App Development, Thought Leaders

9 UI Mistakes That Hurt Your App Development Efforts

January 7, 2020

by Sourodip Biswas

Writer, Space-O Canada

So many businesses have mobile apps that it's now more important than ever to get yours right. Mistakes in the user interface could have disastrous consequences for your users. This article outlines 9 easy mistakes to make when developing a mobile app and how to avoid them.

User interface (UI) is the most important aspect of your mobile app. UI determines how users experience the product and its functions, as well as how engaging the finished product will be.

However, most often we look at the aesthetics of the app when designing, and coolly ignore the other aspect, which is the functionality and usability. 

In this article, we’ll talk about common UI mistakes app developers make when designing a mobile app and how to avoid them.

9 User Interface Mistakes That Hurt Your App Development Efforts

  1. Cluttered layout
  2. Unnecessary features
  3. Not solving the main problem
  4. Inconsistent design
  5. No visual hierarchy
  6. Confusing navigation
  7. Faulty interactions
  8. Ineffective CTAs
  9. Ignoring native design components

1. Cluttered Layout

You might add too many things on a single page when you design your app’s layout. That leads to a lot of clutter around the interface, with little to no space to actually use the app.

Users have to go through the clutter to reach the content that interests or engages them. If your app is too cluttered, users might dismiss or disengage with your content. 

Instead of adding all the elements in the first or second fold, use the progressive disclosure method to slowly move the audience through the various elements.

For instance, start by using your headline to get users interested. 

Then, move to the other parts of the app interface. this will keep them glued, increase their interest, and keeps them engaged. 

You get to show everything on the app, and they don’t feel the noise that comes with clutter. Make sure you don’t add too many buttons or content that can irritate the user.

2. Unnecessary Features

When designing a mobile app, it’s easy to believe that all the features that you plan to add are important. 

Core features are the intersection of engineering, marketing, and customer success. They inform the business processes surrounding your app.

core features venn diagram engineering marketing customer success


If you get ahead of yourself creating features you end up adding too many features to the app. Some of them are might be unnecessary. 

Having too many features reduces the performance and increases the loading time of the app, which results in abandonment from the customers. 

Instead of adding just every feature in the town, try adding features that you believe will add value to your mobile app. Just never compromise with the core features.

3. Not Solving the Issue

Every app idea comes from a user pain point that needs to be resolved. However, if your app does not concentrate on resolving the issue, but rather attends to adding some aesthetic aspects to the app, then it will reduce the engagement and also increase unnecessary app development cost.

The fact that the opening screen should be dedicated to identifying the issue, and resolving it is what your app’s user interface should do.

Your app should immediately address the concerns of the app user and accordingly devise an ideal solution. 

For instance, Uber is a ride-sharing app, and the first thing it needs to know is where you want to go and using which mode of transport from their cluster would you prefer to travel.

The app's user interface should be planned in a way that it addresses the core issue at the start. 

4. Inconsistent Design

We’ve all seen inconsistent app designs, which reduce engagement on the app and cause users to uninstall. 

What makes a design inconsistent? Inconsistent design can include:

  • Different colors used across the app
  • Different fonts
  • Different sizes of text

In most cases, your background color should be the same throughout the app. 

For example, if the first page of your app has a black background with white text and the next page has a black background with red text, you might confuse your app’s users. 

A consistent design means a seamless flow for users. Your users will be able to relate better with the app as a result. 

Identify the fonts, colors, and backgrounds that you want before you start designing your app. Make a predictable layout that users find pleasing.

If you plan to use two different colors, create a clear visual hierarchy to make the flow easy. The design will be consistent and the app will look more professional as a result. 

consistent app design exampleThe users’ journey – what they will see first, and what will come next – must be defined before you can begin with the execution of the app.

The app interface should be divided into multiple folds, and each fold should contain a piece of specific information. If you can package it that way, you will be able to gain a following for your app.

6. Unintuitive Navigation

Plan how the users will move from one screen to another as you develop your app. Make sure your navigation is intuitive.

Say your user is on the “About Us” page of your app. How will they move back to the home page? Will your app allow them to get back using the logo as a button, just as Amazon does? Are there other ways that you have defined? 

It is important that the navigation is clear, intuitive, and seamless. The user should be able to move from one part of the mobile app to another without being guided. That will help them feel more confident using the app.

7. No Feedback on Action

Users will complain if your buttons or elements are unresponsive. 

Say, for example, your user clicked on the “Submit Now” call-to-action (CTA), they are waiting to be redirected to another screen but nothing happens.

However, they are not sure if the button was clicked or if the app is ready for the action.

Interactive feedback will make users less impatient and will let them know how to navigate through the app. 

For instance, as soon as they click on the button, a message should appear telling the user that they might need to wait. This will 

There are a few apps that state just how long it will take for the action to complete. These messages keep users hooked on your mobile app.

8. Unengaging CTAs

Calls-to-action (CTAs) help users convert. If the CTAs are not defined properly, however, users will not complete the action. 

While designing a CTA, remember to use a color the attracts attention, such as red or green.

The CTA button's design should be eye-catching. Use fonts and eye-catching shapes, as well as sizes that match your app’s requirements. 

Placement of the CTA plays an important role in ensuring quick conversions for your mobile app.

9. Ignoring the Native Design Components

A lot of times we tend to believe that the native design components can be avoided, and we usually tend to ignore them when designing the interface.

Native design guidelines are exclusive to their respective mobile OS.

However, that is the biggest mistake to make. The use of native components ensures the quality of the interaction offered by your mobile app and reduces the friction in your app design.

Avoid UI Mistakes When Developing a Mobile App

The user interface is the key to mobile app design, and you simply cannot compromise on the quality. 

It is important that you plan the app’s design, understand the different elements that you need to add, and define the hierarchy before you begin execution. 

There are numerous things such as color, design, and font that you need to define before you start to design.

Clarity should be established at the planning stage before you can begin with the actual implementation. 

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