Post the COVID-19 pandemic, globally, mobile usage has increased by 40%.
With self-quarantine and work from home strategies in place, checking the mobile has become synonymous with coffee or smoking breaks. People take a break from their laptops and look at their phones to check their social media, play a little game, check-up on loved ones, or stay updated with current affairs. Moreover, a lot of users also do their work from phones. Attending meetings, scheduling, managing calls, publishing data, etc. is being done from phones.
This is both an opportunity and a matter of concern for the design and development of mobile applications. While businesses want to make the most of the increased mobile usage and attention span of potential users, they’ll have to work on their app engagement strategies.
Seamless and stellar user experience is one of the most important things to consider for the same. Impeccable user experience is necessary for engagement as well as end-user loyalty.
Based on our experience of working with several businesses and helping them design and develop a robust mobility strategy, here we have captured some best practices that mobile app designers should follow to ensure end-user engagement and happiness.
Empathetic Experience Design
The ultimate goal of any app is to serve the end-users to perform the intended task. Therefore, it is important to keep in mind that the app design is aligned with the nuances of their needs. The design shouldn’t overwhelm the end-users.
A Minimalistic Design suggests that the information and interface elements presented to the user should be kept to a minimum at all times. More information can be disclosed progressively as and when the user asks for it. Moreover, the user should be able to operate the application with the least amount of effort possible. Minimal data entry, decision making, etc. would help the user understand and operate the app better. It’s human nature to feel good about figuring out something. Therefore, the more quickly the users can understand the app and its services, the more engaged they would be. The business logic of the app already understands user problems; it is important that the User Interface understands the user itself.
Faster, Scalable Design
Especially with the post-pandemic spike in the number of users, mobile apps need to be scalable in terms of both backends as well as UI.
Modular UX design, based on the different knowledge context of the application, helps in enhancing its speed and scalability. This means that instead of thinking of the app UI as a single unit, it can be divided into different modules such as Product Search, Profile Management, Inbox Management, etc. This can help the designers with the priority-based placement of the UI elements on each page.
Additionally, while components are loading, users should be kept engaged by letting them know about the loading progress. In the unfortunate event of a failure, a meaningful error message is helpful.
User Inclusive Design
With all the on-going conversations around inclusivity, it is important that the app design also factors in this aspect.
Globally, with more than 40% potential users suffering some kind of color-blindness, millions of people suffering from aphasia, more than 300 million people suffering from hearing ailment, it is important that the application experience is designed more mindfully.
Empathetic Visual cues, familiar sounds, vibration alerts, etc. would help different types of users to understand and handle the app easily and effortlessly.
Recognizable Navigation Design
A few recognizable patterns help the user figure out the navigation within the app more intuitively. Step-by-step checkout, hamburger menus, home icon, are some of the popular design patterns that app users immediately connect with. This gives them space to understand more business-oriented features of the application. This also relieves the app from having to explain every functionality, especially for navigation.
Additionally, familiar screens also help users to figure out the navigation better. Payment option screens are a great example in this context. Shopping apps, food ordering apps, medical appointment apps, etc. use a similar pattern for payment options screens so that the user can easily understand and choose the right option. Easy navigations highlight the star feature of the app even more.
Personalization works both ways – it helps users get services as per their needs, and it also helps the app designers learn more about the users.
Text in the preferred language, recommendation based on previous selections, quick access to most used payment options, etc. make the user feel heard and valued. The more personalized an app can get, the more likely the user will pick it from the existing options.
Similarly, for the app, the user data analysis helps to profile the user better, allowing the user experience designers to look at the bigger picture of the user base and evolve the design accordingly.
On-boarding Friendly Design
Studies show that almost a quarter of mobile app users use the app only once after installation.
Unnecessary registration steps, overwhelming instructions, permission requests, etc. may hamper the user’s trust. All these features might be required but in their own time. It is important that the user feels trusted and, thus, trusts the app in return. Designers should understand that the user has downloaded the app for a purpose and would be willing to go through all the steps to achieve that goal. Minimizing those steps would make the user more engaged with the application. Post that, the user can be steadily asked for different registrations and permissions, etc.
User Interference and User Experience are essential parts of mobile application design. It is, therefore, sensible to understand and follow the best practices related to it. Being mindful of these practices can also help businesses select the right tool and technologies for their apps.
Seamless user experiences lead to better brand loyalty, establish a positive feedback loop, and help the mobile app evolve for its users and their experiences.