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Recorded – watch the full episode on YouTube.
What do you think in terms of custom vs stock design? What can developers do to help their app stand out above just stock UIKit/SwiftUI controls?
Meng To: I think at the end of the day, if you're excited about your UI, other people will get excited about your UI. And we can speak about backend, but at the end of the day, as much as backend is really important, a lot of people are not going to see the backend part.
But the UI part they will definitely see. And you need to be able to express that to your users in a way that really get them excited. Sometimes it doesn't even need to be the normal users – it can be the power users. So for example, you can use it yourself first. That's the first rule: if you enjoy your own app, most likely people are going to enjoy your app as well.
“The key part is to enjoy your design to enjoy your app. Test it multiple times. And speaking about power users, one thing that I learned as a creator for about two decades is that the power users are incredibly, incredibly important. They are the ones that set the tone for the needs for your app.”
If you think your design sucks, most people are going to think that your design sucks. So the key part is to enjoy your design to enjoy your app. Test it multiple times. And speaking about power users, one thing that I learned as a creator for about two decades is that the power users are incredibly, incredibly important. They are the ones that set the tone for the needs for your app. Especially moving forward after launch, they will be the one that come back to you and say, “hey, wouldn't it be great if I can double tap on this picture and like it, right?” It's not hard to do, but it's definitely one thing that can make your app stand out based on the feedback of your users. And you're like, yeah, let's do it.
Then you do something interesting, something exciting, and it suddenly becomes standard everywhere. The same for the pull to refresh, right? Like it's not something in your face necessarily, but as soon as people start using it and they're like, “wouldn't it be great if instead of scrolling up and bouncing for no reason I can actually refresh the app. Yeah. That's great. Sure. Let's do it.”
And then you think about something and then you think about the interaction necessary for that. As long as you see a problem or a waste of space or a waste of interaction such as the scrolling, wouldn't it be great if you scroll at the bottom and suddenly it adds more items. You know, as we call it now lazy loading. Right?
“Let's really get people excited about the interactions and let's listen to feedback. Let's also really enjoy our own app and really be satisfied with our own design.”
It's all part of a problem. And it's all part of a solution based on that problem. I would love to see developers do that more and say, “hey, you know, let's really get people excited about the interactions and let's listen to feedback. Let's also really enjoy our own app and really be satisfied with our own design.”
Paul Hudson: So I guess there there's a trade off somewhere between satisfying those power users, but also taking care of really good accessibility, really good discoverability.
I mean, if I was thinking about double tapping to like a picture, I can see why that might be a shortcut for some folks, but then is that possible to use if you can't double tap very easily? Or would you hit it by accident?
Imagine you're looking through pictures of you at school, and you come across that girl you liked from 20 or 30 years ago and you double tap to zoom in the picture and the app likes it instead! You're like, nooooo! She'll see the alert saying he liked my picture and it's the cone of shame for me! You know?
It's a trade off somewhere between power users and being accessible to people – and also being discoverable to people.
“There's no design that is perfect. And as long as you kind of follow the 80% rule, as long as 80% of people use your feature or use your design in such a way, then it's worth having it front and center.”
Meng To: Yes. There's no perfect solution. Even the swipe from the bottom of the home indicator to go to the home screen can be done accidentally a lot. I don't know if you watch your kids using an iPad or an iPhone, they will most likely do that all the time. And it's so frustrating.
There's no design that is perfect. And as long as you kind of follow the 80% rule, as long as 80% of people use your feature or use your design in such a way, then it's worth having it front and center. If it's not, then you can put it more in the hidden. So we're talking about visual hierarchy. All of those things, definitely, I'm going to teach that in my course about you UI design for developers.
This transcript was recorded as part of Swiftly Speaking. You can watch the full original episode on YouTube, or subscribe to the audio version on Apple Podcasts.
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