5 Best Practices To Improve Mobile User Experience?
When you’re using a mobile application if the content on it is not organized well or the navigation of it is hard, will you keep using it? I’m sure most of you will abandon it and use a different application. This is why creating a good design with a clear layout and proper Navigation is important. When users download an app they want it to provide the perfect experience. Because of this, it is important to consider the best UX practices for the perfect User Experience.
1. User is the Main Priority
Focusing on the user is the key to a good design. You must jump from the designer’s world to the user’s world when you design the layout of the Application. Thinking from the perspective of the user will enhance the User Experience. You have to consider the end goal that the user is trying to accomplish and create a design that would help the user achieve the goal with ease.
Another fact that you can consider is personalization. This can help to improve the User Experience of the Application and achieve marketing goals. The content and navigational options of the application can be personalized according to the user’s needs and remove the irrelevant content which won't mislead the user from their task.
The size of the buttons must also be considered. The button size must be large enough and easy for the user to tap and there must be a considerable amount of white space in between buttons to avoid any selection errors.
If you take ‘Twitter’ as an example, you can see how the statement ‘See whats happening in the world right now’ will persuade the user to create an account right away. How you think from the user’s perspective is the main factor that you must consider. In the user’s view, he/she would want to create a Twitter account to get the latest news in regards of a particular topic using that application. When the user sees a statement like so, he/she will be more convinced to create an account.
2. Optimize a clear layout
One of the important facts for a Mobile Application is having content with a clear layout. The Text in the content must be readable even on the small screen. Instead of focusing on reducing the amount of information that you’re adding to the content, you must think of displaying all the relevant information in an organized layout even with less space. When creating the content, making use of White space is another useful practice.
“White space is to be regarded as an active element, not a passive background”— Jan Tschichold
In addition to this, a large set of data can be shown in a statistical manner. This is because on a smaller screen it will be hard and tiring for the user to read the data when there is a large amount of data. But always make sure that you have various gestures and in-text controls for the ease of the user.
Another fact to consider is the user’s “thumb zone”. Most users are one-handed when using a mobile phone. Therefore the most useful options and tasks can be designed onto the bottom area of the screen. This will be advantageous as users mostly interact with the phone from one hand.
For example, when the user is creating a Twitter account, you can see from the below images how the layout is very simple and convenient for the user where he/she can complete the required task at once because it is clearly shown. The user will not be distracted with anything else and can create/log in with no confusion due to this clear layout.
Source: 8 mobile UX best practices every designer should consider by Renee Fleck, Design principles — Gestalt, white space, and perception by Barbara Marcantonio
3. Make the main task clear
A user would download an Application for specific use only. In addition to this, the user would want to complete their task in the easiest and the quickest way possible. Therefore, when the user opens up the application, the main task/use of that application must be clearly visible. If the user faces any issue with completing the task, he/she would definitely abandon that application and move onto another. To keep the user from doing so, it is best practice to have the main task visible at a glance. Removing all the distracting and unwanted content can be done and the task that the user needs to do can be designed in a very simple manner.
For example, after a user has logged in to their respective Twitter account, he/she will come across a very clean layout. The most important thing for the user in Twitter is the news feed. The main task a user would want to do is to navigate on this news feed to get information. Therefore, the first thing the user will come across is the clear layout of this news feed.
Source: Mobile UX design principles and best practices by Cameron Chapman
4. Use push notifications wisely
As you can see, 71% of users uninstall an application because of annoying push notifications. You should design an application that would show push notifications to the user when needed only. Users hate it when they are bombarded with notifications that are not useless. They will be distracted from their work and this would be negative feedback for the application.
As designers we should create the design with the intention of ‘better user engagement’ but unnecessary push notifications are not a good practice that should be followed. Instead of sending a large number of push notifications, you can optimize email, in-app notifications, or news feed messaging. In addition to this, by default, you can request the user’s permission to enable notifications or not. If the user is not a fan of notifications they can disable this option. These remedies could improve user engagement.
As shown in the following image, when the user is creating an account, Twitter will ask for the user’s permission to enable notifications or not. This is an option that must be available in any application to avoid any frustrations. There can be users who would not want to see notifications from a specific application therefore the option to disable notifications must be available for the convenience of the user.
Source: 10 Reasons for Why People Uninstall Your Mobile App by Seyhmus Olker
5. Optimize better navigation
Navigation within an application is another area that can be focused on. This is a high priority because if navigating through the app is hard for the user, he/she would abandon it. All important tasks must be easily accessible and discoverable. They must be optimized well within the small screen and whitespace must be used effectively. “Don’t make the user think!” is an important concept to remember. Without thinking the user should be able to complete their tasks.
For example, the news feed in the Twitter application has a very smooth flow. If needed the main menu is available with the user’s profile or settings to navigate easily. The more convenient the navigation throughout an application is, the more users would want to interact with the application.
Source: Mobile UX design principles and best practices by Cameron Chapman
Following these best practices can increase the User experience of an Application. It will be a great advantage to you when you follow these practices as it will bring positive feedback from the user. An application with a great design at a first glance is a good impression but if the interactivity with it is not good, it will be negative feedback. The number of applications that get released becomes higher every day but a very small amount of that is downloaded onto the phone and used for a long time. This is because the User Experience is low. It is better if you follow these best practices and many more to design an application that the user will love.
References and some useful resources for you!
5 best practices for Mobile UX by Joanna Ngai
10 Reasons for Why People Uninstall Your Mobile App by Seyhmus Olker
Mobile UX design principles and best practices by Cameron Chapman
8 mobile UX best practices every designer should consider by Renee Fleck
Don’t Make Me Think — Key Learning Points for UX Design for the Web by Interaction Design Foundation
Design principles — Gestalt, white space, and perception by Barbara Marcantonio
Mobile UX Design Constraints, Best Practices, and Working with Developers by Shane Ketterman