There are good and bad designs; what differentiates them usually is the user experience. While there are different metrics for identifying a good and bad design, a user-centric design will always be the best in the end.
There must be a strong bias for usefulness and intuitiveness when designing a mobile app. No one will open an app without the right features and functionalities more than once, and neither will anyone give a thought to an app that requires a short learning curve.
The quality of user experience should never be relegated; it’s the main ingredient upon which the success of any mobile app is built. Today’s mobile app users have a lot of expectations; ease of use, fast loading time, and seamless interaction.
While there is usually a lot to consider during mobile app design, we’ve summarized what we believe are practical rules to consider;
1. Align Your Design With The Basic Laws of Navigation
You don’t have to be bogus when designing your navigation buttons. There’s a navigational pattern of the internet that your potential app users know; go with the flow.
The users are not new to apps, and they have subconsciously mastered the navigation of other mobile apps. If yours is different, this could come off as frustrating and throw them off balance.
For instance, every user knows that pictures can be swiped to the right or left. If you decide that yours will be up and down, you are disrupting a typical navigation method.
2. Clarity of Individual Screens
You need some sort of invisible hand that guide your users to the most important object. This could be by using visual weight as a measure of importance. When an object is different in weight, this could send some sort of information to the users.
The combination of size, colour contrasts, and whitespace could provide the clarity needed on every individual page.
While this might be quite overwhelming, you should know that clarity is key to the success of your mobile app. In whatever you do in your mobile app design, never downplay the place and importance of clarity of an easy page.
3. Adopt a Consistent Brand Imagery
If you are in it for the long haul, you need to design a mobile app that is consistent in its imagery with every update. While the features and functionality might change, the brand imagery should at least have a semblance of the previous update.
Firstly, avoid any form of carryover of elements across platforms. We advised you to study the design guidelines of the platform you are designing for.
Don’t put your users through the stress of learning new patterns for different pages across the mobile app. They have an expectation; align your design with the expectations.
Stick with the native fonts, icons and other elements of the platform the mobile app is being designed for.
4. Prioritize Speed and Visualize It
The faster your mobile app, the better the user experience. No one wants to get stuck with a mobile app that takes forever to go from one page to another. This is a fast-paced world, and no one wants a slow app.
Do you know that 50% of your app users want a page to load in less than 2 seconds? Create a visual distraction that informs the user that the page is still loading and not broken.
Users are used to seeing some form of page interaction while a page is loading. Otherwise, they will assume something is wrong and close the app midway to the destination page.
Show a progress bar or a spinner. However, ensure that the app design is fast enough to keep the user interested. Look for an animated progress indicator; they will do your app a lot of good.
5. Design For Human Limitations
An app design principle used to be to design for humans, but now there should be a consideration for human shortcomings. This could be deafness or colour blindness.
Do you know that about 5% of the global population suffers from colour blindness? Your mobile app design needs to cater to the limitations of these groups.
This implies that colour should not be the only means of conveying navigational information. In addition to colour, deploy other elements that address these shortcomings.