App DevelopmentIT Best Practices

7 Tips from Apple’s Official Guide to App Design

Want to create an iOS app but afraid that the $100 registration is too much to chew? Take a bite out of Apple’s 245-page design guide in this munchable summary. A Fast Co.Design article by Mark Wilson covers some major design principles used in iPad and iPhone interfaces.

7 Bites of Apple iOS Design

  1. Content over Interface
  2. Delay Login Requirement
  3. Hide Settings from Sight
  4. Leave Gestures Out
  5. Interact like an Editor
  6. Don’t Please Everyone
  7. Don’t Offer a “Quit” Option

Branding is important, but the Apple design guide recommends a more subtle way to get in front of your users without getting in their face. Clever tactics such as a customized screen background, custom tint, or font can display assets while leaving plenty of room for what the user cares about – content. Another roadblock for customers is the login screen. To keep potential users from jumping ship before subscribing, be sure to let them access limited functionality without having to log in.

Another distraction comes from apps that are not designed to match users’ setting preferences. To keep users from toggling away, be sure to code with popular design standards in mind. And speaking of standards, Wilson advises to avoid the fun but potentially annoying hand gestures that are best reserved for games and other more immersive apps.

In your text, adopt the persona of a newspaper editor. Your tone should be friendly but not too familiar, formal but not stiff. Additionally, you’ll want to remember that users often read the same text several times during their experience, so rethink some of those clever and long-winded paragraphs. As a rule of thumb, give them prominently displayed content that reads quick and crystal clear.

If designed properly, your iOS app will please 80% of your users. That’s right. There will always be a few naysayers. The important thing is to hit the bull’s eye average in terms of user adoption. And lastly, never design a “Quit” option into your app. If they really want to leave, users will move to a home screen or just slide to another app.

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