The success of the app depends to a large extent on users’ appreciation. Of course, everyone is different and developing a mobile app which will be attractive to everybody is a big challenge. It is absolutely necessary for app developers to remember about the users’ feelings. If using the app brings about negative emotions, they will probably never give it another chance. Below we present some rules about UI and UX that will help developers keep their app user-friendly. What is exactly UI and UX and what is the difference between them?
UI means user interface and is usually defined as an available method of user communication with software.
It is a kind of language that allows the user to use the app in a proper way. It contains textboxes, navigation buttons, content fault and everything that determines what the application looks like. UI includes all visual elements and takes care of all esthetic aspects.
UX is User Experience. It is responsible for increasing user satisfaction by improving the functionality and utility of the product.
The aim of a good UX is to provide a product which is easy to use, which makes the user feel good. Designing UX is a process that requires good analytic skills and a proper understanding of a certain group of users, their habits, and preferences. The main task of a UX designer is defining users’ needs, get to know about their desires and implement this knowledge into the product. Is any of them more important than the other? The answer is no. Both of them, UX and UI, are important and each and every app developer should pay close attention to these aspects. A nice looking app which is difficult to use and totally not intuitive would fail to encourage people to use it. The other way round, a simple and user-friendly app that nevertheless looks very bad would certainly make the users feel tired and, in consequence, evoke negative feelings that would make them give it up. So how to develop a mobile app which is intuitive and esthetic at the same time? Below we share list some rules that can help you improve your product and increase users’ satisfaction.
Less is more Remember that most of the people decide in the first 15 seconds whether they want to use a given app or not. That means you have very little time to raise their interest and keep it. The interface of your app should be as simple as possible. Users should not waste their time and think which button to press or how to find the desired content. They should know at once what to do next. Try to show your users what they can find in the app. Use pictures, animations or icons to make it clearer. Direct their visual attention to one button on your main site. A simple interface with few buttons is better and does not overwhelm the users. So, keep it in mind… less is more!
Use your creativity, but not too much Very innovative and outstanding app designs will for certain stand out from other competitive products and, as a result, be more recognizable for potential customers. However, be careful while implementing some extraordinary innovations in your app. Apps with very modern and unique solutions may be really successful, but you should remember that users recognize some specific types of templates. Don’t try too hard to change it. Buttons should look like buttons, navigation should be clear. You should keep the balance between the typical, popular templates and your innovative ideas, or else you will confuse them. So, don’t be afraid to use the library of design patterns to get some inspiration. It can be very useful to know what solutions are selected most frequently.
Know the users Make sure that you know who you design for. Don’t forget that you develop mobile apps for real people and not only for yourself. Think about the end-users of the app. Who are they? How do they think? What do they like? The app for a financial institution should be designed in a different way than a game app for teenagers. Make research and ask a few people about their opinions and feelings. Analyze the target group and adjust the design to their needs and expectations.
Don’t put too extensive forms If you want to use forms in your app, for example, an evaluation survey or a contact form, try not to put too many fields in it. The more fields there is to fulfill, the less probable is that the users will actually fulfill it. Create forms in a minimalistic way. Put only the necessary questions and formulate them in a clear and understandable manner. The users should know what information should be provided in every textbox.
Keep it consistent If you have already decided to go in a given direction – stay consistent. Keep your app consistent. Use the same palette of colors and the same font styles on every screen. Use some repetitive elements and icons. Do not change the way the app works. Users need to be able to draw on their experience when using the app.
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Piotr Juszczak Chief Operating Officer at ITgenerator, passionate about interdisciplinary creativity and agile software development. After hours, he is looking for another Ace on a tennis court or strong wind on his sailboard.