Our guest blogger today is Jason Mark, co-founder of Gravity Switch, a Design and Usability firm that has worked on projects for Disney, The Guggenheim, Dartmouth and Yale. In this post, he demonstrates exactly how important good design and the right screenshots are to your app.
Below are 7 apps. Can you tell which is targeted to women only? For doctors only? The most popular? And can you figure out which was made by a $2B company and which is home grown?
Please spend no more than one minute looking at the screenshots below and see if you can identify where they came from. Try to be aware of WHY you think this way.
Studies have shown that within seven seconds of meeting someone, you’ve made at least TWELVE judgment calls about them. You have formed an impression of how wealthy they are, how educated, how liberal or conservative, how intelligent, how much fun, and more.
All in just seven seconds.
The same thing happens when a prospective client first sees your app icon and your screenshots. When a reviewer posts a screenshot or someone sees your paid advertisement, prospective customers are forming a lasting impression about things you many never have realized or intended. How trustworthy are you? How capable are you? How expensive are you? Are you a good fit for them?
If you haven’t given thought to these things, you’re missing a critical opportunity. If you’re not clear about what story you’re telling, then your audience will make up their own story and it definitely won’t be the one you intend.
The truth is, I don’t know which of these is for women, or which is a $2B company, but when I show this test to people they always have an opinion. And you probably did too. You probably *thought* you knew the answer to at least one or two of those questions.
Which is really what brand is all about, remember: Your brand is not what you say it is. Your brand is what other people say it is.
Asking if you should make your icon green or blue is like asking if you should use a list or an array. It's not a committee decision to be made by amateurs. It’s a decision that should be made by trained experts who understand negative space, typography and color theory.
While code is about functionality, design is about intent. It’s about what we want people to feel, and what do we want them to do (see: http://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2013/05/design-emotions-usability/ ).
A great designer starts by understanding your intent. What do you want people to know, feel and do? Once those things are understood, the details around how you accomplish those goals via colors and fonts is much easier. You’ve already established the criteria – your intent – so it’s easier to make decisions on the details.
A great designer understands how margins and colors can convey the correct messages. They listen and reflect back where you’re going visually. They won’t ask which concept you like best, they’ll remind you of your goals and ask you which one “works” best, or if you have a really great designer they’ll TELL you which one works best. If you’re “stuck in the how" maybe it’s time you took things up a couple of levels.
You can find Jason on the following sites.