User experience is the mainstay of a mobile app. Right from the point when a mobile app development project is initiated until it is finalized, UX design is given paramount importance so that the app users get a pleasant experience throughout the app. Who do we build mobile apps for? The users, right? Ultimately, they are the ones who actually decide whether the app will get recognition in the market or go unnoticed like many others.
As of the first quarter of 2021, there are over 3.4 and 2.2 million apps available on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store, respectively. (Source: Statista) If you have an idea you think is unique and hasn’t been captured by anyone yet, do visit the app stores first. There is a strong possibility that a similar app is already out there. What dominates the app marketplace when there are hundreds of apps that have identical features? The preeminent factor that can give an edge to your app over other similar apps is the User Experience (UX).
User Experience or UX can be defined as the overall experience of a user when interacting with your brand, products, or services through a website or an application. In terms of a mobile app, it is how a user feels while navigating around your app or interacting with multiple elements inside the application.
Rich user experience leads to satisfied end-users and more app downloads whereas a poor and troublesome user experience can leave users confused and compel them to uninstall the application. A UI/UX expert ensures the latter doesn’t happen.
What contributes to a rich user experience? How to minimize the inconvenience in your mobile app UX design for a better user experience? In this article, we have highlighted 4 key points that you should strongly keep an eye on, which would help enhance the mobile app user experience.
When users download a mobile app they aren’t familiar with, it’s likely that they would encounter some minor difficulties while interacting with it for the first time. It is your responsibility to ensure that the user has got a basic understanding of your app while they enter and move around your application. For this matter, the app should display coach marks to help users understand the purpose of different buttons present on the screen or how the application is meant to be used.
For a great mobile app UX, make sure that there aren’t too many input fields. It is often seen that users are asked to fill in too many details either during the signup process or checkout, which eventually results in cart abandonment or users bouncing off from the app. Eliminate this issue by limiting your form fields. Stick to asking relevant and necessary information only, and integrate features like social login, autocomplete, inline validation, etc. to make the process even smoother.
A UI/UX expert should design the functionality of the mobile app in such a way that users are able to accomplish the desired task without facing any inconvenience. Let’s say if a user is trying to make a payment and the app crashes, or say if a user is clicking on a button but it is directing him/her to the same page again, it would massively hamper the user experience. It is therefore advised to thoroughly test your app during the testing phase to ensure every element of the app is functioning correctly and smoothly, including the swipe gestures and zoom-in/zoom-out functionality. Ensure you have done enough QA testing to make the app error-free. Verify all the positive as well as the negative test cases. This would help you tackle the issues that can arise if, in case, something goes wrong.
UX and UI design work simultaneously. If the app interface looks appealing, intuitive, and engaging, it would automatically exhibit a good user experience as well. What points do you need to keep in mind for the UI design of your app?
First of all, the app shouldn’t look cluttered. Such an impression would most likely compel users to take an exit. Have a quality user interface. Make sure the app visuals are effortlessly conveying the information you want the users to perceive. There should be a uniformity in the color palette across the application; use colors and fonts that reflect your brand. Be it the navigation bar, menu bar, add to cart button, checkout button, or any other call-to-actions, maintain consistency throughout with color and typography in your UI design.
You can also integrate animated transitions when users navigate between pages or perform an action, to make the shift clear and smooth. (Tip- Avoid over usage, use them where necessary.)
Another important tip to improve your mobile app UX is to avoid displaying blank screens. If a task is in operation and taking time to load, make users stay by showing them some signs. A blank screen gives them an indication that either the app has hanged/crashed or there is some functionality issue. As a result, they will cancel the task. A good UI/UX expert keeps a good balance between both.
One of the best ways to enhance the mobile app user experience is by assessing the user journey. Identify the areas where users are facing trouble, figure out why they are facing so, and how you can eliminate those hurdles and pain points in their journey. Also, we know that a mobile app contains many features; some are used actively while some are rarely touched by the users. For the latter, assess why those features have been used less frequently, following which you can either try to make some improvements or get away with the under-utilized features. The more relevant features you include, the easier it would be for the users to understand every bit of your mobile app.
Creating an optimal mobile app UX design encompasses many elements that function consistently in a systematic matter to please end-users and achieve business goals simultaneously. Look from the user’s perspective. Browse your app like an end-user. Feel it’s any other app that you have downloaded from the app store. Explore it thoroughly and you would definitely come across some challenges and areas of improvement.
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