All successful apps on the market today come equipped with an excellent User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) design. UI/UX not only includes the beauty aspect of the app but also the convenience of its interaction with the end user. A successful app is designed in such a way that it looks pretty, while being fully capable of solving a problem with just a few touches and iterations. An app that facilitates easy navigation, garners a lot more attention from its user, resulting in a better customer engagement and retention rate, thus generating more revenue and giving a strong recognition to the business.
There is a sea of difference between UI/UX design for a desktop and mobile app design. It’s simply logical – You use the desktop at leisure, seated in your home or office, while mobile phones are used in random places like the car, public transport, in a queue, etc. That is why the experience of browsing on a desktop is very different from that of a mobile app. The space on the mobile screen is much more limited and has to be used wisely so as to pass on all the necessary information to the user in the window of time that he has dedicated his attention to the app. It is the job of the UI / graphic designer to ensure that the app is well thought out and finger-friendly.
We have curated the top five evergreen ideas that have proven to work best in UI design for mobile apps:
Minimalism: Essentially, minimalism is about breaking down design into its very simplest form and keeping just the essential elements. We live in a world with trickling attention spans of people. It is imperative to communicate so clearly that functionality is at the forefront.
Cut out the clutter and remember that every unnecessary icon or button on the mobile screen is a wasted space. Less is more. Divide the information into relevant information (signal) and irrelevant information (noise). Consolidate menus and options under one single button whenever possible. By cluttering the interface, users may face an information overload, get confused and miss the purpose of the app itself.
There are several ways to implement minimalism and a good start would be to have a minimalist colour palette with one accent. Having a lot of white space gives the perception of simplicity and ease. Using a simple, curved font, especially for apps that deal in high-stress categories such as banking, finance, assets, etc. help in making the user feel calm and at ease. Use the function of swipe and multi-tap to transition between screens.
Minimalism is a principle that is followed by several UI designers so it runs the risk of becoming monotonous. Although it may sound simple to apply, it takes hard work to create while retaining a strong aesthetic.
Storytelling: “A picture is worth a thousand words”, this ancient wisdom still holds true, especially when it comes to UI/UX design. The human brain is designed to absorb and understand things better when it is represented visually. That is why, Visual Storytelling plays a key part in the success of a mobile app.
Fundamentally, storytelling is a way to interact with the users in a simple, engaging manner by implementing visual media such as videos, images, graphics, music and audio. All the visual elements, coupled with a great copy that tells the story, tends to impart a better understanding of your app to the user while also helping them retain the information in their memory for a longer time.
The idea behind using storytelling in mobile apps is to achieve an uninterrupted, seamless UI. Using short notifications instead of pop-ups and giving users the option of performing functions without going back several steps could be a good way to integrate it.
Animation & Microinteraction: Animations are highly underrated. It’s simple; They bring an app to life. Animations give the perception of having a ‘conversation’ with the app, garnering the attention of the user and creating a connection with them. They add value to the app, increase user interaction and give a gratifying experience to the user.
Animations can be used to depict navigation or to represent the completion of an action. When used to fill a lag in the completion of a task, they help retain the user’s attention.
Microinteractions are minute animations like colour changes to depict a function, for instance, Facebook’s like button. They are so subtly integrated into the interface that their absence can feel a little out-of-place. Although not essential, animations and microinteractions add value to the application. They elevate from functionality to excellence.
Uninterrupted Interface: The biggest battle that a UI/UX designer is fighting for today is the attention of a user. Every additional iteration added to the process will make the user doubt his purchase decision. An interruption could lead to losing the user itself. That’s why they say, “Don’t interrupt a person that gives you money”.
It is the designer’s job to ensure that the flow of the app is smooth and organized. The user must control the app and vice versa!
Utilizing gestures instead of buttons is a great way to free space and give a clean look to the app. The internet runs on cookies, consider using the data that you have collected, in a wise manner. Avoid unnecessary form-filling and questions. Instead, use it to personalise the product and speeden up the process. Passwordless logins, facial recognition, OTP (one-time password) are convenient and simply enhance the user’s time and interaction with the app.
AR | VR: Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are not just limited to gaming and entertainment anymore, but have found a niche in other segments like beauty, fashion, ecommerce, health and wellness apps too. It is fairly new but it can give you a big push ahead of your competitors if integrated wisely. Incorporating AR in relevant ecommerce apps can change the way people shop from afar, resulting in more sales too!
Source: Shopify AR
AR & VR are so interesting because they break the boundaries between reality and digital. They are extremely immersive and make the user engage with the app a lot more than usual. This helps the app gather more user information and in turn achieve goals faster.
There is no rulebook that defines good UI design. A lot of aspects rely on the brand’s DNA and strategy as well. UI Trends keep coming and going and it is upto the designer to pick and choose only the ones that are consistent with the brand’s communication. It is often recommended that the brand hires a professional agency or an experienced individual for the UI/UX design of the app as someone like that would be able to deliver a much better product and give you great leverage. So, invest wisely. If you have any more tips on UI design in 2020, feel free to comment below!