1 Simple Tip for Designing Better iPhone Apps

A friend of mine tweeted an article this morning that caught my eye:

I’m not a designer, but I’ve designed a few apps and feel I’ve got an eye for good design, so this really piqued my interested. What could these tips be?

Well, let me enumerate them:

  1. Use wireframes
  2. Tap targets should be 44pt minimum
  3. Have one primary goal per screen
  4. Avoid default button styles
  5. Add extra views when there is lots of information

All great tips, but hmm… they sound pretty familiar.

That’s because, with the possible exclusion of using wireframes, they’re all information listed in Apple’s iOS Human Interface Guidelines [PDF].

Don’t get me wrong - I’m not complaining about Six Revisions’ article. They did a fantastic job of distilling some really critical points of the HIG down to a point-form list that developers will actually take the time to read.

But it’s not enough. If you are a developer who makes iPhone apps, it’s not enough to read this article and walk away to build your apps. People aren’t going to enjoy your apps just because a button is 44 points tall instead of 30. That’s something that users should take for granted. And it’s only one thing of many.

# My 1 Tip

Read the Human Inteface Guidelines. Now. Seriously.

Download the PDF right now and read it.

Twice.

I’m not kidding.

If you care at all about making better apps, stop looking for a shortcut. Invest a few hours to read a whopping 184 pages and I guarantee you that your apps will improve.


Posted on September 7, 2012