Combining Design Aesthetics with Usability – Overcoming the Challenge

When we first started designing our travel apps, we pondered over what is the most crucial point for the success or failure of any app. Though there are millions of apps available in stores across platforms, not all of them were successful. In fact, a very limited number of these apps were successful and had gained popularity with their users. So, what was the point that made the difference between success and failure? Well, bit of research and understanding of the market gave us our answer and it was ‘user experience’.An app not only adds value to the device it is downloaded on, it primarily adds value to the user experience. It allows the user to something more, something useful with the same device and this is exactly what users expect from the apps.

Having got our reply, we were clear on the objective of our app design – it should add to the user experience. We wanted to make an app that any person can use ‘naturally’ instead of inventing or trying to teach new ways and gestures. Our other prime concern was making sure that all features in the app are easily accessible so that the users are not lost between several screens. We had already discussed a long list of travel utilities that are frequently required while traveling. We wanted to bring all these utilities within our app so that the traveler does not have to switch between different apps. Everything they want and need while traveling should be available right on his finger tips, and that too within a single app. But, with such a long list of utilities in the app, we also needed to make sure that everything is easily accessible right on the home screen, reducing need to searching and getting lost within the screens.Not just utilities, we were also giving travel friendly information and comprehensive travel guide, so our design should also convey information effectively. Though it sounded simple, incorporating user behavior with ease and flexibility in the design was the biggest challenge. But, having an idea of exactly what we wanted helped us in the longer run. Our idea of having utilities easily accessible led to to the one tap pane interface of our app. From choosing the colors to deciding on the sequence of utilities and appearance of the icons, there have been endless discussions. Sometimes, we even argued over what difference a shade lighter will make or whether there is a pixel difference in the alignment. Though it seemed difficult at the start, seeing the design shape up at each stage gave the confidence that we were on the right path.

It has been a long journey, from the conception of Pangea Guides to seeing our products on the shelf in stores. Though long, the journey has taught a lot to all those involved in the various stages, and has been interesting and rewarding. We tried to keep up with our objective of adding to the user value, how the actual users ‘value’ it will be evident in the coming times.    

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