As the scope of mobile platforms continues to develop, the value of Mobile User Experience naturally increases.
The difference between a good app and a bad app is usually the quality of its UX, which is essential for smaller companies because it gives them the opportunity to compete with leading brands.
The point to remember is that weak UX will seek your app fall faster than Jennifer Lawrence at the Oscars.
Yet, in the excitement of innovation, many companies are now completely disregarding the need to place any emphasis on the one person who can determine whether it will be a success; the user.
Whilst you cannot argue with the value of ensuring that an app is carefully put together and skillfully coded, it is just as important to guarantee that users are going to feel real pleasure when they interact with it. If you want your app to succeed, it has to be engaging and responsive.
You only have to pay a visit to an app store to see that there are hundreds of choices all offering the same thing. This means that true uniqueness is simply not the be all and end all for modern apps. In many ways, it is more important to find a way to stand out among your rivals.
The question is, how do some lucky apps manage to rise above the competition? How do apps like Angry Birds, for example, catch the eye of users and go on to become worldwide successes?
It is not inaccurate to cite robust development as a key driving force, but these days, it simply is not that difficult to produce a skillfully developed application that respects mobile UX best practices.
In fact, there are scores of wonderfully responsive and glitch-free apps on the market, which still suffer from poor reviews.
If you could somehow download every one of these poorly reviewed choices, it is likely that you would start to see a pattern emerge. The bestselling apps have one thing in common; superb user experience.
The finest apps manage to perform beyond basic design goals and move towards a place where every click is instinctive, where users feel like they have to spend five more minutes with this creation. This is what happens When you follow mobile UX design principles
The following tips and tricks will help you learn how to create the superb user experience for your own apps.
It is important to keep in mind, during the mobile design process, that it is not the same as web and software design.
Yes, the three share characteristics, but mobile UX creation is its own entity. If you attempt to work top to bottom, by reducing the scope of desktop experience, you will run into problems.
The key to creating a valuable app is to begin from the bottom, with the user experience. In other words, you should be clear on what you want to offer prospective customers.
Then, you can improve it with the correct aspects of your current online status. The bottom line is that mobile apps are precisely that; they are mobile, and they should not work the same way in any other context.
Who are your users?
On the whole, mobile consumers can be split into two categories; seekers (people who are trying to locate a particular piece of data or finish a job fast) and collectors (people more concerned with wasting time or finding a way to allay boredom).
If your target market is made up of seekers, concentrate on characteristics which help them achieve their objectives as simple as possible. It is important to reduce the emphasis on features which do not actively support their goals.
If your target market is made up of collectors, offer them quick access to a wealth of diverse data, then start working on keeping them occupied. Whilst catering to both collectors and seekers is possible, it can end up resulting in two halves of a poor job, instead of one whole and effective job.
Selecting the proper features
The pursuit of user experience should begin at the earliest phase of development. In other words, is should begin at the same time that you start imagining the features that your app might offer.
At this point, resist the temptation to believe that cramming an app with features will make it more appealing. It isn’t. However, what you actually have to do is pay attention to mobile user experience best practices.
One of the most difficult steps is choosing which features will stay, and which have no place in your app.
The key to success is to keep things simple, and deliver on your promises without overloading users with irrelevant content. The simpler the better, because it allows your customers to get to know the system.
Once you have gained a following, you can then think about introducing some more features, but to start with, stay basic.
For instance, solve common problems by providing solutions based on the availability of mobile devices. So, think checking in apps for airports, and software which allows you to use the mobile money on public transport.
Use the Pareto principle
The rule of thumb to remember is that approximately 80% of app users never utilize more than 20% of its features.
If your app is currently available online, you can make this ratio work for you by monitoring the ways in which visitors communicate with your internet content.
You need to pinpoint which features are most popular and get rid of the ones that are not provoking interest. The aim should not be to increase user functionality but to make sure that the 20% of features which they are using are the best that they can be.
Your platform UX may help you more than you would hope
The biggest communications companies on the planet have invested millions to make sure that users know what they are getting when they click and swipe. Whilst you could spend a great deal of time trying to create new operator interfaces, you are likely to make more profit if you piggyback on existing ones.
In other words, use these motions to your advantage – incorporate clicking, swiping, and simple interaction. It is a good idea to take the core guidelines at the heart of the OS native interface package, and design you own interface components around them.
To ensure that you always pair the right UI element with the right task, spend time researching these guidelines. It is a good idea to do some research into areas like minimum sizing too so that you know how big your icons need to be before you design them.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, pick up the device that you are creating for, and get to know it intimately. You would never hire a web developer who did not own a computer, so why should customers trust app designers who do not own the device that are they working with?
Test the app on everyone until launching it
There is nothing preventing you from asking friends and family members to take your app for a test drive, before it goes on the market.
If it provokes a positive response, widen the circle of testers and start asking people that you do not know to try it. If possible, stay with them whilst they interact with the app, so that you can gauge their reactions and ask questions.
Don’t make your push notifications annoying
Whilst push notifications can be a valuable way to interact with users, if you bombard them with missives, they will get frustrated. You should always think carefully about the triggers for push notifications, so that communication never becomes irritating.
Make sure you get constant feedback
It is impossible to identify problems without the help of users, so encourage operator feedback at every opportunity. You must take every chance to ask users what they love about the app, what they dislike, and what they would change.
In order to collect valuable feedback, you need to make it easy for users to provide it. It needs to be quick too, because most people will entirely disregard the need to leave a review if it takes longer than a few minutes. You are advised to make every attempt to respond to feedback within a day.
If you want your app to be successful, you have to consider user experience to be not just a minor aspect of design, but an essential component of product strategy. There is no such thing as success via luck, because it can only happen when the right pieces of the puzzle are provided first.