Life is sorted. Everything is available on mobile apps now. We’re living in revolutionary times. The power that web has given to us is enormous. It has made our life, both, easy and difficult. Every one of us has now access to a plethora of information. A swarm of mobile applications is available on the store to make your life easy. For things as small as which baby stroller to buy, we have become dependent on our mobile devices.
Our eyes and ears are always open to that new cool app which is making waves in the market. And every mobile app which becomes a craze among its users has one reason behind it- excellent User Experience. A lot of people believe that design is about making applications look pretty. Ofcourse, a part of it is true. Anything which looks good improves the user experience. But what if it doesn’t satisfy customer needs?
A good design includes creating each and every interaction to delight users. Remember what Steve Jobs said?
“It’s not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”
A bad user experience will give you a thousand thumbs down within minutes. The application must delight its users, both with functionality and experience. The mobile app interface should appeal to the users. I am sure you can relate to the experience when the mobile application works perfectly but doesn’t excite user to use it? What if the application looks pretty but its functionalities are broken? In these cases, you need to look at what works for users and what doesn’t.
Well, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. But here are some strategies that you can implement which have always worked wonders-
Design long-lasting products
The argument to stay up-to-date with all the latest trends might clash with this but when we say design long-lasting products, we mean that the products should not age prematurely. The product should not become out of style with time. Design something neutral, which can live longer and is not just a passing design fad.
Dieter Rams, a very famed industrial designer, says-
“You cannot understand good design if you do not understand people; design is made for people.”
He conceived these 10 design principles fifty years ago. He says he didn’t intend these principles to be set in stone forever. If you read them, you will understand why these didn’t mutate with time. They are still accepted and implemented till date. So your design should follow the latest design trends, but do it while keeping in mind your end user.
Keep It Simple, Stupid!
Less is More– this famous proverbial phrase emphasizes on why you should keep things simple and clear. The idea is that simplicity and clarity in thoughts lead to good design. When you are designing, take instances from your real life. How do you like to keep your stuff at home? Clean and organized? Use that thought in your design. Move away from clutter.
Every element in your design should serve a purpose. It shouldn’t just sit there as a pretty object. Minimalism is a tricky thing. Offer your user space where they can find action buttons easily. Reduce the load of information, keep navigation flow easy and let the user win. So, even if you are designing a web page to sell potato or onions, don’t make the user think!
The large clear fonts set the message straight- loud and clear. The background color places the user’s mind into the right frame of mind. The CTA buttons allow users to move directly to the action. Minimalism does not mean you start removing elements from the design, it’s about removing the unnecessary and keeping just enough which can depict your story.
Make an impressive user-onboarding flow
A lot many people uninstall apps they just downloaded when their onboarding experience is ruined. If you ask for too many permissions (camera, Gallery, contacts, location) then the user might become irritated. Collect only relevant information which is usable for you. Give your user flexibility to log in from different platforms- Facebook, Twitter, being two very popular options.
After you have made the user signup successfully, offer him a quick tour of what is the app about- where are the profile settings, where is the action button, which features are available and where. Even here, provide an option to ‘Skip’.
Use appropriate colors to make a connection
According to the color theory, if we apply logic to the selection of colors, it can greatly enhance our user experience. In visual experiences, colors should be pleasing to the eye. Anything which is pleasing increases engagement of the viewer and encourages him/her to get involved. On the other hand, when something is not pleasing to the eye, it is either dull or chaotic.
If the visual experience is boring and dull, then the monotonic appearance will keep user disengaged. The human mind will not perceive that information effectively. On other extremes, if the use of colors is overdone, it becomes chaotic. So much so that the user cannot comprehend the motive.
So color harmony which delivers visual interest to the user and a sense of structure is essential. And that is why it is important to create emotions with colors in UX Design.
Make Navigation Simple
You can have a pretty website with colorful and stylish design and astonishing images, but it pains my heart to say that it will be an utter failure if users don’t make any purchase from it. Simple and intuitive navigation helps them take an action. Every step should guide them to a result and help them understand trivial things, like:-What brand they are looking at
-What is the particular page about
-Where can they find the menu
-How can they get back to the previous page or next page
-Is there a way they can apply filters or search a particular product
-How can they make a purchase
-From where can they contact a concerned person
-How can they give feedback or suggestions
All this is vital and needs to be designed with utmost care because if user is made to waste time on these crucial things then they will immediately switch to a better option.
The digital era is here to make our experience faster & more convenient as compared to real life experiences. Make it worthwhile!
Just as a well dressed and a well-mannered person will always attract attention; similarly a mobile app interface with good design which solves users’ problems will always attract user’s attention. The most important thing which you need to keep in mind is to make sure that your design is both useful and intuitive. The world of app development is bursting and it will continue to grow by leaps and bounds. You, my friend, must learn to create an outstanding user interface that makes your mobile application amazing.