Design Matters

We launched our recent version of the Android app at the end of September 2014. It was the product of our extensive efforts. In our minds, it was a material upgrade to the very early version 1.0. New features were included, the colors seemed more vivid and there was even a (limited) settings menu. Proud in our work, we truly believed that the new design would be a major step forward. You can only guess where this is going to…

To our surprise, users’ reactions were quite different. In fact, quite a lot of them, old and new, didn’t like the new design at all. What we thought were vivid colors, many users found to be a bit disturbing. The larger display of icons appeared fuzzy on certain Android devices. There were other design issues that we hoped to be highly effective and impressive, but unfortunately some of them missed the target.

However, our bigger problem was that many users could not figure out the new user experience (UX). The new layout of the recommendations was not clear enough, again, despite what thought. This was perhaps our biggest miss in version 2.0.

They tell you not to judge a book by its cover. Should it go for mobile apps as well? Honestly, I don’t think it should. The design, of both interface and experience, is deeply interlaced with the app’s functionality. The way I see it, having just one side of the equation, i.e. functionality or design, doesn’t cut it. Everybody knows how little patience we have whenever we open a new app. I believe that it doesn’t take more than a few seconds before we reach our verdict . Therefore, in my opinion, paying the right amount of attention for successful design is so crucial. Moreover, for an app to be outstanding, it must have them both.

Luckily, most of the feedbacks were constructive and allowed us to learn a lot. We’re now in the midst of working on version 3.0, which we hope would be a major improvement. More about our new version in future posts.


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