App Creation #60 – App Design – Tactile

Modern technologies are often more than just a device that offers functionality.  They are actually fashion accessories that become an essential part of life and that doesn’t automatically mean you need to be a techie.

Apps should also reflect this desire for the modern and fantastic in their style and operation.

Fluid Operation

The way in which you interact with an app is a crucial element that inevitably stands out.  The app may contain a fantastic set of features, however this can be easily overlooked if the interface is lacking tactility.

In fact your app may contain little functionality and the brilliance is actually focused on the interaction. I am sure if you peruse through the ratings and reviews of the various apps available on the marketplace, you will notice a distinct user attraction for aesthetics and the way in which animations play their part in adding to the look and feel. These are often listed in the top 10 or 25 in a category and will offer insight into your potential app decision making.

That Certain Touch

The aim of the game is to provide an experience the user loves to interact with.  These are enhanced by essentially trickery.  Presentation is extremely important as it is the first aspect the user will note in their mind before interacting with any of the functions. 

Animations then take a key role in adding extra jazz to a design.  Will pressing a button have any effect?  Will it show it is being pressed?  Will it change other sections of the screen as a result and can I make those more interesting with a transition?

Things to Avoid

Dialogue Boxes

Apple iPhone dialogue box

It usually is a bad sign if a dialogue box appears on the screen.  In an instant the silky smooth interface is interrupted by a box that sits in the middle of the display.  These are often used to offer reminders or to ask an important question.  Regardless of their need, they inevitably pull you away from the design and severs the sensation of enjoyment.

Leaving the App

Ideally, you never wish to see a user leaving an app unless they have a very good reason.  By offering any content that in turn requires the app to be closed such as opening a webpage link is seriously missing the point.  Try to find ways of incorporating data into your app and offer additional functionality if links or files need to be opened to enjoy the full set of features.

Repetitive Sounds

Sounds offer important cues and when animations are part of the process, add an extra zing to the effect.  They can be overused though and become an irritation.  Keep them as brief as possible.  Make sure the sounds you hear match exactly the on-screen animation, otherwise they will feel detached from one another.  Include a range of sounds that are unique.

Obvious Advertisements

Advertisements can stick out like a sore thumb when placed within an app.  They will never match the aesthetics of your design when using a third party ad provider, which in some ways is a good thing as they are more obvious to activate for the user, potentially earning you revenue.  Attempt to incorporate them the best you can without it spoiling your apps usability and basic appeal.


App Creation Series

There are literally hundreds of thousands of applications and games available to download using the digital marketplace. These range from basic clocks to fully fledged 3D gaming experiences rivalling even the leading portable devices that usually only specialise in this field.

Your challenge is competing with this vast library of already impressive offerings which, although a daunting prospect to the fledgling traveller, can be navigated successfully with the right ideas and implementation. Whether you want to create an income generator or simply desire recognition for your efforts, this book will aim to show you the path and inspire your imagination to overflow with possibilities.

Allow James Woodcock to guide you through the wilderness and raise your chances of realising your development dreams by detailing different routes with this light hearted tour of the Apps terrain. Featuring a myriad of exciting and surprising examples, you can glean important suggestions for your own creation.

App Creation Series Index:
App Creation – Beginners Guide to App Design, Development and Marketing

James Woodcock

Freelance Journalist, Author, Blogger & Podcaster specialising in gaming, gadgets and technology. Ever since he experienced the first controllable pixel movement on the television screen, he has been entranced by the possibilities and rewarding entertainment value generated from these metal and plastic boxes of delight. Writing hundreds of articles including commentary and reviews on various gaming platforms, while also interviewing well known industry figures for popular online publications. Available for hire, contact me for more information.

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