Mobile app developers across the globe will agree with the fact that the development of user friendly mobile apps calls for a lot of forethought. It is through this farsightedness that you can create apps that can rank high on their user experience. Here is a rundown of do’s and don’ts that you must consider while designing your mobile app. Once you keep these pointers in mind, you will be able to attract the attention of app users in more ways than you can imagine.
Firstly, let us shed light on what you should do to churn out a user-friendly and appealing mobile app.
1. Research – A Data Collation Spadework
Most of the apps fail because the developer does not research before designing them. Hence you should resist the temptation of skipping the most important task of researching and abstain yourself from jumping straight to the designing process. Researching includes that you spend time conducting a competitive analysis.
Researching supports you to work in the direction of a blueprint that you have come up with, keeping user experience as your mission statement.
2. Enlist Crucial Mobile App Characteristics
The next thing that you should do is to come up with priority features. It is a matter of excitement for developers to add many features to their apps. However, this clogs the basic intention behind a clean user experience.
You will have to decide and stick to important features that will better impact your users while doing away with such features which are good-to-have.
3. Support Every Click With Feedback
For every user input, it is important that you provide some feedback so as to direct your users to a state of process completion. Only when your app provides feedback will your users be rest assured that the desired action was performed. Without feedback, your app will keep your user guessing whether the intended process is complete or unsuccessful.
4. Do Away With Unnecessary Clutter
Too much information can spoil and complicate user experience. Cluttering does more harm to mobiles with smaller screen space when compared to desktops which have wider screens. Here, your aim is to stick to minimalism. It is best to include content that can impact your users, discarding all those elements (unnecessary images, buttons and texts) which clog the mobile screen.
5. Legible Text Drives Usability and Readability
Content is what drives your users to pick your app. The text that appears on your app is part of the content that demands attention. You should hence ensure that your text is legible so as to come up with a user-friendly mobile interface. Choosing a legible font size is a recommendation that should be given serious thought.
6. Navigation Should Be An In-Built Feature
The compelling content in your mobile app should be evident so that users locate it without any additional efforts. In view of this feature, it is important to come up with navigation patterns that are familiar to your target audience.
7. The Lesser the Typing, The Better It Is
You as a mobile user will agree with the fact that, typing on a mobile is a tiring and error-making process. Hence, the smartest tip is to minimize the typing on a small mobile screen. Removing unnecessary fields will be an intelligent move in the direction of allowing users to give you the information that you need to know.
8. Offer A Seamless User Experience Across Multiple Devices
You should not go by the idea that mobile apps offer stand-alone experiences. For a user handling multiple devices including tablets, desktop or mobile phone, he/she expects your app to provide a seamless experience across all devices.
9. The Use of Finger-Friendly Taps
It should be your objective to come up with ample touch targets for all interactive mobile desiogn elements. By doing away with smaller touch targets which lead to mistaken taps, you will be able to address the most common problem faced by mobile app users. Thus it is recommended that you include targets that are big enough for users to tap.
10. Test Your Design
A real world implementation of your mobile app will help you come up with unseen flaws that were masked during app development. Hence the trick is to test your design with multiple real users so as to work on their feedback. Their pointers will thus become your guiding light to come up with an app that only appeals to users but is also effective.
Let us now move on to the don’ts that dampen the mobile app user experience.
1. Don’t Strive to Get It Right The First Time Around
Try and try till you succeed. In line with this common adage, it is important to keep in mind that it is difficult to come up with a perfect experience with your first attempt. Even after meeting all you mobile design requirements, there is every possibility that you will step on a new set of requirements that have emerged after testing the app. Hence it is advisable to adhere to an iterative designing pattern and test your app early on.
2. Don’t Drift Away from Customer Needs
Once you start focusing on meeting customer needs, you will not get carried away by an idea that looks lucrative on the face of it but fails to deliver any benefit to users. Only when you spend time validating your design theories based on what your target audience wants, you will be in a position to work around a feedback loop that permits a solid mobile app design.
3. Jargon – A Big “No”
User interface which is devoid of jargon appeals to users. When your app starts conversing with users in the language they are comfortable with, the interaction between the interface and the users is simplified. Here, you should abstain from using words that are beyond the understanding of users.
4. Avoid Seeking User Permissions Right At The Start
It is a common phenomenon with many apps that were just downloaded to seek user permissions in the beginning itself. Such questions can discourage and confuse users who will in all probability deny such a request.
5. Abstain from Using Custom Gestures As a Primary Means to Interact With Your App
Instead of offering custom gestures to interact with your app, it pays to come up with standard gestures for shortcuts. Since users are familiar with standard gestures, they need not expend any effort to learn or recall them.
6. Users Should Not Be Kept Waiting for Content
Users’ reactions like unrest and frustration will set in when they are kept waiting for content. A black screen that pops up when the content is loading can dampen the user experience, giving an impression that the app is stalled.
7. Dead End Pages Are Best Avoided
You should be mindful of the design flow concerning user experience. Your app, with every action should move in the direction of accomplishing a goal. In this regard, you should avoid creating dead-end app pages that hamper the user flowassuch pages not only confuse users but also lead to unnecessary actions.
8. Avoid Tagging the Web Experience on Apps
If you noticed, web browsers work through links. On the flipside, it is buttons that drive mobile experiences. In line with what users expect with regard to interface elements and interaction patterns in mobile apps, you should avoid underlined links in mobile apps.
9. Don’t Lead Users to a Browser
It can be terribly frustrating for a user if the app leads him/her to a web browser, during instances requiring to either complete a task or those that seek additional content. Such an occurrence will reduce conversion rates.
10. Seeking User Feedback During Their First Experience – A Strict “No”
Notwithstanding the fact that user reviews and ratings are the important data points for the success of your app, it is through such feedback that users will either choose to download or skip an app. At times, the frequency with which the app seeks user reviews can also annoy the users when they are interrupted while performing an important function.
With new mobile apps mushrooming with each passing day, the expectations about user experiences are increasing manifold. In an attempt to sustain competition and meet the varying needs of users, you should come up with an app that is not only useful but also valuable and relevant to your target audience. Hence, the above 10 do’s and don’ts will help you attain the objective of a promising mobile app that ranks high on usability and user experience.