Guidelines to Design a User-Friendly Mobile App

As we all know, mobile devices and the number of users who rely on mobile applications daily are constantly increasing. By the end of 2021, there will be roughly more than 7 billion mobile users worldwide (source). Considering this as a fact, the focus is to give a modern mobile user experience to users worldwide.

What is UI/UX

To begin with, UI and UX are two different things. However, they are like two sides of the same coin. A well-designed UI is what delivers great UX. In other words, UI and UX are dependent on each other.

The user experience (UX or UE) is how users interact with and experience a product, system, or service. It includes a person’s perceptions of utility, ease of use, and efficiency.

To quote Steve Jobs “Some people think design means how it looks. But of course, if you dig deeper, it’s really how it works.

User experience is also commonly known as UX or UXD. Mobile UX means how the users perceive and feel before, during, and after their interaction with an app. UX also includes all aspects of the end user’s interaction with a company and its products/services.

Importance of UI/UX

Every digital product, especially a web or mobile app has something called “stickiness”. An app that has stickiness implies that users return to the app regularly. It leads to more revenue or opportunities to monetize the app.

UI/UX is the ingredient that creates app stickiness. The convenience and seamless user experience induce a user to return to the app and use it regularly. Also, a great UI/UX can make your app stand out from a crowd of look-alikes. It will ensure that users come to the app for a USP that is missing in competitors. In other words, UI/UX can boost user loyalty and increase the app’s market share. That makes it a must-have for every mobile app.

Since the market became highly competitive these days, many users are looking for mobile applications that look appealing and feel good when they use them. Of course, software development’s success begins with an attractive look and feel-good experience, which results in a good User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI). An excellent User Interface will make the app attractive, and a superior User Experience will give the users a long-lasting impression.

Let us look into some of the points or reasons which say why our mobile applications need a good design.

  • Great UX creates app stickiness
  • It helps beat competition cost-effectively
  • It builds long-term user loyalty
  • It create multiple avenues for app monetization

A Few Factors to Consider for Better UI/UX in Mobile Applications

1.Understand user needs and behavior

The first step in UI/UX designing is understanding user needs and behavior. User needs are primarily the problems, challenges, or difficulties that users are trying to solve with the mobile app. Behaviour is the overall pattern of actions that target personas adopt while trying to solve the problem.

For example, millennial customers rely extensively on mobile apps for on-demand services while the older generation prefers talking to services over the phone.

It is necessary to understand the nuances of user needs and behavior so that the mobile app can be designed with a perfect UI/UX.

To understand the user needs, the developers have to share the beta version of the application to test. The test group should not contain people who were not part of the design and development team.

While testing, the developers need to collect the details like how the testers are navigating inside the app, how comfortable they are, how frustrated they are while accessing the app functionalities, etc. This will help to improve the UI/UX of the application before it goes live. But unfortunately most cases, this will not be happening because of time constraints and impatience. Collecting the feedback from the testers will help the developers to introduce any necessary changes if required.

2. Follow best practices and standards.

There are adequate app developer guides generated and published by the team who built the tools and frameworks used to develop the mobile applications.

The designer must know about these guidelines and must be able to combine his design skills with the instructions provided in the guide. These approaches will help the designer keep consistency while designing each page and making the UX a high-quality standard one. If the designer is improvising or experimenting outside the well-tested framework will not be a good practice.

3. Balance in the real estate

The designer should consider this factor when designing the UI that utilizes the mobile applications’ space considering the different device form factors. This has become significant when the users experiencing the app in other conditions like one-handed use, use the application in a low bandwidth data connection, use the applications in different lighting conditions, and buttons and links are big enough to access and press, etc. If the app design is not considering these factors, then the user experience would not be that good.

4. The design should be Awesome.

Design is not just arranging the various elements in a particular order instead it should focus on accomplishing a specific purpose. There is no good definition for design, but by giving the applications to the users for testing in different conditions, getting feedback, and based on the application’s purpose, the designer can make the design an awesome one.

5. Use of Native components and recommendations

When it comes to mobile applications, all the popular native frameworks are already defined as a complete set of UI Pallets/UI Elements for the developers to pick and develop the UI while app development easily. While designing, if the designers can align the components with the above-mentioned UI elements will help the developers to avoid a lot of customization while developing the design, which will eventually reduce the time and effort required and improve the app performance.

6. Launch speed

If the app is taking an unusual time to launch the pages, it will not give the users a good impression about the app, and such apps from the app store will not fall under the category of user-friendly apps.

Every user wants to see the details immediately, and they will not wait for the data to load by waiting for a long. There are many aspects to be considered while developing in order to keep the loading time low. Lower loading time will always improve the user experience so the bounce rate of the users will also be low.

UI/UX Design Principles

  • The size of the target on the touch screen should be big enough to capture the user’s action.
  • Most of the users are using mobile devices one-handed, so it is very important and advisable to check the design patterns and pixel measurements the frameworks provide in their guidelines and use them.
  • Users are often using their thumbs (~49% of the users), either left-hand or right-hand, to touch the screen and go for actions. The design should be so that the users can reach their thumbs wherever on the screen comfortably.
  • Arrangement of the screens inside the app and navigating to each of them intuitively will help the users avoid confusion while using the app.
  • Design should not be complex and confusing for the user; simple design and dynamic functionality across the app will help.
  • Text substance ought to be comprehensible. At the same time, accommodating the content without losing the necessary information is also essential.
  • Minimizing the data input options will help. Users do not like to type a lot on a very small screen.

Best Mobile App UI/UX Designs Examples

Spotify

H&M

Slack

Glovo

Dropbox

Medium

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