Evaluating the user interface (UI) of your app is a crucial practice among designers. It will give you insights on how the elements of your app should be placed, structured and designed. Here you will learn the benefits of evaluating designs with the app design evaluation and how to use its template.
The App Design Evaluation is a template with predefined design principles, these principles are used to evaluate if they are applied correctly by grading them a “success” or a “fail.”
To evaluate any design you just need a template, there you can add specific parameters that you want to measure. You can create them from scratch or take the ones we already use in our app design evaluation template.
Everybody can use the Template
The app design evaluation template is not only a great tool for designers but to product managers and product owners as well. Whether it is a landing page or a mobile app you are creating, it will help you identify critical areas in your products, and the visibility on how to proceed accordingly to your priorities. Having the results on your app it will help you give objective feedback to your design team.
The Anatomy of App Design Evaluation
The “App Design Evaluation” is created based on the following criteria.
Before we start we need to choose the designers who are going to do the review. It’s recommended to have three evaluators with an established deadline.
The evaluation shouldn’t take more than 20 minutes, making it easy to recruit help from your teammates. Three participants are suggested is that you are going to lower the expertise bias.
Each one of the evaluators will go through the app and evaluate according to their experience of how the design principles should be applied.
In case you don’t have a team with many designers you can do it yourself. It won’t affect the final
In the app evaluation template, we use seven design principles that will tell you whether a design is good or not. But it is not strictly necessary to follow them, you can add more if you want or change them completely. Just be sure to write each of the statements you want to evaluate. If you decide to follow the ones we have you can learn more about Design Principles here.
Inside the template, you will find the status option which refers to whether a specific statement under a design principle has failed or succeeded in the app. It has only two status, Success and Fail.
There are five severity values that we can choose from when we evaluate a design,
1.- Zero ( no problem )
Zero is the most favorable success outcome we can hope when doing the evaluation. It means that the statement under the design principle has been applied perfectly in all the app.
2.- One ( cosmetic )
This success value means the statement under the design principle has been applied perfectly almost in the whole app with just minor details.
3.- Two ( minor )
The two value means that the statement has barely passed as a success. The statement needs to be improved correctly in several parts of the app.
4.- Three ( mayor )
This is a failed value and it means the statement of the design principle has not been applied correctly in the app. When the statements have the severity “mayor” assigned, the user interface affects the way users interact with the app.
5.- Four ( catastrophe )
The last value means we have a significant issue in the app. The statement under the design principle is not existent or is been applied poorly in the app. It needs to be taken care of as soon as possible since the user experience in the app could be compromised.
The notes section in the template will help us document important insights on each of the design principles. It’s suggested to write notes when a statement has a fail status. The goal of writing a note is to describe why the principle has failed, by doing so, we will give context to ourselves and teammates.
Once you and your teammates finished evaluating the app there will be two different types of results that you can use,
These results are the sum of all the design principles statements with each of the severity values you and your team evaluated.
You will have a percentage calculated with all the severity points from each of the evaluators. In the end, you will get an average score from all the evaluator’s percentages that will tell you how good or bad the design of the app was.
Fail VS Success Results
These results are a little bit different from the global ones. The way they work is that instead of having the sum of the severity values we are going to have an average of all the design principles statements that have the status “failed” and then an average of each of the evaluators’ score.
Doing the evaluation will greatly impact your projects. You just need 15 – 20 minutes to finish the evaluation. At the end you will have,
- Identified specific opportunity areas in your app (e.g. checkout process needs improvement)
- Identified which Design principles your app follows and which ones need better implementation
- Identified enough insights that can be turned into actionable items quickly
- A tool to provide objective design feedback to your teammates
Now that you know how to use the app design template you can go and start evaluating your designs. Here you can download the template, feel free to update it as you see fit. App Design Evaluation Template.
Let me know if you have any questions or if there’s anything I can help you with.
Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions you might have.