Categories: Mobile Apps

Wanting to optimize your mobile app is one thing. But trying to one-up everything that’s come before is another. People are creatures of habit. And the way we use mobile apps is built upon years of experience.

We expect mobile apps to look and work a certain way. If yours doesn’t? Even if you’ve found a “better” way, users aren’t necessarily going to agree. Because if better means new, they’re going to have to re-learn how to do something, and that creates friction.

Here are a few signs your mobile app is trying to reinvent the wheel.

You’re throwing design patterns to the wind

Reinvent the things around the wheel all you want. But leave the wheel in place.

Reinvent the things around the wheel all you want. But leave the wheel in place.

Design patterns offer a general design known to solve a recurring problem. (Hence the “pattern” part of the name.) A kind of “template”, they show you how to get from problem to solution – along with tips for implementation. If your app is charting its own way through a problem, think again. Be kind to your users and give them a familiar framework to work within. Bonus: this one saves on developer time as well, keeping budgets and timelines in check.

You’re going wild with gestures

Okay, so our studio name is Touchtap. We love us some gestures. But at the same time, we know that the more complex the gesture system in your app, the more of your audience you’re going to lose. Users are happy to tap, double-tap, swipe and flick. Multi-touch gestures like pinch and spread are generally okay. But add some others into the mix – or start defining your own gestures? You’re asking users to learn a whole new language. And unless the whole point of your app is its gestures, they’re probably going to say no.

You’re doing your own mobile app security

Image for don't reinvent the wheel with your mobile app.

Sure, you’re an adventurer. But don’t be afraid to listen to others’ expertise.

Privacy and security are hugely important. Greater minds than ours have devoted their professional lives to solving these problems – and building SDKs, libraries and toolkits we can leverage. These tools help us manage things like encryption, network security and password strength, along with testing for vulnerabilities. Sure, you can do it on your own, but it’s a risky and time-consuming endeavor. Listen to the pros and take advantage of their safeguards and knowledge.

You’re solving a problem that doesn’t really exist

This one can be an app killer. We get that the app market is crowded, and it’s only getting more so. It’s tempting to go left-field with your app and come up with something utterly novel and new. But every app should have a use case. It should be solving a real problem experienced by real people. And that problem should be one without a current easy-to-use solution. If nothing like your app exists yet, make sure that’s not because there’s no market for it.

Now, reinventing the wheel has its place. Maybe you want to DIY some code or features to figure out exactly what’s under the hood. Maybe you want to compare and contrast solutions. Go for it. Just make it a learning experience or a skills test rather than forcing your mobile app users to try to figure out what to do with a triangular wheel.

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Touchtap is a digital agency specializing in mobile-first development.We can build your mobile app for you.

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