Since an average American spends around five hours of a day engrossed in their mobile phones, apps have become the blossoming ground for business marketing. Most of the notable shopping sites are transforming their web stores into apps for the high engagement rate they promise. Undoubtedly, the changing scenario of online marketing has made mobile apps the driving force behind sales growth.
On today’s date, building an extraordinary app can actually build your fortune. However, with more than 2.8 million apps available on Google Play alone, catching the limelight in the overcrowded app segment has become a rare achievement. Statistics also show that downloads via Apple’s App Store are well past the landmark of 180 billion! But, let uss not forget that just as new apps are being launched, thousands are getting wiped out of handheld devices across the world simultaneously.
So, how to make an app that the users want to download and keep? What differentiates the ignorable apps from the compellingly attractive ones is the UX or user experience. The mobile app users are very demanding. They only want apps that offer incredible speed, load quickly, include excellent interactive features and make navigation smoother. Scoring high on all of these aspects will allow your mobile application design to win hearts with ease. Here are some guidelines for creating superior and sustainable mobile apps.
1. Simple is Better than Complex
When it comes to mobile apps people tend to prefer hassle-free user experience as much as a clutter-free design. If the app interface has a busy design the users can get confused because the human brain can process only a limited amount of info at once. There is no need to bombard the users with too much information. The more buttons you add, the more images you insert, the heavier will be the content. Excessively cluttered app interfaces look terrible even on bigger devices like a desktop. It is easy to imagine how repulsive they will look on handheld screens. The secret of de-cluttering your app’s design lies in functional minimalism. Start by skimming unnecessary words, images, and tabs from the content. Give users only the information they need to get around. Choose a simple yet effective interface layout which is easy to fill up with minute detailing minus the clutter. For example, depending on the app’s function three to four buttons on the tab bar will be sufficient to navigate. Often, sales depend on the detailed information that the prospective audience gets in the app. In such cases, you can try the progressive disclosure system where more information rolls out when the user interacts with the app interface. Additionally, avoid tough jargons, ornate or flowery terms that all users will not be able to comprehend.
2. Less Work for the Users is Always a Good Idea
It is extremely crucial to create apps that do not make the users work. A very short attention span combined with the lure of a multitude of options can make the users cruise away from your app at the slightest inconvenience. To prevent this make a list of manual inputs that the users might have to partake in and minimize their presence. If there is going to be a form of registration, keep them simple and short. Ask only for the most crucial information and include the minimum number of fields. Incorporate field masking so that the text users insert gets formatted conveniently as per requirement. Typing long addresses can be another hateful task. An Auto-Complete Form can be the answer to reducing the time needed for filling up the forms with such tedious details. Save user details and keep them logged in so they don’t have to log in often. A customized key board that switches from alphabets to numbers is another way of simplifying the user’s journey.
3. Help at the Right Points Supports Conversions
While developing an app, placing yourself in the shoes of the users is necessary. This measure will enable you to anticipate their needs most aptly and provide for them. Place clickable, underlined “What’s this” where necessary which will offer precise information on clicking. For example, in case COD is not available for some reason or the customers need to insert barcode of products they may need additional information. Providing info at the apt places will increase the swiftness of their journey, mitigating doubts and confusions.
4. Consistent Design Increases Attractiveness
One of the key rules of creating an attractive mobile app interface design is maintaining consistency. Users unwittingly expect consistency in aspects like visual appearance and functionality throughout the app. Apart from these they also want the app’s design to remain unchanged across various devices so they can use it without unease. To begin with, follow the particular guidelines for interface design offered by each specific OS platform. For iOS apps, you should follow Apple’s Human Interface Guidelines and for Android apps, you have to stick to Google’s Material Design Guidelines. Each OS has its own interaction pattern with the users. Since users are used to them, offering designs compatible with the interaction pattern will be more appreciated. Also, make sure to retain the native appearance for each OS. If your app is accessible through the web as well, keep close parity between the app and web designs. The best app design companies are adept at picking design elements that are visually appealing and use them in an accurately consistent manner. As a result, users get the same experience no matter whether they access the mobile app directly or open the app through mobile web.
5. A Well-conceived Back Button Can Do Wonders
Many apps require users to go through three-four steps for purchasing. A user, about to convert into a buyer, should be able to go to the previous page and correct their information or double-check the information inserted without hassle. In some apps, the faulty back button takes users to the home page instead of the previous page they were on. This may unnecessarily delay the buying process. Let the users have a second glance at data or information by incorporating a highly functional back key.
6. Premium Navigation Spells Success
Every experienced mobile app design company gives priority to navigation convenience as it is the supremely important factor which can make or break the app’s reputation. Obstacles in the path of navigation can make the users flee. An intuitive design which can be used by even the most inexperienced mobile users is your best bet. Tab bar for iOS apps and navigation drawers for Android apps are simple, common and recognized navigation features that you can opt for. From checking out products to purchasing, try to keep the number of taps and swipes to a minimum. These tactics works in designing apps which users love to interact with and can spend a lot of time on.
Users should be at the core of your mobile app designing philosophy. Slipping into the shoes of the users and tracking their needs offer the essential clues as to what they want from a certain type of mobile app. Once you know your audience, building a spectacular app for them becomes a cakewalk.