A Look at Three Twos: Part III

For my final post on this subject, I will look at two Mobile Apps and highlight some of the design positives and negatives I’ve experienced while using them.


Liked App: Redmart Singapore

Redmart is a Singaporean e-grocery startup that has been making waves since it’s inception in 2012. With nearly 60 million in funding so far, competitors like Household.sg and GoFresh.sg have slowly faded away into obscurity. For someone without a car, online shopping is an essential part of life.

Even after countless design revisions, their site and mobile app remains straightforward and easy to use.

Functional, yet still aesthetically pleasing.

Design takeaways:

  • Defined Information Hierachy — Well-defined grocery categories, with responsive search and accurate filters.
  • A ‘Visual’ Browsing Experience — Good idea to include pictures in subcategories as a visual guide to customers can immediate pick up on.
  • Familiar Interface — While I personally dislike hamburger menus, most consumers are arguably well-acquinted with their use and will not have much difficulty finding what they are looking for.

Disliked App: ShowNearby

As far as local mobile apps for looking up nearby amenities and locales go, ShowNearby probably isn’t the best. But WhereTo.sg has never worked for me, and Google Maps still isn’t quite good when it comes to locating the nearest ATM or AXS machine in an unfamiliar locations.

And so I resign myself to using an app which seems to have not been updated in design since the early 2010s.

When was the last time you saw skeumorphism in your app?

Design Takeaways:

  • Archaic, old-school design — It’s frustrating to look at. Function over aesthetics is one thing, but it’s clear the developer no longer really cares. I have an iPhone 5 and there are already black bars symptomatic of 1x resolutions. What would it look like with an iPhone 6 which works in 3x?
  • Presents all its options in an alphabetical list — Without any further subcategorisation, finding what you’re looking for can be a mess. Thankfully, I pretty much only look for ATMs and AXS machines.
  • Vague Copy and Incomplete Iconsets — The app uses it’s own app icon for items on the list that do not have their own icons. Futher, the “Home” category lumps together ‘Nursing Homes’ and ‘Home Plumbing’ and ‘Home Marketing’ locations. This leads to a confusing experience for users.

And that’s the end of this short series of observations. If you’ve been reading, thank you for making it so far.

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