Controlling Clutter and Creating Clarity in Apps

Apps today are known for their hold over the way people spend their time. The most obvious example is social media, but it goes far beyond those platforms. Shopping, food, travel, anything and everything can be made to be addictive. Businesses have this in mind while making apps, what will bring people back?

The answer seems to be a balance between clutter and clarity. While the most popular apps are massive in scope, the most well reviewed tend to strike this balance. Etsy, for example, is the top rated shopping app on the App Store. It’s a massive marketplace with countless categories and sellers. Yet it doesn’t overwhelm its buyers.

In comparison to other retailers like Shein, it advertises less deals, has fewer systems, and is much clearer overall. At the same time, it does have an overwhelming amount of products, priding itself on its handmade products. The app has a lot of clutter, a lot of products people won’t want, but it makes it easy to navigate.

The same effect can be seen, admittedly in a very different way, through the top food app- Chick-fil-a. Chick-fil-a has a 4.93 on the App Store and is the top rated restaurant app. Restaurants today have a lot of competition with DoorDash, Postmates, and other external delivery services. Businesses like Chick-fil-a want people to use their app and to stay on their app.

How do they do this? They balance the clutter and keep clarity. Anyone buying from the Chick-fil-a app knows what they want. There aren’t the vast amount of options available on a service like DoorDash. Instead the appeal comes in getting what one wants quickly and clearly. Chick-fil-a then opts for a simple app which gets people their food quickly.

At the same time, Chick-fil-a needs to give people a reason to use their app. This comes in the form of the points system. The basic concept is spending more on the app leads to more points which means deals and free food. It can be cluttering to have a points system, modern games and fashion retailers prove this point well. Chick-fil-a keeps things simple and gives people clear ways to earn and use points.

It’s this balance of adding features to bring people back but not to overwhelm them that defines well-received apps. Some other quick examples are Sam’s Club with Scan and Go and Lyft with active but non overwhelming updates. These apps, alongside the ones listed earlier, are popular among consumers. They add features which do make the business money, but also genuinely serve consumers. It all goes to prove the power of having a clear, practical, but feature-filled app.

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