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10 Best Practices for Mobile App Design

By following best practices, recognizing restrictions, and establishing a strong working relationship with developers, we can improve user experiences using mobile UX design.

When creating a mobile app, the most important thing to remember is to make it both helpful and intuitive.

If the software isn't functional, it won't help the user, and no one will want to use it. If an app is effective but takes a lot of effort to use, people will not bother learning how to use it.

In addition to that, designers must keep up with the numerous various mobile device structures that are continually appearing on the market (i.e. curved screens, notch displays, etc.).

However, don't be fooled into believing that designing for mobile is impossible.

We’ve compiled a list of the 10 best practices to follow when designing a mobile app to assist you with your next big mobile design job.

Let's get right to work:

#1. Consider the environment

So you've made the decision to create a mobile app.

Whether it's an extension of an existing digital offering (like a website) or a stand-alone hit, there's one critical decision to make right away that will determine the project's long-term viability: whether it'll be designed as a "native" or "web-based" app.

A native app is one that is designed for a specific platform, such as iPhone or Android, and uses the platform's code libraries and hardware features (camera, GPS, etc).

A web-based app, on the other hand, is one that is hosted on the internet and can be accessed through a mobile device's browser.

Because of the technologies utilized and the time required, developing a web app is often less expensive than developing a native app.

In terms of planning, native apps frequently necessitate a quote from the App Store or Google Play, which may be costly and time-consuming for developers.

#2. iOS vs Android

If you are planning to design native applications on Android and iOS, you must know that these two platforms have vastly different design guidelines.

Apple follows HIG which is flat design and Android is based on material design.

You can read more about their differences here.

#3. Have a Simple Navigation

Users should be encouraged to participate and interact with the content you're giving through navigation.

Every program should make assisting users with navigation a top goal. Mobile navigation must be easy to find and use, and it must take up little screen real estate. However, due to the limits of the small screen and the requirement to emphasize content over chrome, making navigation accessible on mobile is a challenge.

When building a navigation system for a mobile app, keep the following guidelines in mind:

Understand your users:

Navigation should cater to the bulk of your app's users' needs. Each target audience expects a specific form of engagement with your app, so use this to your advantage.

Prioritize the following navigation options:

Assign several priority levels to common user tasks (high, medium, low). Paths and destinations with high priority levels and regular use should be highlighted in the UI. Those paths can be used to define your navigation.

Make it visible:

identifying something is easier than recalling it, as Jakob Nielsen points out. Make actions and options visible to reduce the user's memory load. Navigation should be available at all times, not just when the user is likely to require it.

Take advantage of visual communication:

Icons and other graphic components should assist consumers in comprehending menu selections.

Consider the shopping cart icon: it acts as a symbol for checking out or viewing things. This element sends users to the right action so they don't have to think about how to navigate to make a purchase.

Communicate the present location:

"Where am I?" is a basic question that users must be able to answer in order to travel efficiently. In many apps, failing to indicate the current location is a common issue. Consider location indicators.

Track user engagement and retention:

The first thing you'll need for your product is user engagement because that's where most businesses make money. Make sure to track the app's progress in terms of user retention over time.

Even designers who follow all of these guidelines wind up with menus that are complex, difficult to use, or just impossible to locate.

Usability can be ramped up by using navigation UI patterns.

#4. The Importance of Whitespace

The use of white space is one of the characteristics of good visual design. The negative space between items is known as white space. It keeps all objects in a UI separated from one another to avoid crowding.

White space is not only important for product arrangement, but it also helps with concentration. It employs a variety of tactics. Such as:

  • Removing alternatives for speedier decision-making
  • Limiting options to no more than seven
  • Taking a minimalistic approach.

#5. Avoid long-scrolling

Long scrolling is an excellent approach to hold consumers' attention while reading long blocks of information. However, studies suggest that the more we scroll, the more we lose interest or become frustrated (for example, when users are urged to complete a task).

Using cards with a 'tap to expand' feature or breaking up chores into screens, try to keep screens as brief as feasible.

#6. Font-type and size

Different fonts can elicit different emotions while maintaining easy readability. The poor font choice can also derail your design, which is why most designers devote so much time to finding the perfect fonts before moving on to the next step. When it comes to fonts, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Font-Size: Use a legible font size.
  • Typeface: Choose a typeface that works well in a variety of sizes and weights to retain readability and usability at all sizes. Apple and Google recommend at least 11 points so that consumers can read it without magnifying at a normal viewing distance.
  • Check for color contrast between the typeface and the background with contrast checkers. Use the 60-30-10 guideline as well, which refers to an optimal proportion for achieving color harmony.

#7. Small Screen Size, Single Window

Another limitation that designers face while creating mobile UX is the screen's small size. People may only view one window at a time as a result of this, which severely limits the user experience.

Although there are efforts to support "multi-screen" and "multi-tasking," they are not yet the standard and come with their own set of limitations.

With this single window constraint, the key to better mobile UX is for the design to be self-contained. Anything the user needs to accomplish should be able to be done within a single screen or window, so they don't have to leave the app to find information, for example.

When users are forced to exit programs or switch to different displays, this adds to their overall cognitive load, making things more complicated and annoying.

#8. Tab bars clear and clean

Because tab bars are present in every software, they must be carefully designed. Now is not the time to be inventive.

For a better user experience, create clear and tidy tab bars and name all tabs if possible. Use icons only if you're 100 percent certain that users will recognize and understand what they're for. If icons are required, the structure of the icons should be as simple as feasible.

#9. Familiar navigation buttons

Use typical navigation menu sequences, such as the iOS tab bar or Android nav drawer. Make no attempt to reinvent the wheel. Because users are accustomed with these patterns, your app will feel more natural to them. This also applies to other features on these platforms that are built differently.

Concentrate on the user's objectives

Break down difficult jobs into smaller tasks. These smaller jobs may better fulfill the needs of the user. Take, for example, Lyft. It recognizes that the user's purpose is to get a ride somewhere. The software doesn't overload the user with too much information: it uses geolocation data to automatically locate the user's position, and all the user has to do is choose a pickup place.

Login Walls Should Be Avoided

Pages that require the user to log in or register in order to advance are known as login walls. When an app is first launched or a web page is first visited, a login wall is frequently displayed. Keep in mind that requiring registration too soon can result in more than 85% of customers abandoning the product.

#10. Speed

Make sure users don't have to wait for stuff.

While a quick response is ideal, there are situations when your app will fall short of the standard speed requirements.

A delayed response could be caused by a faulty Internet connection, or an action could be taking a long time (for example, installation of an update for the operating system) (for example, installation of an update for the operating system).

Make the app as fast and responsive as possible.

Remember that no matter what standards you follow or how well your design performs in your opinion, you should always conduct usability testing. I hope you found this post useful, and remember, if you don't put it into practice, you'll forget it!

The suggestions provided here, like any other design aspect, are only a starting point.

To get the greatest results, mix and match these ideas with your own. Always keep in mind that design isn't just for designers; it's also for users.

Treat your app as a work-in-progress, and use data from analytics and user comments to update it on a regular basis.

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