Today, people are immensely relying on smart-devices and technology for various reasons. In 2016, the 28% percentage of people were using smartphones all around the world, but now it is expected to touch 6.1 billion by the year 2020.
Mobile apps and easily accessible websites have become the primary information source for users from anywhere and anytime. Beyond information gathering and communication, smartphone experiences have become useful for many different services and features like placing food orders, banking, healthcare tracking, and shopping.
But designing an enjoyable and usable mobile experience is more important than anything else in this arena. Sometimes, the basic usability interface design principles help in triggering out positive reactions from the user. For example,
Top-10 UX and Design Principles for Mobile App Development
1. Content Prioritization
2. Target Size of Touchscreens
3. Navigation should be Intuitive
4. Text Content should be Legible
5. Provision for User Control
6. Clearly Visible Interface Elements
7. Minimize Load of Data Input
8. Hand Position Controls
9. Create a Seamless Experience
10. Design Testing
: Researches revealed that 8 seconds are enough to decide whether it is worth giving attention to something or not. I recommend you to keep the interface elements to the minimum while designing your products. Simple designs easily associate with the products and ensure enhanced user engagement.
Only essential contents and functionalities should be displayed. Small screens are consists of limited space and so, the secondary contents could be available through a menu. The menu list should be simple and not confusing, and icons should be used instead of text.
: Here, the important part of the design is to make interface elements sufficient enough to capture touch screen actions, but the challenge is to do it within the limited screen space.
According to the guidelines, the minimum target size of Apple’s iPhone Human Interface should be 44 pixels wide x 44 pixels tall.
In Windows phone, the touch target of a UI design must be of size 7mm/26px to 9mm/34px.
Not just the size of the target is important, but also the spacing between targets. Action buttons should not be too close to each other.
: Users should learn to navigate through your app. Pathways should be clear, and it should not take too much time and effort to discover how to browse through your product. Users would not accept switching between the pages and apps unwillingly. Complexities, in this way, may lead you to lose your users.
: Readability is the key to mobile topography. Your content should be readable, and your designs should be clean and communicating. A simple layout should deliver your message correctly.
Text font size should not be smaller than 16 pixels (or 11 points) and not much larger unnecessarily. It may result in awkward hyphenation and breaks and can take longer to read.
As per a good rule of thumb, ‘spacing and layout should be proper, and only 30–40 characters per line should be used in a mobile site.’
: Here, you allow your users to take decisions to personalize their journey. Control actions enable users to change settings, control notifications and cancel activities.
Users should know about the integration status and other types of feedback into your interface without any disturbance to the workflow. This provides users with a sense of freedom and transparency.
:There should be sufficient contrast between content and background in your designs, even during the sunlight. According to WC3’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, there is a certain recommended contrast ratio for images and texts that should be followed. Just test the text and background before presenting it to the final user.
: You should minimize the need to enter data in your designs as it is painful as well as annoying to read and type huge texts on small devices. Providing auto-complete, location detection, and recent search history functions help in reducing data entry requirements and accelerate the experience.
Keyboard variations should be displayed depending upon the required data. For example, a numeric keypad provides faster input for the phone numbers.
: While you are creating mobile controls, you should pay careful attention to the hand positions. Research indicates that 49% of people operate their mobile phones with just one thumb. Such kind of statistics is useful in establishing the design functions. For example, the ‘delete’ button is placed in a place that is harder to reach to avoid errors.
: Mobile designs should be functional, flexible, and responsive, and synchronization across devices is the key priority for seamless user experience.
Unnecessary friction, exaggerated steps, and page loading wastes a lot of time of the users. Hence, it is always better to focus on critical user goals like using a camera for scanning barcodes, GPS to identify locations and touch ID instead of the pass-codes.
: Test the design early and test it regularly. Usability testing makes your product successful in the market. It is always better to check different layouts, features, and variations of your designs, considering the user-centered approach in mind.
I hope the above-discussed points are enough to understand how important design principles are to follow for acquiring the maximum level of user satisfaction.
Now, here I am suggesting you the top-10 mobile app development frameworks that are expected to be highly adopted in the year 2020.
1. React Native
5. Corona SDK
6. Adobe PhoneGap
7. Mobile Angular UI
8. Native Scripts
9. Intel XDK
10. JQuery Mobile
Now, explore the variety of options for mobile app development frameworks given above and try getting the best customer experience using the trusted and tested design principles.
For people, smartphones have become their go-to for everything. The use of smartphones is not limited to collecting or viewing information anymore. It can be said that smartphones contain a miniature of our real-life world. Having said that, as a mobile app owner, it is important that the users enjoy using the application. Keep in mind, aesthetics is not the only factor that will keep the users engaged. It is a lot more than that.
Some of the basic usability principles of UI/UX design are:
➔ Learnability - It means how easily a first time user of the app is able to perform the basic tasks.
➔ Efficiency - It focuses on how quickly the basic work is done once the user becomes friendly with the design.
➔ Memorability - It emphasises on how much is the user able to remember about using the app.
➔ Errors - The number of errors a user makes, their severity, and how quickly they can resolve the same.
➔ Satisfaction - The overall experience of using the app.
Following are some of the tried and tested user experience & design principles to keep in mind:
● Content Prioritization - People’s attention span is very short. So, a mobile app probably has got a few seconds to grab the attention of the user. So, it is important that the interface elements are minimum, only essential content is displayed, and the user is easily able to find the required functionalities. For further reduction of clutter, on the screen, icons can be used instead of text. Important content should be given priority and notifications for new content should not hide the primary one.
● Intuitive Navigation - As stated earlier, the learnability of an app is crucial. A user should be able to intuitively navigate through the app without needing any special guidance. People don’t have the patience to go through complex steps to get what they need. While using the mobile app, a user should always know the path, how did he/she reach that page, and what they are supposed to do next. ● Touchscreen Target Sizes - People interact with their smartphones using their fingers. Irrespective of the finger they are using, the interface elements should be big enough to make these actions possible. Smaller touch targets will require the user to pay more attention and increase the chances of error, ultimately frustrating them. Along with the size of the target button, spacing is equally important too. Hence, keep in mind that in the end, a mobile app should be as user-friendly as possible to engage and retain users.