My iPhone app is in the final polish stage. I have been designing it using pretty much standard iPhone UI elements. Now as this will hit the crowd soon, by looking at other apps in the store, I am a little worried that my app - location based - does not look fancy or cool as the ones out there. But I had a really hard time finding a UI designer. Should I really worry about it? Do I really need to make it really fancy/cool before releasing it?
Excellent application design could have a multiplier effect on the success of a product. If you have a product that offers no unique functionality compared to other apps that are available, then design is a potential area for competition.
Imagine 10 people download your app with the standard UI. Two people are completely dissatisfied, seven are adequately satisfied, and one is extremely satisfied. It's the people in the "extremely satisfied" category that may end up helping to promote your products and your company.
Now imagine that you have the best-designed app of its category. Imagine 10 people downloading this version of your product. None are dissatisfied, three are adequately satisfied, and seven are extremely satisfied. Those seven people each tell two or three other people about your app, and there's a domino effect in the sales of your app.
In this example, design can really be substituted for any noticeable aspect of your app that differentiates your product from the other products in the category. What are you offering to customers that exceeds their expectations?