It seems most people who never worked in UX/UI design field consider the app design as the simplest part of the app development. It is far from the reality! The user experience area is much more tricky than it seems at first sight, both for native mobile and adaptive web applications.
However, if one knows what struggles to expect and how to manage with them, it becomes straightforward and fascinating. What is necessary not to make too many mistakes in the design is to ask your clients for an opinion, so that to make the app as convenient for them as possible.
What Do Users Usually Expect from Using an App?
Understandability. There is nothing more adverse for an app design than a non-user-friendly working environment. The user will delete the app for sure if they fail to understand how to use it. Even if it is possible to learn how it works, users are impatient: they will download another app rather than spend significant time struggling with yours.
Personalization. Users are usually annoyed by the constant necessity of entering personal information, likes and dislikes into an app, so it is necessary to relieve them from this responsibility.
Efficiency. The primary aim of any mobile app is to meet the client’s needs. That is why it requires the design optimization and following the adaptive web development principles.
What Mistakes Should One Avoid in UX/UI App Design?
1. Mixing UX With UI.
The common perception treats these two terms as something similar, not knowing what their relation is. Let us fancy the process of the app usage as a journey. UI (User Interface) is what we meet on the way: mountains, rivers, and lakes. And UX (User eXperience) is how we feel about it. Saying UI/UX people often forget about the experience and focus only on the means, namely the UI, and that ruins the whole app concept.
2. Designing for Yourself
Every designer is an artist with a specific perception and creativity. That contributes considerably to the uniqueness of the app. However, first and foremost the design should be client-oriented. The common practice to understand whether the users like your UI/UX design or not is to create a minimal viable product.
3. Insufficient Personalization
As a rule, the users are annoyed by the necessity to enter much information, to say nothing about the need to do it every time they need your app’s help. Keep short in your input forms, use prompts and auto-complete fields.
4. Low Contrast Fonts and Layouts
Prevent the situations when low contrasts can make the information on a screen almost unreadable, including when light fonts used together with the light background. As light colors are trendy now, consider choosing a background with improved contrast.
5. Non-Obvious Interactions
What is the use of a feature if no one knows it exists? Designers today are more likely remove old-fashioned controls and replace them with gestures. Here, it is essential to oversee a short training session for users to know what to do. Also, there is a practice to predict the user behavior to make all the gestures natural and intuitive.
6. Non-Standard Controls
In addition to the previous mistake, we can meet some non-trivial UI controls and icons in software development. They can be creative but misunderstood, and in that way affecting the UX negatively. Be aware of using intuitive and understandable controls, no matter what they are.
7. Information Overload
Overwhelming users with tons of data is not the best strategy – it could prevent them from finding the necessary information. Still, this is a widespread error made by designers of iOS, Android apps, basically due to a wish to place more ads. It is essential to throw in a line when it is necessary.
8. No Feedback
Avoid the situations when users are not sure what is going on. They could just decide the app has crashed and therefore leave it. Track the progress of operations and explain the processes and remember: each delay can cost you a client.
9. Wrong Error Messages
The core of the problem is like the previous – users are embarrassed by non-relevant error messages, and that makes them feel stuck. For that reason, your app may be abandoned.
10. System-Centric Features
Every app is designed to solve problems of the users, and UX/UI are about making it more convenient to them. In other words, all the features should be centered on a solution of these problems and not be system-centric. Such approach will help attract more users with different level of expertise.
More Constantly Evolving Trends
Minimalist design. Today mobile applications are more and more often treated as a perfect mix of form and function. People shifted from apps overcrowded with different stuff to sophisticated and contextual ones.
Onboarding. Explain to users how they can reach their goals using the application to prevent them from leaving it. In other words, your app design should be convincing enough to keep them using it. One of the techniques used for onboarding is a creation of empty states.
Micro-interactions. The other way to keep users is micro-interactions. These are the app responses on the small actions like button click, like/dislike or drop-down menu opening. Being mainly considered only cosmetic features, they have the major effect on the level of the user’s satisfaction by mobile applications, so deserve our attention.
These Tools Will Help Make Your UX/UI Design Incredible
“Sketch” is a powerful and handy tool both for MVP development and UX/UI, ideal for interface design, improving object organization (thanks to its built-in grid feature) and the work with fonts.
“InVision” is used for creating apps for such remarkable brands as Twitter, Sony, Nike, and supports cloud storages and real-time modeling.
“Principle” is famous for its intuitional behavior and improved visualization of prototyping – the best solution for Mac.
The best journey is one that never ends. Never forget to listen to your clients, ask their opinion and collaborate to make beautiful things. These tips strive to help you to improve UI of your app so that more and more users find it useful and fascinating.