Top UI/UX aspects to consider while developing a mobile app
25% of mobile apps are abandoned after a single use- here's why.
The iOS App Store was launched back in 2008 with just 500 apps. As of today, there are almost 1.85 million apps available on the App Store. If we take a look at Google Play Store, there are nearly 2.56 million apps available. With users spoilt for choice, companies have little to no margin of error when it comes to their UX strategy. A seamless and hassle-free experience is now the chief determining factor behind how long the app stays installed on a user's mobile device.
Imagine, you have an effective mobile app strategy in place, but a poor UI/UX forces the users to abandon your app. Even if it doesn’t force them to abandon your app completely, it reflects badly on how you planned your user experience.
From tiny text links, inability to find important features, long submission forms, and lack of mobile optimization to broken search results and complex password requirements, there are probably thousands of ways you can let a user down. Thankfully, you don’t have to follow a huge checklist of customer pain points to get your UI/UX right. You just have to start right and everything else will fall into place.
How to get UI/UX strategy right?
To start with, make use of tools such as user journey mapping and user persona creation.
A customer journey map is a visual representation of the customer’s paths via various touchpoints to achieve a goal with your company. The map breaks down the entire customer journey into phases. It aligns with a goal, action, and touchpoints to improve the quality of
your customer experience, ensuring consistency and seamless experience across all touchpoints and channels. A persona is a representation of a particular audience segment for which you are designing your website, product, or service. They help you understand who will be using your product and therefore help to make key design and functionality decisions during the UX process. Personas are handy to pull out when you want to communicate what the user experience should be for stakeholders, designers, developers, or anyone else involved in the project and also quite useful in helping you create realistic user journeys.
These two starting points will help you to identify potential points of friction from the specific persona’s perspective for whom you are creating the app. It also helps to identify gaps between expected and actual user experience. Having a thorough understanding of your user persona and their journey will ensure that you get the UI/UX right.
What are some important UI/UX aspects to consider while creating a mobile app?
The above two methods help to dive into the user journey of specific users. There are, however, some common, but critical aspects, that you need to consider while developing your app. These are likely to remain common no matter what category your app falls under. Here are some of the common but critical aspects to look at:
Simple design: A simple design that makes your basic functionalities prominent is better than a complicated one that tries hard to impress with the visuals but confuses the user. A simple design not only applies to the look and feel of the app, but also to copy that is clear and easy to understand. One thing that UX designers must understand is that users want to do what they need to do as quickly as possible. For this, you need to provide them with the path of least resistance. Additionally, a simple design that loads faster would be preferred any day over a design that takes too much time to load. Keep your design simple. To deliver a design that is simple and effective, ensure that it is digestible, clear and familiar.
Intuitive navigation: Navigation is about structuring your app in a way that makes it easy to use and efficient. When they see a feature, they should know exactly what to do. For any task at hand, they should be able to perform it seamlessly without breaks that disrupt their flow due to complexity in navigating from one step to another. To make your navigation intuitive, ensure that it is consistent with user expectations and uses standard conventions for icons and styling. Keep fewer options on the menu bar. more options mean slower user interactions and more time to perform a task.
Low cognitive load: Cognitive load is defined as the mental effort that’s required to learn new information. In UX, we can think of cognitive load as the mental effort needed to use an app. Quite obviously, the lower the cognitive load, the better the user experience. You can keep the cognitive load low by understanding your user persona and accordingly identifying areas that may need improvement. To reduce cognitive load, you can start with three basic steps- avoid visual clutter such as irrelevant images and meaningless typography; build your UX design on existing mental models based on user’s past experience of visiting other similar websites or app; identify aspects in your design that requires users to read text, remember information, etc and then think of alternatives to avoid or minimize those.
Easy onboarding: Without proper onboarding, it can get difficult for some users to move ahead. But a complicated onboarding journey can make it as bad for the users. To have a smooth onboarding experience, you need to identify the goals of the user first, which you already do when you do the user journey mapping activity. Now as you design the user onboarding journey, you must focus on three important factors. The first one is friction points. Remove any possible points of friction that might make the journey complex. Second, customize the onboarding journey as far as possible. A single onboarding may not work for all users. A personalized onboarding, on the other hand, makes the user more confident in the app. The last one has fewer and clearer steps. As mentioned above, keep the cognitive efforts low, this is applicable to the overall app usage as well as onboarding journey.
Appealing brand visuals: Stay consistent with your branding elements across all platforms- your website, offline business as well as mobile app. Your brand’s typography, logo, image styles, color schemes, etc. must reflect in your mobile app and should be optimized for a mobile experience. This consistent look and feel will help them engage with your app confidently and with a sense of familiarity.
Why is UI/UX so important?
UI/UX plays an important role in winning the user’s confidence and achieving the desired level of app engagement. Even if you create an app with great functionality but fail to deliver a decent UI/UX, your app may witness a downfall. On the flip side, if you deliver UI/UX, with great functionality, of course, you open yourself up to a multitude of benefits. You not only retain your existing users but also acquire new users through reviews and word of mouth. If your UI/UX works well, it would be very rare that your customers will face any difficulty using your application- this means that it’ll require less frequent updates, at least on the UI front, and help you in saving time and money. Additionally, it’ll help you engage your users better, enable you to get featured in the app store, and boost your brand, too. So if you’re still already on your journey to creating an app for your business, don’t forget to pay attention to the UI//UX aspects and achieve great success.