No, I’m not talking about how handsome, beautiful or sexy you are; I’m talking about how beautiful your web, desktop or especially your mobile app had better be.
We live in a world today that sees 5 new startups, 50 new books, 500 new sites and what feels like 5,000 new apps taking their walk down the runway, vying for our attention each and every day.
Your software can have super powers and functionalities that any geek would swoon over, but if its looks don’t jump off the screen neither you or it will get to first base.
“I think beauty is absolutely critical in launching an app today,” says Jenny Wager, CEO and Founder of LeftTurn Labs. “I can speak first and foremost as a user and it is simply unappealing to use an app that has a poorly designed icon and interface. No matter how functional the app, I can’t stand to use it if it is ugly”.
Jenny should know: her iPad app Next!, a task and project management app, is doing quite well, thank you very much (60,000 sales and counting).
“When creating Next! the ultimate goal was to improve productivity, but that absolutely should not mean that it have a utilitarian or poor design. So many apps just focus on the features, but if people don’t like to look at it the features are irrelevant. For productivity especially it is so important to provide a clean and visually appealing work space – cluttered space=cluttered mind.”
Not that Next! is all looks: its unique navigational system breaks new ground and provides a new and cool interface for battling those familiar project management demons. But there’s already more GTD-centric apps out for this one platform than you or I can count; how did LeftTurn Labs make this one app stand out of from the crowd?
“We had two main goals when designing Next!: 1) Make it easy to want to use and look at Next! every day, and 2) Increase users focus on their information,” said Jenny. “If you don’t like to look at your productivity app you certainly aren’t going to be more productive! It was critically important that we made Next! beautiful so that people would be more inclined to use it all the time.”
We’ve gone from a world where everyone used the same three bland programs, to a world where which apps we choose to use are a powerful reflection of who we see ourselves as. And nobody wants to see ugly in the mirror.
(So you know – I bought Next! even though I already own way too many GTD apps because it looked damn good; nor did the current sale price of $0.99 hurt. Then I reached out to Jenny.)