The importance of a great user interface and experience in mobile apps
With mobile usage growing each day, us as designers need to come up with more and more intuitive ways of providing a fluid and intuitive experience to our users within the constraints of the mobile platform. We have had to move our priorities from desktop to mobile and this article highlights methods in which you can provide a great user experience with very few pixels.
Make your app clear
One of the main annoyances of a poor user interface is when you haven’t a clue what to do. Actions need to be clearly identified and users need to know exactly what they are doing with clear and concise prompts.
Rule of thumb
Unlike my granddad, most users tend to use their phone with their thumbs. This is an important consideration when laying out an application flow. For example, if a user is a filling out a form, they should be able to navigate through fields in the lower part of the screen. An even better approach (if possible) is real-time validation meaning when an input has been filled and passed validation they should automatically be forwarded to the next to complete, reducing taps and giving a much better user experience.
Icons for text
Icon design is such an important part of mobile design. They take up a fraction of screen space while being a lot easier on the eye than plain text. Yet poor icon design can be a big problem, people need to instantly know what the icon simulates and have a good idea what will happen when they tap it. Here at Atom Engine we user test all our icons, ensuring that only the most recognised ones are used. If the action of the icon is still slightly ambiguous then consider adding captions on thumb down, or a first launch tutorial.
Remember your OS
Always consider which platform you are developing for when designing a UI. Android and iOS have subtle differences in their native UI’s that shouldn’t really be mixed. For example, the back action on iOS is either top left or a cross screen pan. Android however has its own back button. As native developers we believe in giving a UI that the user is already familiar with, so would always recommend adjusting your gestures and button positions dependent on the platform you are developing for.
Storyboard and test first
When developing non standard gestures for actions we would always storyboard a design, place the image on a real device and user test the intuitiveness of the gesture. The last thing you want to do is develop a gesture that no one knows exists.
Mobile or Tablet
You should always consider altering the user interface between mobiles and tablets. Tablets offer much more space and you should therefore be able to cut out the number of taps required to carry out an action. An example of this is using split screen to show list and detail views all in one screen.
We hope you have found this article a useful insight into user interface and experience. If you would like to talk to us about an app design/development project you have in mind then please contact us here.
You may also like:
There has always been a debate around the longevity of QR codes in marketing publications. Are they a “flash in the pan” or are they a useful tool in your marketing playbook? In this post we’ll examine what is a QR code and how it can be helpful to achieve your business objectives.
It’s fair to say that most of us are glued to a screen of some kind or another for most of our waking hours. Whether you work at a desk, are on the road using your phone to keep in touch or even find your way to your next meeting, it is increasingly common to use a mobile during your working day.
When our clients start to work with us, they are very focused on the need for an app, the details of how it will work, and are even keen to understand how it will look and feel. What is often not considered by those new to building apps is how they will ultimately convince their audience to download it.
At Atom Engine we are all about developing innovative apps with beautiful yet functional designs. But how do you come up with a ground-breaking app idea? How do you think of that idea that will make your competitors wish they’d come up with it first? Read on to find out.
We’ve developed some new tools that are free to use to help you to create barcodes, QR codes and iOS app store iconography. Try them for yourself today.
A tutorial showing how to create a simple app with a collection view that will display recent headlines from a News API, this tutorial assumes you know very little about iOS development.
A prototype is an initial version of your potential final product. Learn why they are important and whether it should be used in your next project.
Developers programming for iOS currently have two choices for creating an App, Objective C and Swift. While Swift is seen as the 'offspring' of Obj C there are many differences. Learn about them here.
Here we explain the benefits of an offline first approach to app development.
With over 5 million apps online today, more than a good idea is needed to create an app that people will want to use. We discuss a few things to consider before launching your next project.
Here we look at reasons how you could possibly save your business some money as well as improve customer engagement.
Learn the differences between the two most popular methodologies in development today and the benefits of each. See if you have any preference on which you'd rather use on your next project.
Are you undecided on whether your company needs social media? Read on and we will try to convince you as to why it's essential.
See how analytics are just as important within mobile apps as your website.
Native vs Cross Platform App Development. Read ahead and decide which you think would be most beneficial for your business
What is machine learning and how can it be used to improved your mobile application.
How in-house mobile apps can give your business an efficiency boost.