While mobile devices and apps have experienced huge growth over recent years, not every mobile app that is available to download from one of the app stores is performing as well as the business or mobile app developer that created them is hoping. This can be for a variety of reasons, anything from the business not adequately promoting it to users not having a satisfactory experience with the app.
Here are 3 ux design tips that help you make improvements to your mobile app:
Make Ease of Use a Priority
When designing your app you will want to make ease of use a top priority. Consider how efficiently users can complete tasks. Is your app an effective tool for its users? Can they easily complete their intended tasks? Beyond that, does it engage users while completing tasks? Apps that fail to engage users consistently underperform. Think about these in terms of producing user satisfaction and work to design an app that not only allows users to complete tasks easily but it must also do so in an engaging way.
In any app design, consistency will reduce the need for users to re-learn how your app works as they are going through it. Often, the best choice is to make use of well-established user interface patterns or symbols when the interaction is common and already well known by the average user. Examples of this are using the email icon to let someone contact you. This is a generally accepted symbol that can be easily understood by your app’s users.
Placement is another area that you can leverage patterns for your benefit. If users are used to looking to a certain part of the screen to complete a task, don’t make them work harder by putting it elsewhere. To make your app as easy to use as possible, you want to follow already established patterns rather than creating new ones that your users will need to learn while they are using your app.
Look at several other popular mobile apps and consider the placement of navigation. You will find that navigation tends to be in similar areas from app to app. Your users know this and their eyes will automatically go to that area when they want to complete a task. Disrupting this pattern can cause confusion and strain for users. You don’t want to make your users work to use your app.
You will want to perform an honest evaluation and understand your app’s strengths and weaknesses, especially relative to those of your competition’s apps. Work to make your app stand out if you want to win customers. What are the areas that are most valuable to users? Are you making sure your app out performs your competition in these key areas? If not, make an assessment of not only your app and your competitors’ app but get to know what your users are looking for from your app. From there you will want to focus your efforts on winning these key battles.
Pic: TechStage (Flikr) http://bit.ly/2dtD21z
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