You walk into the club.

You hear your favorite song over the speakers. Across the club you see her/him. Perfect hair, beautiful piercing eyes, and symmetrical features.

Your eyes meet and she/he smiles as a diamond sparkle glistens on her/his teeth.

You approach — in slow motion like in a romantic comedy — and say, “Hi!” After realizing you have so much in common, you talk all night, ignoring everyone else in the club.

Your interests, beliefs, and lifestyles are completely symbiotic. You see yourselves growing old together. Later you are happily married with a family.Many relationships follow this same lifecycle: Significant others, friends, jobs, etc.

In today’s world, relationships go beyond the real world and into the digital.We see it everyday: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Candy Crush — people have deep-rooted connections to the digital relationships they create.

So strong, in some instances, that the married couple above may be out to dinner engaging in a digital relationship while ignoring the real-world relationship right in front of them. One area where the real and digital worlds meet is the relationship a person has with his/her phone or other mobile device. How many conversations do you see centered on talking about mobile devices? iPhone 5, Droid, Galaxy S 4, iPad — people love their devices. Or they hate them severely like an old married couple that should have divorced 40 years ago but can’t because of a contract. And if you’re looking to create a mobile app and expect it to be invited into someone’s mobile device, move in, and retire there, remember the relationship lifecycle: Court, swoon, fall in love.


How do you court a potential “mate” with your mobile app? Where is the first place someone might meet your mobile app? Typically the first place someone will come across your app is the “Market.” The important factors in this brief meeting (you only get one shot at a first impression) are the following:


Does the name help a potential user know what your app does?

Is the name easily searchable and unique?

Is the icon sleek, attractive and does it stand out in a crowd?


Do the screenshots show functionality and convey the story of your app?

Does the description give the user a high-level understanding of your mobile app?

Is the description search friendly?

Product Page

With limited space, does your product page illustrate exactly what to expect from your app? Did you just make a date with the potential “mate” by securing the download?


You’ve made it past the first date and are looking to create a relationship. Key things to think about in this phase are:

Enchant me

Include animations, transitions, visual cues, touchability, consistency, and encouragement to keep your “mate” attracted. Keep them dazzled.

Engage me

Allow users to directly touch and manipulate objects in your app. It reduces the cognitive effort needed to perform a task while making it more emotionally satisfying. No one wants to have a relationship with a wall.

Where am I?

Each section in an app should be visually discernible. A user wants to know where they stand. Use transitions between sections to communicate relationships across the application. Ever had to constantly say, “Are you okay? Are you mad?” Don’t keep the user guessing.

Where is my stuff?

Remember settings and personal touches across devices — and don’t forget when to buy flowers.

Fall in Love

You have created a relationship and are looking to make it a lasting one. Your app should do the following:

  • Fulfill an immediate need. Users expect an app to do what it advertises. Don’t promise your “mate” the Moon and give them a Moon Pie.
  • Users want to see useful content immediately. Don’t make them dig to get to the important information. Allow for personalization where applicable to help fulfill this need.
  • Easy to use KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) – this is pretty… simple. Don’t forget your UX designer —they can serve as your relationship counselor.
  • Elegance: A beautiful surface, a carefully placed animation, or a well-timed sound effect is a joy to experience. Don’t let the spark fade that ignited the relationship in the first place. Now it’s time to sit on the porch swing and enjoy a nice iced tea with your “mate,” but not too much ice… it hurts your dentures.

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