So a couple days ago I had the opportunity to sit down and speak with Josh Guame Raster’s Senior UX Designer about his views on a great mobile design. if you missed that click this link. This time I spoke with Michael J Smith the CEO & Founder of Raster. Below he gives his insight on mobile design and how it can help your business.
Terrell Turner: What do you think Defines great mobile design?
For me, great mobile design starts with the experience. Mobile is very intimate and personal. It’s in your hands and pocket all day so the experience expectations are higher than any other type of medium. Therefore, a good mobile design must first focus on the user experience. In order to deliver that quality experience, you have to know your user. Find out what is important to them and what will make them happy. So along with factors like design functionality and technical execution, at the base of all that you need a solid understanding. Ultimately you need to know what the user personas for that particular application need to be happy and map your user experience before you worry about the aesthetic appearance or technical execution. Great mobile apps are highly polished in their design, every detail is considered. Your touchpoints, portrait versus landscape, thumb placement, all the way to animated transitions are things to consider to the overall sexy appeal of creating a polished and sophisticated design. It’s more important in mobile more so than web
TT: How does it make me money or effect revenue to have a polished design?
MS: It’s critical to the engagement of the application. An application that is not well designed does not deliver a quality user experience and one that is not visually sophisticated gets cast aside. If you hit any one of those points of user experience, but not the others you have to hit a grand slam with the one point that you do. So can you have success with a poor visual design on an application if it delivers on its value? Sure, but that is very risky to pull off. So increase your chance of success by executing on all user experience touch points. A highly polished visual design is very important in delivering that user experience which ultimately is going to deliver success through engagement, revenue, purchases and other KPI’s. It’s also branding. Do you want a poor design, poor experience, or poor visuals to be attached to your name? Probably not. Have it done right and professionally and pay attention to detail.
TT: How do I know if I have a great mobile design?
MS: Validation against your users. So in a mobile project you setup up project goals and KPI’s on how you measure success. If your app is delivering on those goals and numbers then you have a good design. Visual design specifically is somewhat objective but regardless of personal preference in visual design delivering a quality customer experience is undeniable. At the end of the day, it’s not about what I like or what the business owners like. It’s about what the customer likes prefers and feels good about. The only true way to validate quality on that front is to find out if it resonates with your customers and users. Make sure the application is performing overall.
TT: What should I look for in a company who will create my mobile app?
MS: Look for organisations or individuals with well-defined and proven processes. Generally a thought out well-designed process coupled together with their past work and proven track record will tell you if they can deliver quality. A good solid process creates consistency and the ability to reproduce success in mobile design over and over again. Those companies with a process have developed over time what needs to be done to produce quality work. Make sure that the process involves user validation and doesn’t operate on the assumptions of the team.