Design is a broad word used in multiple industries. There are different categories of designing across multiple industries like interior design, product design, print design, fashion design, digital design, etc. Although each of these denotes a distinct and different form of design, there is one element common to all these types of designing.
That is – the user perspective!
All these creatives are designed with the end-user in the mind.
Especially, when it comes to digital designing, the ones that offer better user experiences turn out to be the winning designs.
So, ‘User Experience’ is everything!
A recent survey states that an average user has about 30 apps installed in their device, out of which they use just 8 to 9 apps on a daily basis. Such being the case, it becomes extremely important for the app developers and brands to ensure that their apps are easy to use and high on user engagement.
In this article, we uncover the core elements of an effective user experience design and how to use basic UX principles and guidelines to your advantage. Also, it is studied that there is a 52% higher chance that apps with better UX designs reap the benefits of ‘word of mouth marketing’.
Here are a few core user experience guidelines for you to keep in mind before you approve your mobile app design:
#1 Ease of use, access, and navigation
Build apps that are simple and easy to use. The different features of the app should be designed in such a way that they are easy to view, use, and access. Navigating across multiple pages, sections or features should be seamless and hassle-free.
Here are a few points to ponder to ensure ease of use in your mobile UX design:
- Use effortless, plain, and direct design elements.
- Keep the important features and information readily visible and accessible.
- Simplify the user journey and reduce distractions in the design.
- Reduce the number of steps taken to achieve the final result and keep it as minimal as possible.
- Help your users to get their pain points addressed as quickly as possible.
- Do not have any element in your design that is not contributing to user goals.
- Use straightforward yet compelling content that directs your users on what action to take.
#2 Brevity is the core of the user-centric design
Keep your design minimal and simple. Simple designs attract users and go a long way in engaging them for a long time on the app. Another key design element you need to focus on is the user-centered approach.
Here are four core design elements that contribute to simplicity and user-centered approach:
- Improve clarity – Keep your content, design, and information clear, legible, and clutter-free. Use content and design to convey your message that catches your user’s attention clearly and swiftly at first glance.
- Limit options – Choices are distracting and confusing. Build your mobile app design with limited choices for the users to make. The road to the final goal should take no diversion.
- Practise empathy – Empathy is the core of user experience design. Wear your customers’ (end-users) shoes to get a hang of the real user perspective and build your designs accordingly.
Keep it intuitive – Your mobile app design has to be self-explanatory and intuitive. Create a simple and easy-to-understand user interface design that is visually pleasing yet compelling, and doesn’t require guidance to use.
#3 Usability & user goals
It is researched that a good and user-friendly app allows the user to find the prime information they are looking for and achieve their goal within 3 seconds. A lot of designers create visual gimmicks and other flowery items which are attractive and good-looking but do not add value to the user goals. These may be deceiving but such apps only sound great in design but they do not pass the UX tests. It is important to build your apps with attractive visuals yet with an easy-to-use user experience design that lets the user accomplish their goals just like that, on the go.
- The user shouldn’t be compelled to act on anything that is not their big pain point.
- There is a high chance that ‘usability’ may be easily missed in the app design. To overcome this, you need to create user personas and ensure if the pain points are addressed and goals are met.
#4 Well defined CTA buttons
Call-to-action (CTA) buttons are designed to help serve the user’s goals. These CTA buttons need to be designed in a powerful manner. The designers need to focus on the grand objectives and conversion goals and incorporate them on the CTA buttons. The CTA buttons should have an enticing microcopy that encourages the users to take appropriate and desired actions. The call-to-action buttons need to draw the user’s attention with a size and color that go hand in hand with the app design and conversion goals.
Here are a few UX rules for designing CTA buttons that stand out:
- Keep the microcopy on the CTA button concise, clear, direct, and goal-oriented.
- Use contrasting colors on your CTA buttons. Contrasting colors trigger the user’s interests and curiosity and are relatively more clickable.
- Choose colors based on the color theories and psychologies that resonate with the emotions of your target audience.
Typography plays a pivotal role in providing a pleasant user experience for your app users. It is one of the often neglected attributes of user experience designing. Focusing on typography helps you arrange your text and fonts in a visually pleasing and easily readable fashion.
Here are some key points to consider while finalizing the typography for your mobile apps:
- Font size is a prime factor. Contemporary design architecture has typography with a bigger font size that increases readability and legibility.
- Use a desirable line-length of 30-40 characters per line which is researched to be ideal for the mobile screens.
- White space plays a significant part in translating your design and content seamlessly into a story. Use white space in ample yet judiciously to fit your design and content.
- Make sure your fonts and design elements are not packed compact and look messy to the users. You must have enough breathing space in your design. Use appropriate indenting and alignment tactics in your typography to facilitate ease of tap and scrolling.
#6 Assortment and visual hierarchy
The elements in your mobile app design and content need to be assorted and made readily and effortlessly consumable. Adopting a visual hierarchy technique helps to achieve this. Visual hierarchy organizes different elements of the interface clearly so that users get the difference between the layout objects, features, and other elements. Visual hierarchy assists the user to consume content step by step, navigate across pages and features in the desired direction and take the end-action favorably. The main focus of the app design needs to be on providing effortless access to all the layout objects and elements. The menu bar, multiple tabs, navigation buttons, chat bubbles, entry/exit popups, hyperlinked texts, anchor texts, major call to action buttons and all other elements need to be coherently assorted in your mobile app design.
#7 Mobile-friendly design and development
Make sure your app is responsive and looks good on multiple mobile brands and devices without any alignment or loading issues. It is studied that speedy page loads play a vital role in decreasing cart abandonment rate and increasing the app usage. Design your app with lightweight elements that require less time, data, and memory to load. You also need to ensure that your app does not drain the user’s battery or consume more data in the background when not in usage too. Focusing on rendering a pleasant user experience involves all these technical factors that developers often fail to ensure.
If you want your mobile app to be used, loved, and recommended by its users, you need to understand that the user experience is the key to unlock mobile app success. Following these steps will help you thoughtfully craft the design for your mobile apps. Such thoughtfully designed apps are not only more usable and high on UX score, but also have fewer chances of app uninstalls.
You need to ensure that your app designers follow the best practices in user experience and adopt contemporary design guidelines. In the next chapters, we will unlock prototyping – the next phase of mobile user experience and the best prototyping tools that help you to improve user experience.
Design is a very crucial phase in mobile app development. And user experience plays an extremely substantial role in making the app loved by the users. To get a free consultation on how to improve your mobile app’s user experience, write to us at email@example.com.
Siam Computing has a team of expert designers who have years of hands-on experience in delivering excellent mobile app designs for multiple industries. We follow the best design standards and use the latest technologies to build robust and intuitive mobile apps on multiple platforms.