Original app design does not present developers with that many options to work with. Usually, when one is designing for shorter notice intervals and minimal screens, it is crucial for your UI design to work fast.
Preferably, you wish to design a system that is simple enough for first time users without making the more experienced users lose interest. Here are a few tips to guide you through generating awesome app design.
1. Always apply the rules of interaction design
Having limited screen space should not be used as an excuse to do away with the good interaction design rules. The first rule to interaction design is to design for the intended user, and this you can only know by conducting user research for example conducting interviews and surveys. This will allow you to generate personas for your prospective app users, as well as enable you to set distinct goals for your users and modify your app’s operations to meet their requirements.
Usability is also crucial to your app and it has to be simple enough for users’ to easily use. Also remember to incorporate signifiers and affordance correctly. Another rule to interaction design is learnability whereby users instinctively know how to manage an interface. This is achievable through use of patterns in your design. The final rule is response time and feedback, which notifies the users whether or not a task was accomplished. It can simply be a beep or a modal window, which is more complex.
Just ensure that your feedback is human, friendly, and is received within the set timing guidelines. Before starting any interaction design work, make sure you focus on the five rules that apply to the entire design process regardless of whether it is intended for an original app or not.
2. Recognize your users
Other than screen size, users are also considered as the main restriction in mobile design. The three primary strategies for comprehending your users include user scenarios, personas and experience maps. Personas help you predict the behavior or your selected users in terms of what will steer their choices and so on. Scenarios on the other hand offer a depiction of how a persona will behave.
From this you will be able to generate a UI that is best suited for them and the objectives they want to achieve. Experience maps allow you to scout all the feasible states for one interaction. Experience maps outline every step the persona is likely to make when using an app. It also helps you comprehend all the emotions and positions that surround those steps.
Undertaking this from the get-go will save you unrest down the line.
3. Plan out your content and user flow
Research and design work go hand-in-hand. First you draft your user flow. Before sticking to a certain channel, you generate a simple prototype using paper, just to understand the users will flow between actions and content.
The outlining technique will provide you with a better understanding and a clear view of your build-up of app ideas for every page of your app. Before even embarking on prototyping, first outline your idea in written form to help you investigate the most significant section of your app, which is basically the content. Establishing flow around the content offers you a much more precise evaluation of the total page number needed for your app.
The next step after this would be to create sketches for every single page, then repeating the sketches on paper and cutting them out for generation of a paper prototype. Sketches help bring out the flow into life-like with more detail to structure and layout. A quick mobile app prototype will allow you to test all those ideas with a user.
4. Boost usability with familiar mobile patterns
Posture, orientation and thumb positioning are some of the specified device nuances, which mobile design is centered on. Look at the renowned interfaces while paying attention to the common mobile patterns for example slide-out navigation. These patterns enable you to generate a UI that is homely and inviting. Utilize most commonly used UI patterns as the basis of your usability and also incorporate your own creativity to it. Doing so will certainly ensure that your app design meets your user expectations without feeling monotonous.
The two groups of interaction design patterns that every designer has to master in order to design a good mobile app. They include animations and gestures. Gestures are commonly utilized on touch devices- swipe, touch, zoom, pinch and double-tap have become a usual norm to users. As for animations, motion keeps users rooted in the UI.
When you combine both gestures and animations, you generate a whole new level of experience.
Mobile interaction patterns help decide the layout of familiar interface elements such as navigation buttons placed at the bottom of the screen, which is simpler for users to tap with their thumb, as opposed to one that is positions at the top of the screen. When it comes to the text, ensure the copy is easy to comprehend.
5. Minimize clutter
You might want to rethink debunking the 3-click rule in mobile ux design and the reason for this is because it helped one contemplate whether they were in dire need of all the screens. Basically, users should be able to execute tasks fast in very few steps as possible. Marissa, Yahoo CEO even recommends a two-tap rule whereby it takes two taps to achieve anything you want to. If it is more than two taps then you need to rethink your design.
A good example to refer to is Yahoo Flickr app that uses the two-tap rule; from unlocking your screen to surfing your screen, taking photos, checking out groups, navigating albums, setting alerts and so much more. Therefore, you should aim at having minimal taps in order for your app to achieve success with your users.
Creating an awesome app design takes a lot of dedication and expertise, as well as understanding your users. With the above guidelines, you are closer to achieving success with your app.