UI/UX design of mobile apps is what differentiates between user delight and user dismay. For your mobile app to succeed, you need a ground breaking business strategy, a captivating UI/UX design, and a proficient mobile app development team. In the world of mobile apps, everyone wants to settle for amazing and business-centric solutions. Designing in mobile context is even more critical because of the small screen size and unsteady operating environment.
Nowadays, App Stores are crowded with millions of apps and many of them get lost in the earlier phases. According to a 2015 survey by Forrester Research -US and UK smartphone owners use an average of 24 apps per month, but spend more than 80 percent of their in-app time on just five apps. On top of that, most users abandon an app within just a month of downloading them. Too many apps are hard to use due to poor design.
Screen size and colour schemes are not the only constraints in mobile app design. According to Maier, users form the basis of your interface’s constraints. Discovering the target audiences matters a lot. A well-designed app that’s intuitive, easy to use, fun and addictive entices helps in app retention. There are three fundamental tricks for understanding your users – Personas, User Scenarios and Experience maps as highlighted in the Guide to UX Design Process and Documentation. The target users have expected behaviour and the personas are fictional characters based on this. Scenarios describe how the personas will act. The steps taken by personas are charted by the experience maps.
Conduct the Design and research work in parallel. Let’s say, you can quickly sketch out user flows based on what you’ve discussed and learned so far. Before committing to a specific path, it is best to create an interactive prototype. It’s not important to create anything fancy — your prototype and sketches can be jotted down on paper to help you understand better on how the users flow between content and actions. As prototyping and sketching will help you flesh out app ideas and will help you build a “common understanding” of every page of your app. You can outline the flow and use the writing-first approach. You may iterate the sketches on paper and build a paper prototype, cutting them into pieces.
With the recent advancements, mobile app design revolves around many device-specific criteria, such as thumb placement, orientation and posture. Research and examine popular interfaces and study the common mobile patterns to create a UI that makes users feel good while using your app. Make sure not to use a flat-out copy of the designs of others. Rather use common UI patterns as a baseline for usability, and then layer on your own creativity. Ensure that your app design matches user expectations without making them feel bored.
Consider the key points on interaction design patterns like Gestures and Animations, that needs to be mastered by the mobile app designers. Gestures are what fundamentally defines the touch devices. Your interaction design must make sense, following the gesture guide.
Motions is what keep the users grounded in the UI. There are elements that slide out of sight and elements that vanish. Another level of depth is achievable with the combination of gestures with animations.
Pay attention to finger-friendly design as finger-friendly designs are user-centric. Our fingers are fat and are much thicker than pixel-precise mouse cursors. They are about 45-57 pixels wide, bigger than what most guidelines recommend for touch targets. For instance, Apple recommends a target around 44 pixels square. Moreover, there are ways to hold our phones, using one or hands or thumb, The tablets are mostly hold on the side.
You should make room with enough space for enabling users to tap using the fingertips.
Avoid making buttons as too congested and small, users can’t tap them precisely, which only causes frustration and therefore an outright abandonment of your app.
Since Apple ditched skeuomorphism, flat is the new world for every designer. But that doesn’t mean that shadows and gradients are not alive. They’ve crept back into your design. You can just look at Google’s Material Design to see how they’ve made a strong way back. Shadows and Gradients are a very important part while thinking about buttons, toggles and other visual cues. They help make UIs appear much more natural to the user. Infact, shadows are on the underside of every UI elements. You can even use shadows and gradients to create enticing 3D buttons and input forms, where the effect makes the element appear inset or outset. It is a semi-flat design that gives the best of both worlds.
However, 3-click rule has been debunked in UX design, but it’s still worth considering while designing an app. Because it helps you in knowing whether you really need all of your screens or not. You app should be designed smartly that it should be able to perform tasks quickly and in as few steps as possible. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer advises designers in a FastCo article to use the “two-tap rule” too. She says, “Once you’re in the app, is it two taps to do anything you want to do?” If not, it’s time to redesign. The Yahoo Flickr app is a great example.
Always think about how to reduce the effort of user while using your app. The lesser they have to make effort, higher is the likelihood of your app to achieve success.
Hope you will succeed with your mobile apps designing by using the above mentioned tips.
Appinventiv is one of the best mobile app development company, growing at an outstanding pace, over the last two years. It believes in building creative, user-centric apps based on advanced technologies like that of Wearables, Beacons, Internet of Things (IoT) and others.
An award winning, author and illustrator, George Bealer is also a marketing expert. Being a social media enthusiast, he believes in the power of writing.