What Every Team Must Do to Improve Mobile App User Experience

What Every Team Must Do to Improve Mobile App User Experience

Amritsawan Bhanja
17
 min read
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What are your favorite movies? Can you think about what’s common between all of them? I’m sure every one of them had a great plotline, narration, acting, cinematography, background score, etc. It is this blend of many elements that delivered you a great experience.

And just like movies, there are a lot of things that make for a great user experience on an app. So if you want to deliver an “Oscar-worthy” app, we have created this short guide.

How to Improve Mobile App User Experience

User experience is as subjective as each individual user. What might be just perfect for someone will be too much for another user. There are a few general aesthetics and trends that can lead to a wonderful user experience for all.

Let's categorize different processes in user experience and look for cues to improve them.

Starting with the first step of building an app, designing! This is the exciting stage where you are crafting a prototype of how the application looks. This will include the font, color, icons, and general look of the app. 

Choosing fonts and colors for your target audience 

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Imagine you made a menstrual cycle tracking app. If the primary colors are limited to shades of a few colors, your audience will not get the right information at a glance. Once you have built a functional color scheme, the next step should be enhancing colors to delight your audience. The question to ask yourself is: Are you researching the trending colors? Does your audience connect well with the colors you shortlisted? How can you use these colors to your advantage?

Additionally, you should:

  • Use a minimal color scheme that focuses on the customer base’s characteristics like gender, demography, age group, etc. 
  • Fonts should be easy to read and concise.
  • We do not recommend experimenting with tackey colors and fonts.
  • Must contain a contrasting font color to the background.

Clean and eye-appealing layout

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Mobile application designers want to display every feature possible on the application. But that will lead to a cluttered screen. Too many graphics and shapes tend to confuse the users. Note that:

  • Designs with a few graphics perform the best.
  • The layout should perfectly fill a mobile screen size.
  • Keep the color scheme consistent throughout the application segments.

Easy to detect icons

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Users have thin patience and a thinner attention span. We don't want to waste our customer's time in trying to search for icons to complete a step.

  • Use contrasting colors for Icons to stand out. 
  • Make icons big enough to catch attention on the page.
  • Use conventional symbols which are easy to understand universally.
  • Have a ‘help’ button near each icon, that a user can click to understand if needed.
  • Use creative but obvious icons. 
  • Include visual search for E-commerce applications.

Size and position of elements

Spectacles are cool but let’s keep them for reading newspapers and not scanning your app. Mobile screen sizes vary and hence the size of your images and texts should be just right. Surveys of 100s of top-performing apps suggest image size about JPG is 29KB and the average PNG is 16KB.

  • Make sure all the UI elements are legible for all device resolutions.
  • Use high-quality, fast-loading, and relevant images.
  • Do not place elements, illustrations, and images at awkward positions on the screen.

The first impression of your application is like an unboxing experience. App familiarization is important for first-time users. Although applications should be designed to be self-explanatory, it earns you brownie points from a new user out. 

Create a great onboarding process

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What better way to make a first impression than introducing yourself? You can be as creative as you want with it. For example, give an app tour when people enter.

No one wants to slide through 10 pages to finish the login process. Hence, keep your login/sign-up page relevant and short. For example, for an eCommerce application, the delivery address is important. But don’t ask for it the moment they log in. If the name and email address are enough, then stop there.

  • Make video/illustration slides summarizing the features before entering the app.
  • Explain common processes/icons/journey/ beforehand.
  • Put effort into designing the onboarding process and don't make it boring. Only ask for the required information.
  • We recommend not asking for payment card details during free trials but if absolutely necessary, make sure you give a disclaimer.
  • Let users use social credentials like Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, etc
  • Keep users logged in, do not ask for repetitive logins after they exit the app unless that’s what they want.

Search can be critical

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Have your user’s back during all times. Be it new users or existing ones, a good old search bar is always helpful.

  • Have an eye-catching search bar or search symbol on the page.
  • Give reasons for why a search failed, for example, wrong spelling, etc.
  • Use artificial intelligence to give smart recommendations in search.
  • You can include previous as well as common search queries.

Let users choose a few settings

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Let users feel at home by letting them have a little control over the user interface.

  • Let users choose the light or dark mode.
  • Users will appreciate being given the option to choose the font size.
  • Give users the option to skip these settings if they want to do it later.

We want to concentrate on making your application as regularly used as possible. The ease of usability decides how often a customer will open the app. The smoother the experience of using the application, the more is the retention rate of customers. 

Give enough touch space 

Did you click on the red box which says “Shop”? But couldn't get it to work until you literally pressed the “O” of ‘shop’?  That is why it is necessary to provide enough touch space.

  • Avoid rage tags by having a big enough touch space.
  • Include ‘one-hand’ mode in your application.

Give clarity on failed processes

It’s important to inform users that action did not take place. But they care more about how can they fix it.

  • Include illustrations to give reasons for example ‘rainy’ symbol for network issues.
  • Give an alternative to finishing the failed action.

Asking permission 

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A mobile phone is a very personal entity to each individual. Be mindful when asking for permission to access other apps on a person's phone and explain the importance of these permission.

  • Give reasons for wanting to access another app's data.
  • Gain the user's trust by explaining your policies and mission.

The effectiveness of an app is what differentiates it from its competition. There are many ways to get things done on an application. But only the applications that can make these processes effortless tend to convert better.

Ease of completing an action

If something gets answered in yes or no, please don’t ask people to give a 200-word essay. What we mean is to keep your application as simple as possible.

  • Keep as minimum steps as possible.
  • Ask for a minimal amount of user inputs.
  • Give positive affirmation and subtle messages once the action is complete.

Try to maintain minimum load time 

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Faster load time is integral to any application. You do not want to annoy your users by including late loading elements in your application.

  • Make sure your images and graphic elements load on time.
  • Optimize images and elements that are taking more load time than necessary.
  • Get technical help in case the load time is exceeding over 2 seconds. 

Provide customer support

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Cusromer support is part and parcel of user experience. Having the support integrated with your ap ensures faster resolutions and feedback.

  • Have an efficient, quick, and active customer support team.
  • You can have a technical FAQ answers segment in the app.
  • Many apps now use a chatbot to help with customer queries.

Don’t skip UX monitoring

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Do qualitative analysis to learn about UX issues. This is an important step in the software development ecosystem.

  • Do your research and choose the most suitable software testing tools.
  • Take the results seriously and make modifications according to the review.
  • Go in-depth of crash and bug reports and resolve all of them.
  • Conduct periodic software testing to help determine technical issues to always keep your best foot forward.

Constantly ask for user feedback

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Respect and value your users' opinions about the application. They are investing their precious time to help improve your application.

  • Conduct regular feedback surveys. But do not force users to take one in the middle of a task.
  • Grow your email list and also use that platform to take feedback.
  • Acknowledge comments and feedback left by the users and tell them briefly how you plan to work on them.

Be considerate to physically challenged users

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Applications have gone from being luxury to daily used necessities. They should try to inculcate differently-abled customers as well. Including a few basic changes in your application can increase Accessibility in App design. 

Many applications have been developed specifically for physically challenged people. Using a few of those features in your application can make it much more disability-friendly such as:

  • Customers can use the help of voice search and screen readers.
  • Speech recognition software can help with detecting sentences from people with speech impairment.

Localize for inclusivity

Applications will perform well, gain more market when they include local elements from their target market.

  • Release new features condiering audience from all geographies and languages.
  • Include a user interface that can change into a few common languages. 
  • Test your applications with users and trustworthy local testing agencies.

Invest in Digital Experience Monitoring (DEM) tools

It is crucial to monitor an app's performance on the end user's device, network analysis, demographic-specific data, SaaS vendors, and so on. 

  • Invest in digital experience monitoring tools specific to your app’s needs.
  • Regularly analyze and experiment with the app’s UX/UI to find strategies to grow your application.

Conclusion

User experience is a complex system with numerous aspects to improve. Mobile applications come with their own set of boundaries. We have tried to cover as many improvement points as possible. Work on them and you are ready to build a world-class mobile app for a humongous user base.

Best apps are on top of their competition due to the positive user experience of their customers. 

We hope you follow the advice listed above to make your application successful. We hope this article gave you the experience you wanted.

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