Building Design that Matters

Is design important in our life?

Before get to the main topic of this blog post, we have to have answer on this. Do you like good-looking things? I think all of you will answer YES. We love the things with the best designs. That’s why we buy iPhones, Macbooks, Italian cars. That’s why we employ interior designers because white walls, a table, and two chairs aren’t nice. I can shorten all these thoughts to one very good sentence:

We “eat” products with our eyes 

Prototype and Design

In a recent Tivix meeting I saw a really good presentation about the development process and innovations within it but there was one sentence I didn’t agree with.

“Don’t waste time building high-fidelity prototypes that look pretty.”

I know that the purpose of releasing a prototype app is only to test the market, but I think good design is still required, even for prototypes. If we build an application in less than one month but we forget about design, UX, etc., then the result of the market experiment will be inaccurate.

Users consume apps with their eyes. The Google Play Store currently has 1.43 million applications and the AppStore has 1.21 million applications. Those are huge numbers, and there is your prototype sitting among them. How can it be a success? Is having a brilliant idea the most important factor? Take a look at these screenshots from the Google Play Store.

Google Play - design

I’ve highlighted the most important sections that focus user attention: Application Logo, description and screenshots.

In the left screenshot, a potential user will look at the app card, recognize the logo, and then read the application title. If the logo is bad, he won’t bother reading the title. Everything is based on design.

Take a look at the second screen. I scrolled it a little bit to show the most important parts: the description and the screenshots. You can see how much space is taken by the description (only one sentence!) and how much of the screenshot you can see without scrolling. If you want to read more you have to click (one additional step) but if you want to see more you have to only scroll. That’s  a big difference to a user. You have to remember: an image is equal to 1000 words.

That’s why I always say: design matters, even for prototypes. Without a good design, even probing the market will have invalid results because users won’t rate your brilliant idea, but rather your application’s design.

Rome wasn’t built in a day

Your application is Rome. You can’t build everything in one month, but you can build a simple app with two gorgeous features and a perfect design and release it. Thanks to this, you will have valuable result data from the market and can change your application step by step or add new features. Remember: everything has to be perfect. If the prototype doesn’t work as the user expects, he will uninstall it, and the probability that he will install it again is less than 10%.