Biz Tips: 14 App Designs and Features to Avoid For a Better User Experience

Biz Tips: 14 App Designs and Features to Avoid For a Better User Experience

Biz Tip:

14 App Designs and Features to Avoid For a Better User Experience

Mobile apps are intended to make people’s lives easier, but some design decisions can get to be too much for day-to-day use. Below, 14 YEC members discuss app functions that companies — and users — should think twice about.

Mobile apps can come with a suite of bells and whistles, some of which can be distracting or are a drain on your staff with little return on the user experience. What is one popular feature in apps that should be avoided?

1. Notifications

Notifications are useful, but they are also distracting by design. I am careful about what I allow to hijack my attention and so I turn off all unnecessary notifications. It takes a bit of effort to prune notifications so that only important messages can get my attention, but I’m hoping Apple’s new notification features in iOS 12 will simplify the process. – Justin Blanchard, ServerMania Inc.


2. Automatic Launches

Some apps will start automatically unless you go into your settings and set them to only open manually. Unless you’re using an app constantly, it’s a real distraction to have it open all the time. It’s also a drain on your phone’s battery. If apps are too distracting and they aren’t providing you with any real value, just delete them. At the very least, turn off notifications. – Shawn Porat, Scorely


3. Intrusive Ads

While it is necessary to monetize your app, it doesn’t mean you have to annoy your users while doing it. If you create less intrusive ads, they will be better received and the user might even leave it up longer. Instead of interrupting your user with an entire page ad, look into floating bars and inactivity popups. – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner


4. Continuous Scrolling

Although we give our staff a lot of freedom in using their personal phones and social media applications while on the job, the access to these tools is not the problem, it is the continuous use. Many social media apps have continuous scrolls which provide never-ending addictive access to information. Removing continuous scrolling gives our team members their dose of data without the addiction. – Diego Orjuela, Cables & Sensors


5. Unclear UX

Many developers want to follow in the footsteps of Snapchat and Tinder’s UX by adding swiping elements to their app. However, it’s important not to assume that your customers will know that they can swipe left or right. You can do this by adding responsive UX elements that make it clear what you can do with the app. – Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights


6. Loud Notifications

I’m not a fan of notifications — they’re overused — but I particularly dislike loud notifications that distract everyone in the vicinity. It is incredibly distracting to be in the same space as someone whose phone dings every 20 seconds. It hurts the productivity and efficiency of everyone within earshot. – Vik Patel, Future Hosting


7. Constant Updates

This may seem counterintuitive since an app that is frequently updated will usually perform better than others. However, I can’t tell you how obnoxious it is to have 24 notifications for app updates every week that make me wait upwards of 10 minutes while they all download and install until I can actually use my phone again. With app updates, strive for quality over quantity. – Bryce Welker, Crush The LSAT


8. Log-In Walls

If possible, it’s best to make your app usable without having to log into an account first. For example, if you download the Amazon app, you can start browsing products without logging in. However, if you absolutely must have the user login first, then give them the option to stay signed in without having to log in every single time they open your app. – Jared Atchison, WPForms


9. Popups

Any popup feature on an app should be avoided. It’s not necessary and takes away from the overall user experience. Many users also inadvertently end up closing something they wanted to see just by trying to get rid of those popups that you think they want to see. – Angela Ruth, Calendar


10. Animations

Stay away from animation or other graphical features that take a lot of time and no one really cares about. Keep your app simple and straightforward, focusing on the valuable tools that set your app apart. – Murray Newlands, ChattyPeople


11. Pushy Permissions

Limit the permissions needed to operate the app to as few as possible. People are showing more care for what they put on their devices, and taking more care to see that their data is protected. Apps that bizarrely want access to information that has nothing to do with the functions will often be deleted before they’re tested out for the first time. – Matt Doyle, Excel Builders


12. Password Manager Integration

The most frustrating thing our company experiences with mobile applications is logging in. Companies make the process more secure by requiring strong passwords, though with strong passwords comes the need to use password managers like LastPass. When LastPass cannot fill the password on the mobile application, we have to manually log into LastPass to copy the password. Sometimes the application will clear the username out when you leave the page to get the password, making it more difficult. – Brian Greenberg, True Blue Life Insurance


13. Paywalls

A lot of new apps understand that customers don’t want to see ads, so of course, they monetize by encouraging the user to opt-in to a premium tool or service here and there. The problem with some in-app purchases is that they’re typically for non-essential tools. Whenever an app wants me to pay to “unlock” a feature that comes standard on the desktop version, I become highly skeptical. – Cody McLain, SupportNinja


14. Automated Response Suggestions

I don’t like lots of automated response suggestions the phone prompts you to select. For example, I don’t like the automated response suggestions by the Gmail app. Many suggested responses are too casual for business use, and it’s way too easy to select. This could cause accidental clicks, and in my experience, accidentally selecting the response and sending it in the message happens too often. – Shu Saito, All Filters LLC

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