The aesthetics of a mobile app may not be the first thing a developer thinks about when pondering an idea for a launch. After all, there are a lot of factors—funding, market assessment, development, distribution, monetization—that likely trump design in the developer mind. But consider this: The 50 million-plus people who downloaded Angry Birds in 2010 probably wouldn’t have done so for the experience of flinging a one-dimensional, black-and-white bird at a bunch of unanimated pigs.
Design is important for all products, and mobile apps are no exception. Functionality is obviously critical, but getting something to the point where it’s useful and getting it to the point that users actually want to use it (repeatedly) and truly enjoy the experience are two different things—and effective, engaging design can help you get your app to the second place.
“Color is becoming an increasingly popular way for developers to make their apps stand out from the competition. Having strong colors in an application can create emotive responses from users, sometimes deeming an app more memorable. If a user remembers an application, he just might pick it up again.”
Beyond color, the piece analyzes how the retro filtered look of apps like Hipstamatic engages audiences, discusses the importance of texture in app backgrounds and gives advice about having clean lines and the effective use of shadows, among other insight. Again, that kind of detail might not be top-of-mind for app developers, but as apps evolve and the competition heats up, paying more attention to appearances can help you stand out. Do it right, and someday soon you, too may be selling a line of plush toys based on your app.