How To Design For App Crashes?
10 Jun 2018

How To Design For App Crashes?

Post by Mobile Design Guy

It seems a lot of people and by people I mean, designers, developers, and even business managers forget how to handle things for the user when things go wrong, seriously wrong. This is another huge part of experience even if it is an edge case that very few users experience, well, if your app is worth anything at all.


Now there is one way to handle this regardless if your app is hybrid, native or native using some HTML wrapped pages. As you know if you read any of my stuff and any serious app designers writings, you’ll know that you should ONLY be doing full native apps with very few exceptions. It’s just a better experience for the user and I will do a post on this to dig in deeper for those who question what is better.


So here is how to handle app crashes so that the user is handled through the process and understands what is going on. This is really simple which is why I can’t understand why some high profile apps miss this and certainly a lot of new apps. Bottom line is you do not want to leave your user with a crash report or a dead app. You want to get them back to somewhere that they can pick back up or start again and message them gently that something went wrong and please start again. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT tell the user your app crashed.


Here is a design example of one way to handle this, which I do not recommend. Using a standard Google Material/Android Dialog with simple messaging. At least put a RETRY Flat Button instead of OK for the user to try again to see if it’s working.

Android App Crashes

Here is a better way to handle it more natively and allows the user clearer instructions on how to proceed. Use a snackbar to gently let the user know there is an issue and a way to RETRY whatever they are in the middle of trying to do. Keep it simple. Below is an example of 1.0 and 2.0 of Google Material Design Snackbars with action button. Below is a design example and a sketch file to help you get started.

Google Material Design Android Snackbars

I hope this helps and I hope it makes things better for your users.



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