Designing intuitive applications

 In application development, News, Web Design

As application designers and developers we are charged with making sure not only is a task able to be completed, but the actions required are intuitive and self explanatory. In this day and age anything less is unacceptable. One of the biggest challenges in information architecture is designing intuitive next actions. Often we find ourselves being asked to work from an existing workflow, where assumptions have been made that may not be correct.

We’ve all been there, an application we are familiar with gets redesigned and our immediate reaction is one of annoyance. We were used to clicking that big red button, then scrolling a bit and clicking that other thing. Now “they” have changed everything and we have to learn a new process… how frustrating! We rarely make mental note of the fact that often, after a few times using the application, we actually prefer the new workflow, why? Well it comes down to “next action”. For every action a user takes he or she expects a certain next action. An intuitive application is one where the actual next action most closely matches the expected next action.

This is applicable to any digital interface, whether it is a mobile application, a desktop application, or a website. One of the most exciting things in interface development is finding a breakthrough in a process that makes a certain task easier to comprehend and involves less steps to complete. This is something we strive for at Palmer Andersen. And because we have the capabilities to not only plan and design your application, but build it too, we are are well positioned to achieve impressive results through our collaborative design and build process.