The 5 Best User Experience Practices for Mobile Apps and How to Implement Them

The impossible became the norm, and now everyone carries a mobile device with them all the time. What was seen as an impossible thing when the first laptop and cellphone were invented is now indispensable. Even in the world’s poorest economies, people have mobile phones, and many of those are smartphones. This means that mobiles are a crucial component of your digital asset portfolio to be a successful company or appear on the map. Developing mobile UX design or catering to mobile devices is no longer a nice add-on or plus thing to have. It is requisite now to have a mobile-first strategy. A way to respond to this increasing demand on mobile platforms and mobile-targeted user design is to develop these user experiences and then adapt them to the internet or other devices, not the other way around as we are used to.

The good thing about approaching UX design first on mobile and then on other devices is that UX design principles are the same all around and not too hard to translate to other spaces. UX design principles include:

  • Making it simple.
  • Having linear interfaces and clear buttons and features.
  • Being intuitive to use.
  • Consistently placing the user or customer at the center of the design.

Mobile UX design is not without its challenges, though. Not all phones are the same, nor are tablets, game consoles, smartwatches, and the likes, making it more complicated than expected.

There are also some device limitations to take into account. Screen sizes change, but there are complex inputs like the different types of keyboards they might have (touch ones, for example), different connection speeds, different OS systems, and other hardware differences.

Developing content accessible for mobile users is classified into three categories: mobile websites, native and web applications, and responsive websites. But they all follow some core principles that we will discuss in this article:

Simple and Minimalistic Design

People don’t want to be overwhelmed by a site with many unnecessary things. Only keep what you need your customers to use and what they’ll need to know; anything else will clutter your design. Having a website or app that is easy to use helps the users stay on it or want to return.

Fast Loading Speed

We all know that things now need to be fast. If a page takes too long to load or many screens need to load until a function can be performed, people will probably leave that place and go for a faster option. So loading speed is not a nice thing; it is now a requirement to keep users engaged.

Announce when an Action is Completed

As people don’t want to be wasting any time, let your user know once the action is completed. Whether an email has been added to the list or a sale has been performed, a picture downloaded or whatever it might be, let the user know once it is finished and it’s safe for them to continue navigating. You can also use creative ways to do that. It does not necessarily need to be a message. It can be an animation, sounds, or even color change.

Consistency when Communicating

When communicating with your users or customers, you want to have a consistent image, tone, logo, etc., across all your contact points with them. If you have an icon for a specific section of your app or website, make sure it is the same in both or any other way of communicating with them. This will save users time because they won’t have to learn all these cues and symbols every time they encounter your company or brand.

The Users Needs are the Priority

For any brand, it is paramount to understand its user’s needs, but in design, it is also essential to know them to predict what your user wants. Analyzing any data of how your users use your products, services, and digital solutions will help you gain enough insight into how to deliver what they need even before they realize they need it.

Now let’s take a look at a step-by-step process of how to implement UX design:

Step 1: Research

In mobile UX and UX design in general, you need to perform research to understand the company, the technology, and most importantly, the user you are catering to. Everything should be grounded on research and the information and insights you get out of it.

Step 2: Build the App’s Basic Structure

After the research is performed and all the crucial data and insight has been understood and gathered, you can now build a basic structure of the app. It should be manageable and navigable, helping the user learn and know what you are trying to show and communicate with your app or website. Try to move from the broadest to the more narrow parts of the site; go from macro to micro. Having this basic structure of everything, even down to each page’s content, is critical.

Step 3: Conduct Content Analysis

Once you have developed the basic architecture of your digital asset, you will now need to content audit or create a content strategy. Your strategy should outline what content needs to be created and when and how it will be displayed.

Step 4: Create a Sitemap

Now, you should create a sitemap that is a structural outline of how the pages will be laid out and organized. It is always advised to start from the Homepage and then move on with the other pages. Do not forget to add all the content, titles, and such, but keep adding the static information to every page (the information that will remain the same always, footers, headers, search tools, logo, icons, etc.).

Step 5: The App’s Navigation

Next, build the app’s navigation; this is essentially a road map for the user to understand and navigate your site. Where are they? How did they get there? Where can they move from this page? How can I return to the Home page? Etc.

Step 6: Make a Layout

When creating a layout, you have to consider four zones:

  • The header (at the top of the page)
  • The left sidebar
  • The right sidebar
  • The main content
  • The footer

Step 7:Extra Elements

Once all the architecture, sitemap, content, and layout have been figured out, now you can think of any extras you want to add. Things like forms, calls to action, search inputs, and any other elements that you want your users to have available.

Step 8: Visual Elements

Check that the visual elements on your site or app match your branding and marketing. Pay close attention to which images and colors you want to use. It is crucial to be consistent and remember to declutter the space, so it does not look busy or harsh on the eyes. See some examples of good app design made by a professional product design agency.

Step 9: Test It

Once you’ve finished your site or app, test it as much as you can. This is an advantage of digital assets; trying them does not cost you a fortune, and it is quick and easy to see any problems that need to be solved. Even once you launch your app or site, continue to test it periodically to ensure it is up and running as you want.

As digital assets are a must nowadays, creating a mobile user experience that keeps your user interested, engaged, and wanting to come back repeatedly while attracting new users to try it is challenging but paramount. However, it is still possible to achieve this if you follow these principles and steps. What’s important is to keep the user needs in mind to create a mobile user experience that will help them remain engaged and add value to them.

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