After the advent of mobile phones, lot of businesses have been disrupted and affected directly, with the likes of Uber, Instagram, Tinder etc. doing their business through mobile apps only and many other like Amazon, Airbnb, Booking etc. generating most of their revenues through mobile apps.
The common thing between all the businesses that are earning significant amount of their revenue through mobile apps is that their User Experience is very good. One may ask, how can I make a mobile app with great User Experience or how can I enhance the user experience of my mobile app. For them I am listing down the Principles which one can follow to attain great User Experience.
- Content is key:
The most important aspect of mobile UX design is content. Content should be the centre of your design. Always remember, “Design in the absence of content is not design, it’s decoration.”
- Design for one thumb, one eyeball:
“One thumb, one eyeball” is a test suggested by Luke Wroblewski, Product Director at Google. It suggests that the mobile app should be designed in such a way that it can be used by users in distracting environment and situations that require one handed use while paying partial attention only. So, consider all the contexts in which users can use your app.
- Fat finger friendly:
FFF means that if you are accessing some content(target) on the app screen like link, icon or button, it can be hit easily with the print of the target finger. So always design your targets bigger so that they can be tapped easily. Apple’s iOS human interface guidelines recommends a minimum target size of 44*44 points whereas Microsoft suggests a touch target size of 9mm.
- (Cognitive)Friction free:
Making the mobile app friction free enhances the overall User Experience of the product. When the user interacts with the app and performs any action, he/she should not get unexpected results. To avoid friction, learn what your user expects by conducting user interviews and later running usability test on your wireframes and prototypes. Do not try to hide your primary actions.
- Usability and desirability:
Your design should not only be usable but desirable also. Always remember that you are not designing for yourself but for your users. If your app is very usable but the users can not perform tasks for which they are using your app, they will not use your app and in most cases, uninstall the app. So, you should understand your users’ need before designing. Empathize with the users. Understand and prioritize the primary, secondary and other extra tasks that the users want to perform through your app.
Also, your design should not make your users think because thinking is the enemy of usability. Try to align with users mental model of performing those tasks that your app is meant for. Your app should be
a. easy to use
b. easy to learn
c. error free
Mixed systems are confusing to everyone. So, while designing if you are following some pattern/guideline/rule, follow it everywhere. Try to maintain consistency and uniformity in your app design in both design and content because a consistent design is predictable and easy to learn. In the mobile app, consistency needs to be maintained in visual elements, content and interaction such that it does not create any contradiction or irregularity. Consistency makes the users happy and is a key factor for user retention.
- Navigation and controls:
The users should know where the controls are. Try reducing the discoverability as much as you can.
Do not overload your design with help. Many users do not want the system to help them. Help irritates the users and they can stop using the app. Also, don’t make users to scroll unnecessarily. Try to remove the navigation pitfalls, means lesser navigation is better.