4 UX Tips To Help You Design Your First Mobile App
As of June 2016, there were over 2.2 million apps on the Google Play store. Another study published by Google, states that only a fourth of the apps installed on a smartphone are used on a daily basis. Overcoming such staggering numbers and letting your app shine through will require a good user experience and friendly interface design. Recent advancements in mobile technology and the fierce app competition have taken mobile design to exceptionally high standards. Users have come to expect nothing less either. The ‘MVP does not need to be well designed’ ideology only works when your idea is exceptionally unique and solves the problem 10x better than the current solution.
Below I share 4 pointers that’ll help you come up with decent UX design for your first mobile app:
1. Start From The Basics
Designing for a mobile is inherently very different from designing for the laptops and bigger screens. Hence putting together an application by reducing the design and content of your website is not a great idea.
You should ideally start thinking of the mobile app’s UX from the absolute basic. How would you, if you were a user, want the experience to happen. What would be the first screen that you would want to see. Is login an absolute necessity for the user to progress?
A bottom up thinking will give you some clarity on how the user should ideally flow and this will give you a good starting point while designing the user experience for your mobile app.
2. KPI Based User Design
Mobile applications will be a natural extension to your business, and based on your business objectives, your app should be single mindedly focussed on achieving the business goal. If you are a hotel booking company, the only task your app should focus on is getting a user to book a hotel successfully.
If you’re a content based company, your KPIs would include the time spent by users on your mobile application. So your app needs to do two things really well – 1. Allow your users to read without any noise 2. Seamlessly lead the user to similar articles that he/she may find useful.
A good exercise to ensure your first app has a good user experience, is to define the KPIs (key performance indicators) even before you start the design process. Stick to designing features/flows/process that’ll help with meeting the KPIs.
3. Comply with the Platform Standards
Smartphone manufacturers have invested considerable amount of money and time educating users on how the devices work. Certain gestures, swipes and taps are so ingrained in the user’s psyche that designing something new might just confuse them. The gestures are also designed with very specific reasons in mind. For example, the long press in Android is usually implemented to prevent accidental taps. It is also usually implemented for actions that are not required very often.
The best way to ensure familiarity with your app is to stick to the underlying principles of the platform you’re designing the app for. Interface design, colors and images can be changed to fit your brand.
A drastic shift from the platform convention might do your app more harm than good.
4. Keep it Insanely Simple
Mobile screens are small. You only have so much real estate to work with. If you try to stuff in features, design elements or heavy amounts of text, you might end up overwhelming the user. Keeping the feature set to a bare essential should be a priority. Using white spaces, clean design principles and well designed icons in place of text can go a long way in making it easier for your user to navigate your app.
Designing for a simple user experience will also make the app faster (unless you’ve used the wrong tech stack – in which case, we’re there to help). Certain apps come with a quick walk through to help people understand the basics, but if you see the need to put in a proper user guide, a FAQ of sorts, then it’s probably time to hit the drawing board again.
We hope these pointers help you kickstart your user experience design for your first mobile app, and in the right direction. Keeping a focus on user experience right from the beginning will save you a lot of frustration going forward. It can also be the difference between success and failure!