As you know, we’ve recently talked about the details of mobile app development basically. Now, I want to go into particulars of app design. Your app might have unique features, but they are useless without qualified app design. The design of your app welcomes your users and gives the first impression. Of course, its job doesn’t end after welcoming. A well-designed app separates successful apps from unsuccessful ones. Well, what do I mean by saying “well-designed app”? It embraces several components such as ease of use, fast loading time, flow and navigation of your app, colors and more.
Now, it is time to examine the practical recommendations compiled from Mobile Design Book mostly.
Let’s start with the launch screen as it is the first page users see. Although users see this page just for a couple of seconds, it is substantial as creating the first impression and giving a clue about the app. Make it clean by adding a simple background and logo on it and keep the size minimum to reduce the load time.
Sign Up Screen
Let’s continue to signup screen. Try to keep it simple, because users leave the signup page containing complex steps. Ask just necessary information. It is enough to request email and password in order to keep the sign up process short. You can suggest other platforms such as Facebook or Twitter to sign up.
Like signup screen, login screen needs to be simplified. Think possible scenarios;
- Users might want to sign in by using other platforms such as Google, Facebook.
- Users might forget their passwords. Add “Forgot password?” option
- Users might forget their usernames. Use email address instead.
Majority of apps offer profile page that shows your personal information, your progress and activities. For example, it is useful and motivating to let users track the number of calories burned off, the number of steps and exercise on the profile page of health apps. Like in this example, any app can regulate the profile page according to its business. The important thing is here to be simple, clear and appealing to users and to offer relevant information and stats.
It has the highest priority for any kind of app. Users shouldn’t spend too much time and effort while finding how to navigate your app. To let them explore the app intuitively;
- Use standard navigation components such as tab bar for iOS and navigation drawer for Android
- Don’t mix the navigation components, follow the consistent path
- Prioritize navigation path based on the way of user interaction
- Make navigation visible
- Offer information about the current section
It is important to divide tasks which have a lot of steps and information into subtasks like checkout. It is important to discard the complexity. Moreover, your app should guide users towards the next step. If you have an e-commerce app, you should offer a step-by-step checkout that lets you break down a complex checkout task into bite-sized chunks, each requiring user action.
Notifications make users come back to your app, but many notifications could be annoying. Annoying notifications are the top reason to uninstall the mobile app.
You need to deliver value with each notification. If the value should be greater than the interruption, people don’t care to get notifications. So, you need to plan the right sending times in order not to push notifications at weird hours.
Message functions are also among common features. If your app has this feature, care the points below:
- Optimize type size in the form of letting users read longer messages with all details such as date and location
- Offer an option of adding photo, video, sound or smiley
Comments are good ways to raise the interaction and build community. To get the ultimate benefit, comments should be readable and their context includes profile pictures, names, and date. It is important to give the impression of “live” atmosphere.
It is one of the most significant features of any app because it leads to expand the fame of your app. To let users share your content easily, make your sharing icons obvious and easily accessible.
Most apps are suitable for search option. If you want to delight users with this feature, you should provide smart suggestions. Moreover, add filtering options to eliminate their search results.
The content of your app should be easy to digest. The readability is important as well as the context. I mean “typography” by readability. I want to give several practical recommendations:
- Make your font bigger than 16 pixels (or 11 points) to be read on any screen
- Choose system’s default typeface (Apple iOS uses the San Francisco font; Google Android uses Roboto)
- Make sure the contrast between the font and the background doesn’t make reading difficult
- Avoid the text with all letters capitalized
- Limit the length of text lines by 30 to 40 characters per line
- Add space between text aids
While designing, consider how users with vision loss, hearing loss, and other disabilities can use your app successfully. Be aware of color-blindness. For example, success and error messages are generally indicated by green and red colors which is meaningless for color-blind people. So, it would be better to add error messages together with colors. Another point you can consider is to make the animations optional. There could be people who suffer from motion sickness.
The aim of on-boarding is to show the value your app provides. The most effective method is contextual onboarding. What I mean this is to provide the instructions only when the user asks. The more practical thing is to offer interactive guide together with progressive disclosure. With this kind of onboarding, you provide users with a quick experience letting explore how your app is working. So, users can learn while having fun.
I want to give the important aspects of mobile app design. For anything you present users, you should consider user-experience points. According to the business of your app, the matters I’ve listed below can be enhanced. Just think on what users need and how you delight them.