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Do these before you design Mobile UX - Part 1

8 min read

Mobile app development is quickly taking centre-stage in development as more and more development becomes mobile-first. Google shared a study that showed an average user has about 36 apps installed on their device and uses just 9 of them on a daily basis. Statistically, only four percent of the apps will be used for over a year.

A more usable app is high on user engagement and has reduced chances of app uninstalls.

As per one study, 86% of American app users have stopped using mobile apps due to poor performance. A user’s initial experience with your app can make or break your long-term relationship. Mobile design can be a tricky subject, with many things to consider when creating a mobile app.

So, how do we make sure, we’re creating an app that will be loved by users? It’s all about research. Now, this is the toughest part where you need to know where to start, what to start. It’s about observing and understanding your users and using that knowledge to design a great app. To proceed further for preparing a well-designed UX, you need a clear understanding of the overall project: the app’s purpose, the target audience, the company’s goals, and the problem it’s trying to solve.

When it comes to mobile apps, performance and usability are everything.

Before you Start with UX

  • Be clear with Requirements

    First of all, be clear with the client’s requirements. A project that starts off in the right direction has more chance of ending up in the right place. The more time spent understanding clear requirements, the more likely it is that the end product will function as it should. It definitely takes a good amount of time but great things take time to build. And it will result in a product with fewer guideline clarifications, code updates and fewer bugs.

    A problem well stated is a problem half solved.Charles Kettering

  • Know Your Audience

    Once you get the requirements, you need to ask yourself - who is my audience? Identifying your audience in the initial stage makes it easy to plan the design and functionality around its preferences. If you don’t know the end-users of your product, it’s likely to fail your expectations of success. But once you learn what customers need and what they expect to get from a mobile app, lots of design decisions will come easily.

    People ignore design that ignores people.Frank Chimero

    How to figure out your users’ needs? You need to ask a few questions to yourself -

    • Are you developing an app for people in a particular country or region, or do you want your app to have global appeal?

    • Is the app for a 6-year-old baby or for a 65-year-old? Is it specifically designed for men or women?

    • What will users get from your app?

  • You can ask a few users and can clear your confusion before jumping in the water. You can use social media to know the preferences of users.

  • Simplify Functionality

    We all have experienced the anxiety of a cluttered desktop. Can you imagine it on a mobile app? Every added button, image, piece of content, etc., makes things that much more complicated.

    The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.Hans Hofmann

    Lots of functions that work great on desktops may not work on mobile devices at all. That’s why mobile functionality should be optimized and simplified. How can you achieve that? Focus on minimalism. Simplify the navigation process like a home icon for the home screen, a chat bubble for messaging, etc. Prioritize one main action on each screen.

  • Use Your Branding

    User experience and brand experience are the two sides of the same coin? Both brand experience and user experience inherently focus on the same thing - the user. Whether a user is accessing content through an app or website, the transition between them should be seamless. The design elements should mirror one another. For example, you can’t use red for the app and yellow for the website. This will build trust in users regarding the brand.

  • What is your key feature?

    You do not want to leave your user confused. It should be clear to the user, that easily lets him understand what they can do and what they can’t.

    Jaq Andrews, Marketing & Technology Specialist at Zco Corporation said, “We always advise our clients to focus on simple, intuitive functionality rather than trying to cram in dozens of features. It’s easy to overwhelm mobile users, so an app should have one to three main functions. Once it’s established and has a user base, more functionality can be added; at that point, users will appreciate the new stuff and will tell others how handy or fun the app is.”

    The menus and related options should be simple and easy to understand even for a first-time user. For instance, if you have multiple icons with different functions, you should make it easy to get started. Once you are clear on what you need to do, you need to add brevity to your app like Terms & Conditions and Usage.

  • A touch of personalization

    For mobile apps, personalization is key to improving the user experience. Personalization can also help achieve marketing goals. It’s a win-win for all the stakeholders involved. By offering personalization, you increase the chances that your users keep using your app for a very long time. The simple reason is that users will experience what is likable by them and now everything that your app offers.

Once you’re all clear with all that, you are ready to move on to actual UI/UX of the application. That we’ll see in Part 2, where you will get to know what best practices you need to keep in mind to make sure your users love using your mobile app.

Continue reading - ​ Do these before you design Mobile UX - Part 2

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