If you are not considering the user experience when designing a new mobile application, it’s time to start thinking about it. One of the most important things to have in mind when you design a mobile app is making sure that it is useful and intuitive for the users. If it’s not useful, it won’t have a practical value. At the same time, if the application is useful, but it takes too much time and effort to be used, people won’t engage with it.
A good design addresses both aspects: focus on users’ main objectives and removal of the obstacles from their way, making the user interface clear. However, creating a good design is not an easy task. In order to help you creating a good user experience we have prepared some helpful tips:
1. Create a great first impression
It is not a surprise that causing a good first impression is a big deal for a mobile app. It’s is a very important moment to influence somebody to keep using your app. There is a possibility of users not coming back if they get disappointed somehow at first.
An onboarding is like building an access ramp for people to use the app. It shouldn’t be interruptive or generic: instead, it should be helpful and explanatory for the user. There is a variety of techniques that can be used to keep users engaged during the first use, such as guided tours or step-by-step explanations. The trick is to show users exactly what they need to know to start using the app, nothing less or beyond that. Maintaining a clear and simple onboarding will help to increase the app use and engagement.
2. Clarify the user interface
Clarity is one of the most important aspects of a great user interface. The user’s attention is a valuable resource and it must be properly directed. An unorganized interface overloads the user with too much information.
Since we have a limited real estate on mobile devices, each visual element makes it more complicated to understand. It is necessary to focus on delivering messages in a clear and concise way. To do so, keep the user interface as “invisible” as possible and put your attention on the essential information.
3. Focus on the Readability
Compared to desktop devices, mobile ones have relatively small screens, which means that adjusting the huge amount of information is a bigger challenge when designing an app. It’s important to have in mind that the text must be readable, thus a useful tip is keeping your text to a minimum size of 12 points to be readable on a normal visual distance without needing to zoom in.
4. Use of Microinteractions
The user experience is not only about usability, it is also about feelings. The smallest user interface’s detail can make it truly pleasant and memorable. Adding subtle details to the design, like animated microinteractions, animated feedback or sounds, can transmit to the users the feeling that they are interacting with something that has personality.
5. Guide the users when there is no data
An empty state is something that normally does not receive the importance it really deserves in many mobile applications. They serve as a guide to users, explaining what can be done on a screen to fill a blank space, due to lack of data. They have a great potential to promote engagement, enchant users and retain them in critical moments, like when someone has to include content for the first time or when they delete the content.
A useful empty state explains what’s happening, the reason why the user is seeing it and what actions can be taken. Keep in mind the three questions – what, why and how – as a formula to engage more users when you design your user interface.
Although there is no magic wand to create a perfect user experience for the first time, one thing is certain: the first impression is all about the users. To guarantee they feel like the center of attention, we need to remove all the rocks in their path and add elements that make their experience unique. Invite them to stay. Turning a first time user in an engaged one is the path to a successful product.