Mobile devices are used in everything nowadays and increasing so by the day. Mobile phones are have facilitated more than calling and reaching out to people. They make your life easier. They are used in almost all aspects of life from banking to grocery shopping.
Mobile apps are a great way to improve your product or service’s reach to more users and improve the traffic to your site through the mobile devices. As more and more web traffic is coming from the mobile devices, it is really imperative to give access to the users through mobile devices.
When you are going to create an application for mobiles, there are two important concepts in design that can not be avoided. In fact, this is where it all starts. The User Interface (UI) and the User Experience(UX). It is important to understand these concepts and the difference between them.
To begin with, understand the basics of UX/UI mobile application design. UX and UI are two different disciplines of the front end design. UI is the components and the layout with which the users can interact. It is what you see in front of your screen is the UI in a very vague sense of the term.
UX is overall experience of the user using the website or the application. This includes the usability of the site, the ease with which the application can be used, how easy it is for the user to navigate through the site.
So, what is the Importance of mobile applications?
Mainly because the traffic from the mobile devices are increasing and with more transactions taking place through the internet there are so many possibilities in the mobile applications. Most of the companies encourage users to use their mobile applications. The convenient and on-the-go mobile apps have resulted in increased revenue for many of the online businesses. So for an online business to thrive mobile apps have become mandatory.
So when creating an application for mobiles, the designer’s job is to create the user interface to meet the user’s needs and create an easy and enjoyable experience. To achieve that both the UX and UI should be great.
An application has to be really pleasing to get the attention of the user. But at the same time, an application with great that looks pretty with all the bells and whistles won’t make a difference when the user experience is bad.
Say, for example, if an application has a confusing layout that a user has to spend more time on searching for the functionality for doing a specific task or user has to really spend the time to understand what is what in the application does not make up for a good user experience. This will make the user leave the site and then never visit again. So, the at the designing part one has to be always conscious about the short attention span and lower patience to be effective in its purpose.
So where should we begin when designing the mobile applications in terms of UX and UI? The first step is to understand the targeted users and the market. Do a detailed study of what the user requirements. A detailed study of these requirements will help in improving the user experience.The quality of UX and UI of the application can be indicative of the application’s credibility.
Things to Consider Before Designing the UX and UI
Before starting designing the UX and UI for a mobile application here is a guide for the things to consider.
1 — Responsiveness
Responsiveness has become an integral part of the front end development. You can not avoid going responsive. Whatever your application is it should be fit to view an any size of the screen.
When you say mobile devices, you are not just referring to smartphones. The screen size varies from smartphone to other devices like devices like tablets that people use to access the web on the go. And then there are two different screen modes in which the devices can be viewed — landscape and portrait mode. So the design should consider these variations in the dimensions of screens.
Also, the size of the screens of devices keeps on increasing as newer models of the same device come in the market. At the same time, innovative screens like the new iPhone X and the infinity display on the Samsung Galaxy brings new challenges and possibilities to the UX and UI of mobile applications.
2 — Design iteration
Follow the cyclic process of prototyping, testing, analyzing and refining the design to finest of polish that will keep the users hooked and they will leave with the feeling of satisfaction of having done what they wanted and not getting lost along the way.
3 — Keep it Simple
Mobile devices are short in real estate. So knowing what is important is the key. What are the contents to be shown and what to hide? This ensures easy navigation and easy and uncomplicated user experience.
Simplicity is not mean minimalist design. The design should be such that the user should be able to do their tasks in as fewer steps as possible. Also, make it a point to keep only one call to action on one screen.
5 — Avoid Excessive Scrolling
Excessive scrolling can be really annoying. The design should be such that the user doesn’t have to scroll through very long to get to the content that he needs. Instead, create navigation that can lead the user to the specific points he needs to get.
6 — Know the Latest Trends
Keeping up with the latest trends is essential for creating the most effective UX and UI. To know what is gaining popularity among the user helps learn and draw inspiration to create a better, effective design.
7 — Finger-Friendly Designs
With mobile devices, we are using the touch of our fingers to navigate through. There are different hand gesture that we use to do specific tasks like swipe to get to the next onboarding screen. Similarly, we have gestures like touch, touch-and-hold, double tap, pinch and zoom that allows us to operate the mobile devices. The user should be able to figure these gestures without any difficulty in a mobile application.
Also, people hold their phone in different ways. Sometimes they hold it with one hand, sometimes with two, and with one hand holding the phone. Most of the time people use their phone with one hand like when scrolling or calling someone. But when texting users need both hands. So the design must be able to facilitate the user’s experience by keeping these in mind.
8 — Give feedbacks
Applications may sometimes take time to load. But a user may not be patient enough to keep waiting for the application to load if there is no feedback. The user may also think that application is broken and refrain from using it. So it is always important to give feedback to the user not just when loading the site but after every time a particular task is completed. Line when an order has been successfully placed. The user should be getting a message that task he did was completed otherwise leaving him in a state of confusion.
Designing the UI/UX for mobile devices are different from that of the desktop. There are constraints of the screen size when placing the elements of the website. The websites used in mobile devices are by touch, so that has to be taken into consideration. Also, the design has to planned keeping in mind the responsiveness of the application. But when the application works well on mobile devices, it increases the accessibility to the users and thus the number of users to your business.