If you want your mobile app to rise above excellence, the first thing you should take care of is user-friendly interface design. Ideally, it should be unique and at the same time easy-to-use interface that will attract new customers and keep the standing ones interested.
Interaction design is a key
Before you actually get down to creating your app design, make sure you remember what interaction design is really after. Its core principles underlie any kind of design whether it is meant for small-screen devices or the web. Let’s go through some basic rules of interaction design:
- Clear goal. Understanding the goal of your design is a key. If you know your target audience, chances are you will make app design that match your customers’ needs.
- App usability. Ideally, your app should meet users’ expectations for workflow and layout. This is what app developers call usability. If it’s an –easy-to-use, nearly intuitive app, more people will want to download it.
- Use affordance and signifiers. While affordances indicate what your app can do, signifiers show how affordances work. Suppose your app gives an opportunity to like content, which is affordance, whereas thumbs-up or heart-shaped icon you should press is a signifier.
- Make your app familiar. Even if a user sees your app for the first time, he should have a feeling as if he has already used it. This is called recognizability. It’s somewhat close to muscle memory when you intuitively know what button to press or where to scroll, etc.
- Ensure instant response. Response allows users to see whether they have completed some task successfully. These can be a short sound or some graphical element. Whatever you choose, it should appear within the shortest time possible.
These are basic for any interaction design.
Define your target audience
In most cases, the audience will define your mobile app design. And these steps will help you identify your target audience:
- Think who might be interested in using your app. These are not real users but rather their most common archetypes that allow you to predict users’ decisions concerning your app.
- Try to predict users’ behavior. If you have some clear picture in mind, it will be easier for you to design a UI that matches users’ expectations.
These are major usability tests that will help you see how people will react on your app in natural surroundings.
All the ideas of your app design are just vague images. Once you put them into a shape you will have a clear vision of the final product. Here, most app developers suggest that you start with an outline. This may not necessarily be some sophisticated design – simple sketch drawn on paper will be just perfect.
For this, you need to outline each page of your app. Draw the structure, layout and even minor elements to see the flow of different pages. Later when you have the full picture of your app pages in front of you, you can move to digital sketching.
All this is done to see how your content ideas will work.
Adopt common mobile design patterns to develop yours
All mobile app design patterns are dictated by the device itself and its specific characteristics like a home sensor or thumb button. However, there are lots of common design samples you can see nearly in every mobile app. These are swipe gestures or slide-out menu. You may use these patterns to enhance usability and later add some features that will make your UI design unique.
While it may sound like copying the design of others, it is actually a strategy that will help you get closer to the ux mobile design.
So where should you start? There are two major UI design pattern categories such as gestures and animations.
We live in a touch screen world and those who master gestures rule this world. However, choosing among swipe, slide, tap, press-and-hold moves, make sure that every gesture is appropriate.
Gestures combined with animations make user experience dynamic. But even with all benefits animation can give, one should be very careful using it. When there are too many motion effects, they can make users feel confused and disoriented. And similar to gestures, animations should consistently appear throughout your app and make sense.
Specific design for touch
Mobile touch screen directly influences UI design. People interact differently with their mobile phones and have different finger size. Therefore, it’s vital to consider these characteristics before designing your UI.
People may hold their phone with one hand and use one thumb to browse, or they may hold the device with two hands and use a thumb or pointer finger. People who hold a mobile phone with two hands and use two thumbs to tap the screen are also numerous.
Another important characteristic to consider is finger size for a touch screen. Currently, it ranges from 47 to 57 pixels which is quite a wide space. However, if you design buttons too small or place them close to each other users will find it difficult to tap them.
Reduce the number of clicks
One of the web design rules holds that a user should make no more than three clicks to get the result, if it takes him/her more moves, then such design isn’t effective.
While this rule may not be common for UI design, you still should consider it when developing your mobile app. Obviously, users appreciate apps that are time-saving and aren’t cluttered with unnecessary moves.
So think whether your app is crammed with tasks that users have to complete to get the result. If so, take a time to redesign your app. Perhaps you don’t need a good deal of pages that your app currently contains. If you users spend a little time thinking what they should do, your app is likely to rank high.
Hope these tips will give your app a head start.