Solutions Review Presents: The User Interface Hall of Shame

A good User Interface is something that most users tend not to pay much attention to. On the other hand, a bad User Interface will DEFINITELY get noticed. Flip through a few UI forums and sub-Reddits and you’ll soon understand that the User Interface crowd is a mean and unforgiving one. In order to spare you the embarrassment of committing one of the many UI faux-pas, we’ve rounded up some of the worst offenses in app development to scare you straight.

Disregarding Tap Targets

Too often, developers seem to forget that fingers come in a variety of shapes and sizes. In terms of action targets, you should keep the tap target as simple and as big as possible. In addition to thinking about big fingers, you should also consider jittery or unstable fingers or inaccurate tapping for the elderly and for young children.

Permissions During Launch

This is annoying as all hell. When you’re opening an application, you’re doing so to complete a task or access information in a timely manner. You don’t need to be immediately greeted with a barrage of permission boxes for unrelated tasks. The best way to circumvent this issue is to hold off on display these permissions until an action requires it.

Too Many Push Notifications

Bing. Bing….. Bing (cont.) Does this sound familiar? Users like to receive push notifications for relevant and occasional updates. Imagine the conflict of emotions a user will feel when they see your app has notified them about the smallest updates. Before writing a new push notification, you should think to yourself “Is this notification even relevant?”

Weird Navigation Patterns

People develop apps for one reason: to make things simple. If you develop a mobile app and it takes longer to use than your web-hosted service, you’ve failed. When designing your mobile application make sure to run a number of user tests and wireframes to see if your navigation pattern makes sense to the average user. Keep in mind that when taking feedback from app users, pay more attention to what they do than what they say.

Failing to Stick to Expected Convention

There’s something to be said for bucking the trend and forging your own path, but on the otherhand, tradition has its own benefits. When it comes to mobile applications, users like to see a degree of familiarity. This familiarity helps with navigation and other basic features of an applications. On this topic, you should take platforms into consideration when developing an application. If you recycle too many app parts from Android to iOS, you may run into some trouble as users from different platforms expect different interfaces.

Doug Atkinson

An entrepreneur and executive with a passion for enterprise technology, Doug founded Solutions Review in 2012. He has previously served as a newspaper boy, a McDonald's grill cook, a bartender, a political consultant, a web developer, the VP of Sales for e-Dialog - a digital marketing agency - and as Special Assistant to Governor William Weld of Massachusetts.

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