Wednesday, May 24, 2017

User Experience in Mobile App Development

The Rising Popularity of Mobile App

Mobile app is becoming a prevalence, making it is safe to say that everyone’s mobile phone must have at least one app installed. Data from the newest studies shows that desktop browsing rate has been dropping. Meanwhile, the use of mobile app is growing. Superior in terms of accessibility and practicality, more people are now eager to download the mobile app of the business or website they frequent. Many factors can affect their willingness, such as the app size, privacy issues, social login, and push notifications, to name a few. However, on top of them all is the user experience (UX). A top-notch UX will attract people to use the app again, while mobile app with poor UX will soon see users abandoning it.

User Experience (UX) in Mobile App Design

UX design for mobile app may not be the same as that of a regular website in some aspects. One of the most clear distinction is in the screen size. Here are some practices that can be implemented to create a great mobile app experience:

1.       Simple Navigation: The biggest challenge in designing UX for mobile is the limited screen size. Unlike website that can have extensive menu bar, doing the same for mobile will use up a lot of screen space. Therefore, mobile navigation should be easy to discover and made sure that it only includes the most essential functions.

2.       Usability: In general, elements in the app should be designed so that users can reach their goal easily. A special feature of mobile device is that people often use it one handed. To improve on user experience, it is important to place main navigation buttons within the reach of the user’s thumb. Required gestures and action outcomes should also be consistent across the app.

3.       Minimal Effort: Mobile apps that are easy to use are often rated highly. It is principal for mobile app to reduce the effort needed from users. One way to do this is by providing search filters to help users quickly find what they are looking for. Another way is by personalizing the experience of each user by learning their behavior when using the app. For example, giving suggestions based on past buying pattern or pick-up point.

4.       User Interface: People typically don’t have much free time when they decide to use mobile app. Thus, minimal design with only the essential elements is recommended to deal with users’ reduced attention span. In this case, negative space is useful to improve readability and bring focus on certain contents.
Creating a good UX for mobile app should always starts with the users in mind. Consideration of the mobile-specific features is also important. The best app is one that combines both usability and simplicity.

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