In today’s digital age, smartphones have become an integral part of our lives. Gone are the days when the desktop was the only getaway to the online world. Smartphones have transformed the way we communicate, think, work, shop and consume information. Consequentially, the design and functionality of mobile apps have become increasingly important. That’s where Mobile User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) come into play.
Although they are often mistakenly used interchangeably, UX and UI design are complementary yet completely different practices. While the former focuses on what you experience as a user when you interact with the app, the latter refers to the interface that helps you communicate with the app. As a result, they ultimately determine whether a user returns to the app, deletes it, or even worse gives it a bad rating.
In fact, one of the reasons the video-sharing platform TikTok has retained its spot as the most downloaded app is due to the UX design of its feed. App designers made use of the Hooked Model approach which rewards users with popular content as soon as they launch the app. Rather than test users’ reactions to content, TikTok rewards them with top-notch entertainment which individuals have been engaging with.
Accessibility and ease of use. These are the main factors every user looks for whenever using their smartphone. Even if one is simply playing a no-deposit slot overall experience – whether good or bad – will leave a great impact on the user. So you can imagine how valuable certain principles (which we’ll be looking into below) are for other mobile usage, be it for work, play, or even a simple browsing exercise on the web.
What To Keep In Mind
UX/UI design has proven to play an integral part in deciding the success of a mobile application. The dramatic increase in online applications has also come with an increase in user expectations. That’s right, as the market gets increasingly more saturated, app developers are finding it more and more difficult to stand out from the overcrowded space. While earlier developers did not really focus on design features, rather prioritizing getting the app up and ready in an efficient manner. In today’s market, they can’t afford not to as nowadays mobile app users demand fast, elegant and easy-to-use applications.
Building a successful mobile app does not mean shrinking a website to the size of a 6-inch mobile screen as this will result in an unattractive and congested look, not to mention complicated navigation. UX/UI designers need to keep in mind that they must adapt any features they wish to replicate from the original website in order to fit a mobile screen.
This generally means streamlining the information by identifying what is most relevant and important for users. By keeping the content short and sweet, the mobile screen will remain sleek and well-organized, allowing it to be more easily processed.
Whether it’s vertical or horizontal, one of the best parts about smartphones is being able to pick whatever screen orientation is most convenient for you at any given time. This often usually depends on the type of app being used, as when it comes to video applications such as YouTube or Twitch, users widely opt for horizontal orientations. While users using social media apps like Instagram tend to prefer vertical orientations.
As a result, it is essential for UX/UI designers to ensure that an app’s user experience works in both vertical and horizontal orientations, allowing users to use their mobile screen to the fullest and providing them with a choice to use what they feel most comfortable with. This means placing features and clickable icons that you can easily reach no matter the screen orientation.
Unlike desktop or laptop computers which come equipped with a keyboard and mouse, the main point of interaction for mobile users is through the touch screen. This is something that UX/UI needs to factor in when designing their mobile apps as they need to come up with a variety of input methods and gestures such as double tap for zoom in and three-finger slide for taking a screenshot etc.
Additionally, they also need to take into account the size of the buttons and icons and the distance between them, ensuring the UI does not look overcrowded. If icons are placed too close to each other, the user can easily press the wrong icon.