iPad app guidelines

Ten Things To Think About When Designing Your iPad App

Crazy, spinny, eye-catching interactions are fine for one-hit wonders and games. But stick with standard navigation for frequently used apps, such as news readers. If you do want to do something innovative, make sure it supports the task at hand and is extremely usable.

I remember the original ABC news app. It had each tile of news as an image wrapped around a sphere that was to represent the glob/abc logo. It was fun for about 30 seconds, and then I closed the app and deleted it. This was a case when light gamification of the news app didn’t add to the experience. In an information centric app (which is really anything that isn’t a game) you can add some sparkle around the edges to help tell the story, but don’t get in the way of smoothly getting the user to what they want.

By contrast, the Whole Foods app starts off being helpful by letting you add recipe ingredients to a shopping list. Unfortunately, it neglects to combine repeated ingredients, so items are listed multiple times. In the screenshot below, bananas appear three times, once for each recipe that requires them, instead of being combined into one entry.

This is another pet peeve of mine as a user. If there is a task that I have to do more then 3 or four times then the app is missing a chance to delight the user. I don’t know how something like this gets through even one round of user testing…even by the designers that built it.

I really like this article since it focuses on some very basic concepts (all very user centric) that can greatly improve the experience of using and app no matter what platform.

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