairs. Make it obvious.

Design Thinking

If you haven’t already read it, we have a blog on design thinking, here. But just briefly, Design Thinking is consumer-centric design. Designing with the customer in mind.

To do so, companies put themselves in the consumer’s shoes. They run experiments and surveys to see how consumers react.

Image Source: struber.com.au

There are many tools you can really use to know your consumer. Like user personas and customer journeys. A user persona digs into how the average user of your product or service behaves like.

A customer journey is a journey your consumer goes through to get your product. We have a blog describing them and other design service tools, here. If you follow design thinking, it’ll be easier to design your app for usability.

Practical Design and Apps

Practicality has been thought of in every screen of the app. It has to be thought of in how the app is used, how it flows.

If the app doesn’t make sense, you’ll likely lose users.

Points to consider for the design:

Keep the design consistent

  • Changing the design from screen to screen will likely confuse a user. This could lead to them not wanting to use your app!

Make sure your screens are uncluttered

  • Cluttered screens are bad for your app for a few reasons. A cluttered screen is hard to use. Buttons should be big and obvious. Easy to find and press. If you have to use the corner of your fingernail to press something, you should reconsider your design.
  • Not only that, but a cluttered screen is just unpleasant to look at! You should learn about ‘Whitespace’. Whitespace is required as it offers visual breathing room to your designs.

Make sure the app flows well

  • When designing the apps’ user interface, consider their experience. What makes sense? If you were designing a game, would you open the app straight into the game? Probably not. A user would want a menu and some options.
  • How does the user think something should work?

Choose the right colour scheme for your app

  • Make sure the text is readable! Putting fluro yellow text on a white background is very hard to read. Actually, just don’t use fluro yellow at all. Or maybe any fluro colours.
  • Also generally, don’t use an image as your background. It makes text that is over it hard to read.

I know it’s just scraping the surface of practical design for apps. But it’s just for readability. Going into detail about app practical design may be a little boring. Or not, it might be a future blog. Who knows!

If you have any questions about practical design, feel free to ask in the comments. Or maybe there is a design you really like, let us know!

Have you been curious about getting an app made? Visit the Launchpad Quote page, let us help you make the app you’ve had stuck in your head!

Have you experienced Virtual Reality? If you’re unsure as to what it is, we have a blog, here!

The reason your app isn’t clicking with its audience. Try this creative design method today!

How you can think like a modern designer, with design thinking. It may just change your app!

Designing that will build customer loyalty and advocacy. Design thinking invented by pioneer and CEO of IDEO, Tim Brown.

I’m sure you’re eager to find out how design thinking works.

Let me first explain what is design.

Cover Image Source: Pocket Design

What is Design?

Design is the creation process for an outcome. Whether it will be functional like a plan, or visual, like a picture.

 

The design process is definitely daunting, it can seem like a big task. By breaking it into smaller steps, makes the outcome seem reachable.

 

Working in steps helps your team remain on the same page. This gives the designers comfort in knowing the design is thought out and preferred. These steps are part of the design thinking process.

The Design Steps

 

The steps for the design process being:

  1.       Defining the problem – What exactly are you trying to create? Is it a plan? A picture?
  2.       Collecting information about the problem – What do you need to know before you can begin?
  3.       Brainstorming and analysing ideas – What are some ideas you have had for this design?
  4.       Developing solutions – Grow these ideas, give them detail.
  5.       Getting feedback on ideas – Have colleagues and friends validate these ideas.
  6.       Improving the ideas, from the feedback – If they gave you feedback, can you use it to improve the design.
  7.       Re-defining the problem/starting over – From this do you have a completed design? Can it be improved or do you have to start over?

    Image Source: Discover Design

 

What is Design Thinking?

 

Design thinking is similar, but its customer centric. Which is designing from the customer perspective. A designer must make sure it aligns with what the customer wants and needs.

 

Design thinking is also broken into a process:

 

  1.       Empathising with the customer – Thinking from the customer perspective.
  2.       Ideating what the customer would want – Using perspective and research.
  3.       Prototyping the ideas formed – Creating mock-ups of the possible design.
  4.       Creating multiple iterations of the prototype. Do this until you find a standout or preferred model. These mock-ups are great for people to look at, an idea of what you’re trying to create.
  5.       Launching the new design – Release the design into the world.

Image Source: Neilson Norman Group

 

This leads to having customers tell their friends their thoughts on your product. This is incredibly valuable. You trust their endorsements, it’s one of the most trusted forms of advertising. Because they won’t tell you how good something is as they aren’t paid to do so. I’m sure you want that sort of buzz for your app!

 

What should you do now?

You should start today, create an app that understands what the user wants. An app that they will show their friends. Don’t let your idea’s potential go to waste!

Was your app idea created using design thinking?

Because if you haven’t, why not?

If you hadn’t heard of design thinking until reading this blog, start today. Create the tools required to align your design with what your audience wants!

Image Source: Medium

 

Want to find out how to put design thinking into action?

Check out our other blog that dives into the tools used in design thinking. We describe what the tools are, how they’re used and their necessity.

 

Or visit the Launchpad quote page, if you have a brilliant idea for an app. Launchpad want to help you create a unique, successful app.

 

Why Everyone’s Talking about Snapchat’s Latest Update

A new year equals a new you. This is the case with one of the most popular social media platforms, Snapchat. Recently, the company announced updates to the app which will be released in the near future on iOS and Android.

What’s new?

The most groundbreaking change in the update is the addition of a universal search bar that allows users to find friends and people they want to follow. Another new change is the inclusion of a quick access chat directory screen, which lists out friends, groups, and contacts.

 

This update is great for businesses and startups. As users can discover other profiles easier, the new search bar will allow users to also discover businesses, allowing them to increase their brand and content exposure.

 

At this stage, Snapchat hasn’t announced plans for ads in search. However, this will be highly likely to be implemented as a response to Instagram, who is planning to implement advertisements in their Stories feature.

 

Another update has been added to the “Our Story” feature, where users can submit snaps wherever they are at any time. Snaps curate based on holidays, events and what’s trending around the world. This will provide businesses with the opportunity to utilise creative occasion-based marketing and create user engagement.

 

One of the main reasons for the update could be to improve the app’s user experience. On the business end, this could be a tool to motivate businesses to produce more content. The final reason might be a move to help Snapchat keep up with its close competitors.

At the end of the day, only time will tell.

 

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