As far as native mobile app UI design is concerned, you never have too many options. Naturally, smaller device screens and less attentive audience requires your mobile UI design to be fast paced, easy to notice and least cumbersome.
How to get it right with all these attributes? Well, here are 7 sure shot ways to create highly effective mobile UX design.
1. Stick to the rules of interactive design
You have less screen space, right? But who says that it prevents you from following the principles of interaction design? Well, actually it is essential to stick to interaction design principles to mobile screens.
- Objectively focused design: First of all you should design for the right user persona.
This requires in-depth user research and setting specific goals for the users. You can only customize an app based on the users you want to address and objectives.
- Usability: Well, it does not take any brainstorming to know that your app needs to be usable. You should ensure optimum ease of use for users.
- Using signifiers correctly: Affordance refers to the function while signifiers direct audience to these functions. For instance, a CTA button with hovering effect clearly signifies that clicking on this will lead to a different section or page. If your signifiers are confusing, users may not understand the function behind it.
- Intuitive learning: Every designer wants users to learn how to use the UI intuitively within a flickering second. This is often ensured by the appropriate use of design patterns.
- Feedback: Feedback allows knowing whether a task was done or not. The feedback can be given with a little sound, the opening of a separate window, an animated figure and so on. Simple and quickly comprehensible feedback will look great on small devices.
2. Knowing users
Actually, users are the basis of all your constraints in UX design. Naturally, it is imperative to know your users in depth for designing an objectively focused UI. Here are the important aspects to consider in this respect.
- Personas: To figure out the user behavior creates user personas with all details.
- User context: Scenarios and contexts for user personas have to be determined to know the possibilities of user behavior in different situations.
- Mapping experience: A single interaction can result in a variety of experiences and reactions. You need to have a clear view of these experiences with various interactions.
3. App onboarding
What do your users feel when coming onboard for the first time? That is the first question to ask. The first impression is often the final impression and so app onboarding is so crucial to determining the success of your app. This is irrevocably the most important stage that determines how a new user is experiencing the app for the first time. Remember, once leaving an app without finding anything important these users are very unlikely to return, especially as Google has offered 15 days money back guarantee with every new app purchase.
- First of all, you need to educate the new users about how easily to interact with the app. This may include a little use of tutorial or guiding text appearing at different steps.
- You should also allow users o skip such tutorials and guidance when they are no longer needed.
- The onboarding experience instantly should make it clear what the app is all about and what users can gain from it.
4. Stripping off unnecessary features
Often great app UX is ensured by less amount of features that are crucial to the functioning of the app. For a simple and easy to use UX you need to ensure that the app does not suffer from an overload of features.
- Take the key features that you absolutely need and strip it off from all other features that are creating an overload.
- Avoid incorporating too many form fields and features to ensure quick and easy interaction.
5. Content mapping and user flowchart
In most of the great UX championed by loyal users and steady business, conversion makes both design and research work simultaneously. For instance, a user flowchart can be sketched on the basis of user research done so far. Here are some simple ways to do it.
- Before a decisive final say about the design, just build a simple prototype. This will help you understand how app users flow in between contents and actionable areas.
- You can start with making an outline to come out with fresh app ideas and develop a common understanding.
- The UX outline actually helps you getting a clear picture of different page flows while sketched prototype incorporates those flows with vivid details of layout and structure.
6. Remember that gradients and shadows are still effective
While less is the new more in web design, the flat is the most imposing design convention that continued for years in a row. But, obviously, that never says that gradients and shadows are no longer effective. Well, with Google’s material design they are back again, this time with subtle elements of flat design.
- When considering using the visual cues like the buttons, toggles, etc. shadows help to add prominence to them.
- But overall design elements can be designed flat to allow ease of access and usability.
7. A balanced layout
Clutter and design overload are the two names of the same culprit that has been boycotted by most designers and users. Yes, we no longer like design with too many elements. Neither we like flashy web pages nor our senses get appeased with too many colors distracting our senses.
That is why using lot of white or negative space around design has become an effective fad now.
- Give prominence to your contents by allowing white or negative space around it.
- Use effective storytelling effect with designs like parallax scrolling, a little bit of motion and animation design and full-screen visuals.
- Enhance design elements with visually engaging contrast of colors.
- Use a typeface that helps users reading content without making a visual distraction.
Remember, trends can be outdated but the basic principle of an engagement driving UX design remains the same. It is the usability and interactive ease that remains at the heart of effective UX.
Keval Padia is a Founder & CEO of Save Contact Form 7 and Nimblechapps – a fast-growing mobile app development company. The current innovation and updates of the field lures him to express his views and thoughts on certain topics.
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