Here’s why simplicity is the key to making your app a success

A great app makes your business. A bad one is worse than none at all.

Here’s why simplicity is the key to making your app a success

We’ve all downloaded an app that just didn’t work.

Either it took ages to load, the sign up was a hassle, or the UX was messy and unclear. If the product’s too complicated, the user is likely to uninstall it and move on. It can make or break your success.

The key is simplicity.

This means:

- Clarity: what the app is and what it does must be immediately obvious

- Functionality: how to use it must be clear from the get-go

- UX design: each step must be intuitive and satisfying

- Accessibility: It must feel as if there are no barriers to interaction

What does great app design look like?

Let’s take a look at a project we worked on – a dating app – to see some of the design features that can help make your app stick in the mind.


Too much content
The user is bombarded with copy, but the information gets lost.

Not accessible
There’s not enough contrast between the background and text and the font size is too small – this is a real problem, especially for visually impaired users.

There’s no information architecture in this example. If everything on the screen is ‘important’, then nothing is.

No sense of safety
There’s nothing on the screen to imply your data, or your pictures, are secure. A sense of safety is always important, but even more so for a dating app that requires so much personal information.

With too many words, colours, and input fields, the overall feel doesn’t promote engagement for the user. It’s like filing your taxes – you know you need to go through this process, but each step is overwhelming and confusing.


Cleaner and more concise
The redesign has a cleaner look, with fewer words, and no redundancy (everything on the page serves a purpose) making it easier to understand.

With larger fonts and a cleaner appearance, this version helps the user focus on the app and is easier to use for people with visual impairments.

More engaging
The headings and text are more impactful. We‘ve changed the colour to provoke a different emotional response, and the fonts are more playful.

Moving away from stock-looking profile photos and setting out the values of the app gives a reassuring sense of trustworthiness for the user.

All the important questions are simplified and easier to understand. It’s easier to choose an answer and move onto the next screen.

A great app keeps it simple

We see a lot of app designs that try to do too much. Instead of a streamlined and comfortable user experience, they become bloated with extra features added with no real purpose.

So how can you avoid making things too complicated?

Your users should understand your app – even before they download it

It should be immediately clear what your app does, its main benefits and who it’s aimed at – that starts from when they’re browsing the App Store or looking at your website. If you’re struggling to explain your idea, it’s likely your final product will have users scratching their heads at what they’re looking at.

Focus on core functionality

Visit Google, you know instantly it’s a search engine. Login to Notion, it’s instantly clear it’s for note-taking. Airbnb, you’re searching for apartments. All these apps and websites have built up other important features over the years but that core functionality is the reason they keep coming back.

Onboarding is critical

Your onboarding process should be quick and seamless. It needs to educate the user on the purpose and benefits of the app, how it works, and ensure they can sign up and use it straight away. Speaking of which…

Avoid lengthy tutorials…

No matter how impressive you believe the functions of your app are, no one should need an extensive tutorial for each step. It wastes time and effort. Direct users to particular features if you want, but the core concepts should be clearly visible from looking at the screen. The best design needs no explanation.

…and weird surprises

If you click a camera button, it should open a camera. When you select a drawing tool, you want to start drawing. If things don’t act as people expect, then it’s getting too complicated.

The UX journey is vital

Good user experience depends on simplicity. Particularly in a SaaS environment. The days of software that requires a lengthy training course to use are long past. And even when people do have training, they easily forget. Software should assist the people who use it – not the other way around.

Be objective

Finally, when developing an app, it’s often useful to take a step back. If you’re too wedded to an idea (particularly if it’s your brainchild) it’s often difficult to see the wood for the trees.

If you’ve opted for an off-the-shelf template, for example, your app may be full of content that’s more of a distraction than driving your users to become repeat customers. You often need a third party to say what works, and what doesn’t.

That’s why bringing in the objective voice of a product studio can help. Using best practices and experience, we can ensure your app design keeps users engaged, avoids overcomplication, and ensures they come back for more.

Please get in touch with us to find out more.

Milosz Falinski
About the author

Aleksandra Boguslawska

Led marketing campaigns with biggest brands in the world. Award-winning travel writer. Excels at translating vision into customer-centered journeys. Bad font choices keep her up at night.

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