As soon as I opened the app I was visually unpleased by the overpowering red used everywhere. The style of the application looks very outdated and does not fit in with the popular metro look that most successful apps take today.
Because the app allows so many features, it is difficult to come up with a design where the user doesn’t feel over powered by everything going on the screen.
After taking note of all the parts of the app that I would ideally change, I began to research the user.
First I asked my roommate how she felt about the app, to hear first hand what bothered her.
“There is nothing about the recipe that makes me want to press it. The only reason I would click on anything is if I had too. I’ve used some apps that make you just want to press it.”
I felt this was a very valuable piece of advice. Any user experience designer wants their users to enjoy using their product. It should not be a chore to use it.
I then started to get a better feel of the users of this product and the issues that they have with the software by reading the reviews. Overall the application was not rated terribly, because while the design is very unappealing, the app does the job. However the root of the majority of the complaints were because of the design.
Reading these reviews was important because firstly it showed what is important to the user. The buttons and overall look of the application is not pleasing and many users did not like this. One user said the, “poorly designed app detracts from the vast number of recipes.” Another explains they were, “frustrated by this app within 2 minutes of installing it.” This frustration proves the importance of a well throughout and executed design. The search engine is an important feature for these users. They are going to be using this app to try to find something in particular. The way that it is designed now only lets you view one recipe at a time. I think in the future this will be something I address. Perhaps a way to scroll down through the results would be an easy fix for this.
From these comments I also started to learn more about what kind of person uses this app. This is important because it is extremely important to keep in mind who you are making this app for. The design of the product should be suited for this type of user.
This will come into play as I create my persona. A persona is a fictional user that is used at all stages of the UX process. It is there to keep in mind who this app is being designed for. What kind of person is using this app?
To get an idea of what makes a good/bad app design I looked up some useful websites to inspire me through this process. This site did a great job of explaining what kind of design you should be aiming for. Mobile users are used to a very simple and similar look. It is important that your app doesn’t stray too far from this look. It should look like you are still on the same devise regardless of what application you are using. Keeping this in mind, I will make sure to compare my new design to existing successful apps already on the devices of my users.
The following links go more into depth about the good and bad applications out there. I will reference these throughout my project as I start developing a new design.