A Comprehensive Guide to Mobile App Design & Top 5 Principles
In today’s digital age, mobile devices have become an integral part of our daily lives, and with that comes an ever-growing demand for mobile apps.
With over 5.6 million apps available on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store combined, it’s more important than ever to create a mobile app that not only stands out but also provides an exceptional user experience.
Mobile app development has transformed the way we interact with technology, from ordering food to hailing a ride to managing our finances. But what makes a mobile app truly stand out among the millions available in the app stores? It’s all in the design. A well-designed mobile app not only looks good, but also enhances the user experience, making it more intuitive, engaging, and memorable.
What is App Design?
The look and feel of a mobile application are defined as app design. This covers all visual and interactive features that have an impact on how the app works.
Mobile app design combines two concepts: UI and UX.
The user interface (UI) includes the look and feel of the app. It contains color, font, app style, and other design options. The user experience (UX) design highlights the app’s features and use.
There are so many brilliant app concepts out there. But it will be difficult to retain users without a top-notch UI and UX design. Whether you’re creating an e-commerce app, an internal employee app, a fitness app, or another type of app, design should always be a top focus.
That is why investing in app design from the start is important. An investment now will actually save you money and ensure a higher ROI for your app later.
What Platform Should You Design For?
Most app developers must create apps for multiple platforms. You’ll most likely want the app to be available on both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.
That being said, there are several aspects to consider when creating an app for multiple platforms and operating systems. The development processes for iOS and Android differ as well.
It’s also worth mentioning that the market share for iOS and Android is not the same. Apple dominates the US market, while Android rules the world. As a result, your target user base will ultimately influence what platform you design for.
iOS App Design
While creating an iOS app, there are various factors to consider. For starters, the platform is incredibly dependable. It is quick and simple to use.
Apple also makes it much easier to debug errors in app design. Hence, if you have usability issues, you should be able to swiftly correct them and push an update.
Apple users want a sleek style. It should be cutting-edge and user-friendly. You should also make certain that the app is compatible with the full Apple ecosystem. This covers iPad apps, Apple Watch apps, Mac apps, and more.
Design of Android App
Android is not a closed ecosystem like Apple. In comparison to iOS apps, you’ll have a lot more flexibility with your app-building and design environment.
If you’re new to app design, Google has an extensive knowledge base you can consult. When compared to Apple, it is often less expensive to build and publish an Android app.
Android apps, like iOS, must consider a design that extends beyond devices. It should work with wearables, virtual reality tools, Android cars, and other devices. There are app stores for many different device types and platforms that need to be considered while designing for Android.
Mobile UX Design Key Principles
Mobile design in general cannot be ignored. Globally, mobile and tablet devices are used to access the internet more than desktop computers. Ignoring those users is no longer the norm for UX designers. Mobile designers must consider mobile UX best practices at all stages of the design process.
1) Prioritize the user
It should go without saying, but the user should always come first in any design project, and user needs are even more vital (and specific) on mobile devices. If designers do not adapt to the needs of mobile users, such users will swiftly go on to other websites, apps, or distractions.
2) Provide a Consistent User Experience Across Devices
The shift between utilizing an app, mobile website, or desktop website should be seamless. Designers should not use different colors for the app and the website (for example, blue for the app and red for the website).
Customers trust websites and apps that provide seamless experiences.
3) Focus on User Objectives
A person’s goals on a mobile app or website are likely to differ from those on a complete desktop site. For example, on a restaurant app, a visitor is likely to want to do only a few things: see the menu, make a reservation, or get directions. Most of the time, they aren’t digging for the entire history of the company on their mobile phone—that kind of information can be hidden under menus or submenus.
Consider what a user might wish to perform on a mobile app.
4) Create Intuitive Navigation
Mobile site and app navigation must be more intuitive than desktop sites. Consumers must be able to quickly figure out how to use a mobile app or website. This can be achieved using known design patterns (such as hamburger menus) as well as recognizable icons (such as a “home” icon for the home screen, a chat bubble for messaging, and so on).
5) Always Make Things Easier
When a user visits a website or app on a mobile device, they want to complete the work at hand as soon as possible. It is up to the designer to make completion of necessary tasks as simple as feasible. Eliminating everything that isn’t absolutely vital to each work is a great place to start. It is also critical to simplify important actions on a mobile interface.
Following these well-known mobile UX design principles will result in a better overall user experience for customers visiting a mobile site or using a mobile app. Designers just have a few seconds to grab people’s interest before they abandon an app or website in favor of one that is more user-friendly, intuitive, or streamlined.
Great mobile design is becoming more ubiquitous, and the bar for what customers expect from their mobile apps has been set even higher. Designers can no longer treat mobile design as an afterthought, but must instead devote the same amount of time, effort, and resources to it as they do to other forms.
You know you need a great mobile app, but finding the right developers can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. Fortunately, with Synergent’s team of mobile app experts, you’ll have a trusty map to navigate the twists and turns and arrive at your destination with a top-notch app in hand.