When a business is looking into creating an app, I often see hesitation to fit design into their mobile budget. They may want to use default graphics because they believe the app just needs to function, and the looks aren’t as important. This is a huge mistake.
Design can seem frivolous and unnecessary to some. It seems like an afterthought because it’s one of the last steps to creating a product or business. Motive, research, strategy, and market position all precede it. But it’s important to remember that the visual design is the first interaction consumers have with a product. Until a person decides to engage with the organization, design is all they see, know and relate to.
It’s 2013, if an app looks ugly and/or dated, people often question the legitimacy of the app or company behind it. If it’s designed poorly and difficult to use, it’s almost guaranteed to be deleted immediately. In a market of well over a million apps, consumers have no tolerance for sub-par. If they don’t like an app, they have 20 more to choose from.
Many apps are for internal use. This often leads to companies lacking concern for graphics because they aren’t trying to draw in customers, the employees are required to use the app. So why spend the time and money on graphic design? Because they are using the app as a tool. Their employees and therefore their business depends on the app. An inferior app causes confusion, frustration, and inefficiency.
Graphic designers think about the target market, company branding, legibility, and flow of an app. We strive to create a flawless user experience. Don’t pass design off as just “making things pretty,” it’s a powerful resource.