Having a mobile friendly and user-friendly app is not the same thing. The two may coincide together but often a mobile-friendly app does not always prove to be friendly for the user.
As it says in the above image taken from a blog of an agency that offers Marketing and SEO services in Orlando, up to 80% websites are now mobile optimized, which explains why the focus has been and will be on mobile applications. This is why mobile applications are considered the future of the internet.
Functionality, connectivity, and consistency can be taken for granted but some things are impossible to ignore in a bad app. An app that keeps showing ads and asking you to make in-app purchases claiming to be free can be a major deal breaker and make you want to run the other way.
While we don’t realize it, connectivity, consistency, and functionality are pivotal to the user experience. Functionality is compromised when an app user has to click an intrusive banner ad in between usage for the 100th time. Consistency is reduced when your app keeps crashing. And connectivity goes out the window when your app lacks the in-app sharing experience users look for to share their achievements, pictures, and posts.
The number of people using mobile technology has increased exponentially over the years. Programmers are creating more mobile-centric apps and activities to upgrade the phone user experience to a modern one.
A user’s experience begins even before they use the app. The person’s first impression and response to the app before installing it is a very important icebreaker. The aftertaste is just as important when the user finishes using the app.
Businesses in several industries have found an immense increase in revenue and customers by improving upon their apps so it gives the same experience as their stores and sometimes even better. This has led to so many (including loyal customers) switching to online shopping altogether.
To ensure the users get the stellar experience they seek, here are some essential dos and don’ts you should keep in mind.
Building a User-Friendly app
Let the customer set the rules
A large array of choices and heated competition gives customers the power to select the most appropriate app and device for themselves and invest in a guaranteed stellar experience.
People opt to use more than one device at a time and with multiple apps. Keep upgrading them along the way to suit the progressive technology. The secret to satisfied customers is to offer a modern, high-quality and consistent interface and guide their experience.
Understanding the User’s Context
Cell phone experiences largely depend on factors linked to the app while some are associated with the user’s personality and the context of the function.
For example, when you are checking your phone, you are usually multitasking. Sometimes it is a form of ‘killing time’ while on your way to another task.
As discussed earlier, customers use their phones when they are busy with another task that requires less attention. Therefore, when designing your app, keep an ‘on the go’ approach to their activity with no time to lose.
A sign of a good user-friendly app is that it uses all the area on the screen in a well-balanced manner. Your designs and layout’s face value is a combination of well-balanced placement on the screen and consistency in functionality. This means that the features of your app should be applicable in all situations and contexts for the user.
Commitment to Security of the User
The user places their trust as soon as they install your app, which requires sharing sensitive information. User’s transactions and interactions should be kept confidential. You should employ a safe user-friendly cell phone design and collaborate only with those third parties that follow a strict security protocol to provide a carefree, secure user experience.
The concept of a good design may be subjective as it relies upon the style and preferences the user selects. It is the blueprint for organizing the elements in such a manner to achieve a particular purpose.
To elaborate further, a good design is simple, obvious and transparent. The best way to know whether your design works is to follow the trial-and-error strategy.
Sustainable and Gradual Improvement
The main motive behind the development of technology is to upgrade and empower the users and simplify their lifestyles. If you want to keep yourself from oblivion, follow the latest upgrades and keep things fresh by constantly innovating.
Keep upgrading and developing your software, your collaborations and the services you provide to your customers. Only a creative stance can guarantee maximum user experience and bring you optimal results.
Mistakes to Avoid
Don’t Obsess Over Color
Less is more. A cluttered interface can significantly affect your user experience. Stick to a theme when selecting your colors. Restrict yourself to a limited palette of colors to achieve a no-nonsense design.
Learn from the best and try to use the old school black and white duo. This combination sharpens tones for headers and other highlighted areas. Attract the user’s attention with a vibrant orange or red palette. A lack of color diversity minimizes distractions allowing users to freely navigate through the interface with no fear of clicking blunders.
Icons are more than Decoration
The most important interactive feature of any app is its icons. They ensure smooth and quick interaction if placed strategically. To achieve a user experience that allows swift and smooth app usability on the go, icon designs can be massive game changers. Precisely created icons guarantee a smooth workflow.
Ensure compatibility of the devices
Compatibility plays a huge role in making your app user-friendly. Whether the user operates your app on a tablet, smartphone or laptop it should work smoothly and swiftly across all devices. Consistency, functionality, and interactivity need to be considered. Therefore, you need to make sure you run compatibility tests with the latest operating systems.
Even the most excellent applications failed the compatibility test because of not keeping a check on the latest running operating systems. Hence, if you believe your design is perfect, make sure it works in the latest operating system to make it successful.
Guidelines for creating a user-friendly app
Understand your users’ needs
Before you can design a user-friendly app, you need to know what the user needs and desires. You need to put yourself in their shoes and discover who they are, what excites them and what their goals are. Acquiring their persona could help you develop a tailor-made application for your users.
Grids can be useful when the users switch from one page to another. Grids can help you maintain consistency, visual connections and unify designs throughout the app.
Design for all platforms
It is not only about the devices but also the platforms. Whether your user is using the WWW or desktop to access the app, their user experience should be smooth and consistent.
Make it Realistic
The more your app replicates the real world, the better it will perform. Responding to real needs and functioning in real-time makes the user experience fantastic. Researching on people’s behavior according to your product would be the first step to realizing a realistic, user-friendly app.
Keep a serious approach to the user’s offline experience. The app’s quality and running consistency should not be affected whether offline or online. The complete user experience comprises both the online and offline experience.
- Do not take the app-user experience for granted.
- Incorporate creativity and do not underestimate the complexity of mobile app design.
- Handle the step-by-step process with patience.
- Take your time understanding and estimating your users’ behavior.
- Do not seek shortcuts. Skipping the foundation building blocks can be detrimental to your developing app. Understand the purpose of your app before you develop and design it. Aim, improvements, and functionality all need to be kept in mind.