Here are the four UX tips to help you design better mobile apps.
- Usability and user goals
You’re stranded on a street in a fairly new city and it’s raining heavily. You fire a cab hailing app (on a friend’s recommendation). As a user, what is that one thing you’re hoping to get done as soon as the app opens? If your users have a possibility of being stuck in such a situation, design your mobile app for such users and their goal. Create a UX flow that allows them to book a cab in minimum time and steps. No gimmicks, no jazz — just pure simplicity in the way the user expectation is met!
- Define a clear action button
Also known as a CTA (call-to-action), this is the button that makes sure that the user, in the example above, gets a cab. A couple of things to note while defining your action button. One, it must define the action clearly. In the cab app, the action button could be ‘request a cab’ rather than a plain ‘submit’. It will explain the purpose better. Two, an action button should be easily visible and approachable. It is hard to reach the top-left corner of a mobile screen for a right-handed user without stretching or using both the hands. Hold the mobile in your hand and notice the screen area your thumb can reach easily without a stretch. This could be the area to place your action button.
- Bandwidth is expensive
Another deterrent in a mobile user experience is high bandwidth consumption. Limit the information to be downloaded on the go. Background services consume a great amount of bandwidth. Create reusable graphic assets for different tasks within the app, such as a cab icon to indicate moving cabs through the city, on a map. Request user choice beyond a section for further download of information, graphic assets, images and videos. Optimise fonts, images and video for mobile consumption. Let’s not make requesting a cab more expensive!
- Don’t drain the battery
In Nov 2018, Google at Android Dev Summit, revealed on how a smartphone spends its battery life. They shared that the biggest factor in battery consumption are screen brightness and screen colour. If the app is heavy on calculations or complex navigations, there is a higher chance of mobile battery drain. Background services such as location detection are high on battery consumption as well. The last thing a user needs in an city with heavy rain is their mobile battery running out. Keep the UI simple — lesser, darker colours, shorter navigation and to the limited background services.