These days, you can’t escape the fact that people are getting more and more accustomed to interacting with brands on their phone, and when it comes to loyalty programs, a mobile app is fast becoming a must-have. Your app design is the best way to keep your customers engaged and coming back.

None of our clients have said to us ‘No, I only want to use stamp cards.’

At Riverview, we work with clients to develop mobile loyalty programs to retain customers and keep them engaged. We’ve always had a mobile-first mindset and over the years and along the way, we’ve found some tips that could help you develop the perfect app for your users.

These are five tips to get you started with app design.

Humans have an uncanny knack for finding the path of least resistance — like water, which is no surprise as we are 70% H2O. Keep this in mind when designing an app: users will see the path you want them to take, but will not hesitate to take shortcuts to better suit their needs and do what they want to do — almost like a digital desire path!

If your app design isn’t intuitive, then you should save your money.

1. Make Sure Your App Works

A Compuware study found that people have a low tolerance for glitchy apps — 79% would only retry the app once or twice more before abandoning it and hitting ‘uninstall’ — and a recent study by Localytics shows that 23% of users uninstall an app after just one use.

2. Test Your App!

When running through a dummy app, pay attention to the first action you make on every screen.

If your first activity does not result in what you expect from the app, it’s time to go back to the designers.

Remember — mobile users are looking to quickly access information on your app, and if the process is too complicated, they are more likely to hit ‘uninstall’. Your app can look beautiful, but if it functions poorly, users will not hesitate to delete.

It’s also good practice to give the app to someone not involved in the project to test; that way, you’re assured of unbiased actions and reviews.

3. Follow the App Design Language

Both Android and Apple have released app design guidelines that you should take into account before moving forward with your design. Don’t assume that you can apply one design to both platforms — each have their own nuances, and you should take this into account. It’s essential when trying to create a user-friendly, intuitive app.

If your design isn’t intuitive, then you should save your money. Nothing is more frustrating as a non-intuitive app. Look at yourself — how many times have you downloaded an app, only to give up and delete it in frustration because it wasn’t responding to your needs? Exactly.

4. Design to Prevent Problems

Don’t underestimate the little details. Use elements of UI design that encourage tapping and swiping. Swiping is the way forward — you can blame Tinder for this. Tapping works for information input, but for moving around the interface, incorporate left and right swiping.

Use rounded edges instead of sharp ones — rounded edges are more conducive to action.

Also, research the colours you use, and use colour wisely. Dark grey text on a white background reads better than black text on a white background — it’s easier on the eye, and more of a pleasure for the user to read.

Keep the elements of your app simple, don’t overcrowd the screens, and emphasise on ease-of-use..

5. Use the Right Platform

Your app should constantly evolve and be updated. Keep this in mind: it’s not just a ‘design once’ and then forget about it concept. Make sure you choose the right platform to help power the app. Some ways a great platform can help include managing and analysing the data you receive from users, delivering push notes, and sharing differentiated content for different audience segments. Remember the purpose behind creating an app, and choose a platform that will deliver all the requirements you need over time.

In Essence: Don’t Cut Corners

When you’re a person, cutting corners is almost expected — humans naturally try to find the easiest course of action in any given task. When you’re a developer, however, you should put in enough details and experience to allow a user experience a sense of ease when using your app.

When designing an app, take your time and don’t cut corners; don’t skip out a critical test, and don’t launch before you’re ready.

Remember two things: 1) the easiest to use apps always have a more complicated back-end system, and 2) your end user is the most important, so find out what they’re using your app for and how, and update!

Contact us if you’d like to know more about how Riverview works — our SaaS platform helps brands and businesses grow revenue by helping develop strong mobile based loyalty programs.

This post first appeared on Medium. Follow us on Medium for more industry insights.

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