Design of any kind can be a huge concept to grasp. As we move from desktop to mobile, the complexity and questions we have to ask ourselves about design grow exponentially. Mobile users have a very different mindset compared to those who are at home by their computers. How do we design an experience for them and their devices? That’s the big question.
We have five design tips that will help you build an incredible mobile app. Approaching your design from these perspectives will help you discover and implement the best design choices possible for your success.
5 Tips for Creating an Incredible Mobile Web App
Mobile users are on the go, and they’re typically in a hurry. They want fast, simple, and effective solutions. Of course, that’s easier said than done, but today’s tips are aimed at helping designers find that perfect balance between these things.
While it’s true that mobile design is a different beast than what most are used to, it is the way of the future, and it’s time we prepared, today.
1. Plan For the Future
If you’ve been in the web app development industry for some time, you’ll know that mobile hardware moves at an incredible pace when compared to other electronics. As software grows and evolves, it outpaces the current hardware just as the next iteration of the iPhone or the Galaxy is released.
If you start developing with the specifications of a current phone in mind, by the time you go to market, you’ll already be outdated. Worse, someone could beat you to the punch. How do you avoid this? It all starts with a forward-thinking approach that focuses on tomorrow, not today.
Don’t be afraid to dream big and invest into the future. Mobile app development takes time, so odds are the technology will catch up with your needs by the time you release it. It’s important, too, that you look at the trends in your industry and what your competitors are doing.
This will help you make an informed prediction and service as the milestone for your development. Whether it’s your concept, your design, or your timetable, always think about the future and prepare for it today.
2. Focus on User Experience
Everything that businesses do online these days ties back to user experience. Design, as you can imagine, is no different. When you look at the facts, there’s probably another app that does something similar to what yours does. How do you differentiate yourself? You do what they do, only better and more efficiently.
This is where there’s something to be said about keeping things simple. Consider Robinhood, the winner of the Apple Design Awards in 2015. It won not because it was groundbreaking, but because it had a great typography and a clean design that put the content front and center.
When it comes to UI designs, the best options are the ones you never see. In his post called “Great Designs Should Be Experienced and Not Seen,” Jared M. Spool made an excellent comparison:
“The better the design, the more invisible it becomes. It’s like an air conditioner in a conference room. Nobody ever interrupts our meetings to tell us how comfortable the temperature is. They don’t even notice. We only notice the conference room temperature when it is too cold or too hot.”
Instead of over-complicating the experience, it’s important to keep things simple, while also providing a high-quality design. That’s why color choice and typography are such integral parts of web design and most certainly a part of mobile app design. They constitute the usability of the program and provide the foundation for a great user experience.
3. Optimize, Optimize, Optimize
Optimization is extremely important for web design, but it’s even more important for your mobile efforts. People want speed and efficiency, and with data plans, you need to make sure your app isn’t pulling too much data or using too much battery power when it runs.
Not only will data- and power-hungry design elements affect user experience, but they are also grounds for your app to be ranked down in the app stores. You should make it your goal to use as little of your customer’s data and battery life as possible. This way, they will be more inclined to use your app consistently.
4. Know Your Colors (and What They Mean)
While not an exact science, color psychology is an important part of choosing your mobile app’s design. You want colors that promote readability, but you also want them to promote proper emotions.
Some examples to help you decide which colors are right for your design are:
- Yellow: Clarity and warmth
- Orange: Cheerful, confident, positive
- Red: Bold, excited, energetic
- Purple: Wisdom, creativity, imagination
- Blue: Trustworthy, strong, reliable
- Green: Healthy, growth, life
- White: Balance, calm, neutrality
It’s also important to choose your colors with contrast in mind and promote readability through colors that work well together. This depends on the situation. In some cases, you’ll want one element to stand out from the others. Contrast can help you create this effect.
You should also utilize this type of thinking with major functions of your app and with your call-to-actions.
5. Put Yourself in Their Shoes
The best way to understand your customers is to observe them and listen to their needs. If you have a question about design, who can answer it better than the ones it’s designed for? Try putting yourself in their shoes for everything you do. Ask yourself what they will be using the app for, what will be going on around them, and what they expect from it immediately.
Taking minute details, such as their environment, into consideration will help you decide on things like colors and functionality. Since users will most likely be on the move, you can use those insights to make the app more appealing and easy to use.
Tips for effective Visual Merchandising in mobile app
‘The retail market is evolving faster than the tuatara’. I accept that the statement sounds a bit abrupt and the one with no link in between. But looking at the changing trends, the retail market is undoubtedly bringing new ways in its business with every passing day.
If we see around a decade back, the online market required some physical efforts in order to get attention. However, with time the operations changed drastically, resulting in an entirely new form of merchandising.
How visual merchandising stepped in?
Visual merchandising has its roots somewhere in the 19th century when dry goods pioneers like Marshall Field & Co. entered the retail market and started to display the store’s merchandise. However, by the time we reached the 21st century, visual merchandising evolved as aesthetic science.
Visual merchandising in a matter of moments became an invincible part of the retail business. The reason behind it getting this attention is the subsequent increase in the returns per square foot and reduced employee mix. Digital signage and images are now an inevitable part of the industry.
Visual merchandising in mobile application
‘The World is going online, the phrase opens up almost all the doors of your brain to allow everything without exception that connects to the same; starting from the past, followed by the present, till you reach visual merchandising’s future in the mobile retail market. Monitoring the role that mobile apps are playing in the retail business, you understand the need to present this ‘visual experience’ in the best possible way. Visual merchandising also plays a vital role in upcoming mobile app trends.
A recent study claims that retail mobile commerce has increased from $ 41.71 Billion in 2013 to more than $ 115 Billion in 2016. Not only this, expectations say that keeping the same pace, in the coming four years it’ll be more than double-crossing $ 330 billion marks.
The study reveals the growth in the mobile retail market and also proves that this isn’t a bubble, instead, is going towards new benchmarks. People today prefer to sit on their couches and surf through the products and services they wish to have instead of visiting the traditional brick and mortar.
While everyone is heading towards the shore, to grab the shells, it has been seen only a few manage to execute it properly. If you are part of the latter, or you feel that you can read more from it, here are some tips to help you execute effective visual merchandising in the mobile app:
1. Your target audience
Walking long over the boulevard to success, without focusing on the target audience rightly, is indeed a difficult task. When it’s about retail marketing, the target audience is broad yet easy to aim for. Your online store needs a visual appearance (of various forms) intended to attract the target audience. So, before you plan the interface and design, ensure it connects with your audience and your brand mutually.
2. The Photographs
With high-resolution photographs of the product, you can create a better impression in front of the buyers. According to a report, 75% of app users shared quality images of the product as a major aspect they notice while shopping online. The same report also talks about around 66% of buyers preferring to have an alternate view and 61% of buyers like to zoom-in for a closer look.
3. Model shots
Give that live touch to your users, which makes them understand your product better. Adding model shots help users to understand the exact size of the product. Accordingly, to a report shared by practicology, in comparison to flats and mannequins, women who wear model shots get 5-20% better responses. I accept that the same can cost you somewhat extra, but this isn’t an expense instead is an investment you are doing.
4. Using more than one photo
Never ever confine your buyers with product photos. Allow them to explore the product through various pictures. Your buyers cannot physically touch your product and hence they have the feel a little insecure and confused regarding the product’s looks. Take pictures from all possible angles and share them after evaluating the same from the buyer’s perspective.
5. Creating product videos
This is the next level to attract buyers. Taking the statement ‘I like what I see’ one step further, it’s often noticed that adding a short video of a product can make buyers understand it better. Google’s retail industry director, Todd Pollak says ‘approximately 34% of buyers buy the product after seeing the video’. With the help of videos, a buyer can have a better experience of the product. They can learn the inside and out about the looks and features of the product and subsequently order the product.
The term consistency here talks about the pictures you post on your app store. Ensure consistency in the size, lighting, and spacing of your pictures. Inconsistent posts won’t just make it difficult for the buyers to surf, but will also leave a negative impact on them. The background for pictures should be the same (recommended use of white for a better view), while the quality of images should be good. Users have shared that the use of quality images impacts their decision highly. And why not, with this, your buyers can see the product and judge the looks and its quality in a better way.
7. Share special features
Buyers can’t physically touch and feel the product, thus you need to highlight the special features of your product. Give them a sketch that allows them to understand the product well. For the same, you can add photos of your product in all available colors, you can highlight the features by pointing them to the picture, and you can also give them a sneak inside your product.
8. Describe the description briefly
People do wish to understand your product to make the purchase, but in order to crack it, you don’t have to publish an essay and shower all your creativity. Keep your product description short and specific, no buyer has that much time to spend reading, they benefit from having a number of options available in the online app world. Here making a short paragraph, or preferably a bullet point can be favorable for you. Give your audience highlights about the product in order to judge things better.
9. Be creative
Though last on our list, it is very important. While running with visual merchandising, you should be creative enough to grab the audience’s attention. When I say ‘be creative’, it includes your design, content, pictures, and everything that is visible on your mobile application. You also need to take care that the design theme you are using not only looks good but also fits all kinds of devices. A little distraction or inconvenience can irritate your users, subsequently making them leave without buying anything.
Must-follow UI Design Principles to Build Powerful Mobile App
In a quest to serve the best and stay ahead, hundreds and thousands of apps get launched in-app markets on daily basis. Ironically, not all the apps hit record-breaking reviews. Some either get stuck due to average architecture, or some get vanished due to user engagement. This is when the need comes to design feature-rich unique mobile apps that can be referred to synonymously with perfection and quality.
Amid this stiff competition, app developers have realized the fact that there is no scope for average designing or low-performing user interface. So being a responsible mobile app designer, it becomes important for you to abide by all the basic standards of app designing in order to make it a hit on the app store. What makes this part more interesting is the ease in the execution of this process, and all you need to do is simply follow the principles of UI designing when heading on to design the next mobile app.
Scope Of Exemplary UI Design
User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) both are two major designing principles that should always be envisaged to get a long-running business website. Now before knowing the scope of UI designing, let’s get a basic idea about all the factors that influence User Interface. The prime factor contributing to the success of UI designing techniques is interactive web design. In simple terms, UI refers to User Interface, i.e creating mutual coordination between the user and the system for a seamless workflow. This means user engagement is mostly influenced by the swiftness and promptness of the app with the user. So it all depends on the quality extent of your design. It is the design and its intuitiveness that prompt users to get engaged with the app.
Only an interactive design can influence the quality and duration of users on an application. So exhibiting an interactive design on a website is no less than a privilege for improving its presence on the web.
After knowing the role of interactive design in enhancing the user interface of a design, let us know the key specifics that make an interactive design ideal.
An Interactive design must:
- Guide user with proper call-to-action functions.
- Activate custom device-specific interactions.
- Abide by the standard conventions of navigation.
- Exhibit less information on a single page to improve visibility.
- Be equipped to receive real-time reviews from the users.
In order to become a reckoned mobile app developer/designer, you must abide by the standard conventions of UI designing and strive to create something innovative. It is definitely not that difficult to turn it into reality. However, keeping a ‘mobile-specific’ approach prior to beginning with the mobile app designing can turn the very odds in your favor.
It’s time to learn about the principles that help in creating a powerful Mobile Application. Here we begin:
Consistency in Design Layout
The consistency in the layout of the design must be maintained all throughout the designing process to avoid any glitch during app running. No wonder a design layout with convoluted layers, multiple folds, and furls can badly affect the UI that ultimately hampering the user experience.
Keep It Simple As Much As Possible
Simplicity works wonders, not just in real life but in virtual too. Follow the simple rule and experience the magic of keeping it all simple, without stuffing the site with complex designs and other elements. You too can experience it by keeping the app design simple without stuffing some complex design elements. At the same time, avoid making it too simple as it could otherwise become an ordinary and boring app. For instance, if you are thinking of making a tour and travel app, do not make it simple and so basic. Instead add slideshows, animations, pictures, and custom colors to keep it lively and engaging.
Show Only Interactive Elements
All the design elements that are interactive in nature must be shown clearly in the layout of the app. No scope of uncertainty or doubt should be made visible to the users about app elements. Remember, the app menus or elements kept in ambiguity remain there forever, so keep the navigable options visible to all. If you are looking forward to making your app a sensation among all mobile users, then you must integrate only interactive designs.
Focus On The Core Functionality
To come out with a remarkable mobile app, you have to let a few things go or abandon some functions so as to prevent it from crashing. An app packed with multiple core elements would ultimately bloat and may hamper its release in the market. So it would be better if you cross out some of the major functionalities from the design.
Easy to Explore
An app that comes with minimum to no process of learning often gets popular among users. So design your app in such a manner that a user need not learn the guidelines in the midst of running the app.
Inform Users About Every Action
Keep your users informed of all the activities and notifications. Users majorly wish to know if the actions performed by them on the app have actually been applied or not? No wonder, the naive app users might expect to know if the sent messages, images, or other functions have been completed or not. Exactly like Gmail, WhatsApp, etc. where actions are notified promptly through notifications like “sent”, “saved to drafts”, “not sent”, etc.
Never Show All Your Cards
Yes! You read it right. Revealing all of your app features in one go may leave no room for development or engagement on the app in the future. The person sitting next to you will easily get bored if you have shown all of your cards in the game. Similarly, the users if given a layered user experience will get anticipated by your app and tend to stick to it for a longer time.
Choose Layout That Fits Best For All
A sound app designer knows about the responsibilities of creating an app that suits the requisites of all and serves them uniformly. The font, color, and graphics used in the app design must be friendly with the eyeballs of all age groups.
Uniformly Serve All Platforms
If you are looking forward to building an app that serves “ALL” mobile users then you must create an app that works smoothly on all platforms. Only an app that confers flexibility of being functional on the varied operating systems can be counted among the top-listed or most-downloaded apps. It would not only improve your target audience but also enhance the reach of a business on iOS, Windows, Android, Symbian mobile devices.
Now, you must have got a fair idea about the principles of UI designing or the tips to be followed while designing a mobile app. But before you actually begin the process, you must keep these points in mind.
Regular Test: Thoroughly check the details of your app’s graphics, fonts, user interface, colors, layout, and responsiveness; not just as a designer but also as an app user.
Keep Your Competitive Spirits High: You have no idea, almost 6 out of 10 apps have similar functioning and features. So it gets very crucial to get a unique identity of the app. Endowing an app with a high level of the user interface can carve the exclusivity for the same.
Get Expert Assistance: Don’t hesitate to call for assistance from an experienced UI designer as it can help you sort out the problem in the shortest and best way.
Even though the mobile app technology or app usage keeps on changing every now and then, the basic principles remain intact with the same importance. So if you are looking to build a futuristic app, then you must abide by the UI principles mentioned above. the results you will get after that would be the development of a powerful, popular and proficient mobile application.
With technological advancements, retail trade has become more competitive. In order to survive and grow in it, you need to make wise decisions. Always remember that the online mobile app presence is your first impression and by scaling the way you present yourself there, you can succeed in creating the presence for a longer duration. It is the visual merchandiser’s responsibility to ensure that he/she ensure a better presence to win the hearts of buyers and help the company to attain its goals.
Designing for mobile users is a challenge, but it’s not impossible when you know how to approach your choices. Take these tips into consideration when creating your next mobile app, and you’ll find that the answers to your design questions come easier than ever.
How do you design your mobile experiences for maximum efficiency and usability? Let us know in the comments!