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Tapworthy by Josh Clark

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Chapter 2. Is It Tapworthy?

CRAFTING YOUR APP’S MISSION

IS IT WORTH IT? That’s the calculation running in your users’ heads with every tap and swipe. Just by launching your app, users have to spend scarce resources—time, attention, thought—that are in especially short supply for mobile apps. What do they get in return? You just saw how mobile users churn through apps at the speed of distraction. Unless you meet their needs and, even better, entice them to slow down and explore, they’ll keep on going. Tapworthy design starts with a firm understanding of your audience and their goals.

In the big picture, an app is tapworthy if it makes your users’ lives better by helping them get stuff done, make them laugh, stay connected, fill downtime, or do whatever they otherwise need to do to be awesome in that moment. Tapworthy apps might be easy on the eyes, too, but the fundamentals of great design don’t hinge on making things pretty. In app design, beauty derives from function, and every interface element has to be focused on helping your users do what they’re there to do.

Photo: Peyri Herrera
Figure 2-1. Photo: Peyri Herrera

Designing tapworthy iPhone apps means designing for an economy of time, attention, and screen space. Every tap should have a pay off: information, delight, a completed task, a sense of satisfaction. A great app rewards the user at every turn, from the first glimpse of its app icon through every ...

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