There has been a major evolution in mobile app UI/UX design since the launch of the iPhone way back in 2007. When you define User Experience (UX), you are actually referring to User Interface (UI) design. Even though the design has evolved tremendously, certain UI/UX key principles have remained consistent.
#1. Create an apt systematic workflow
Designing the workflow is critical to map user journey within the app. Not every user behaves towards the app equally. A generic flow of app stages starting from onboarding and finishing on checkout is important, capable of appealing a broader audience.
#2. Allocate the spacing wisely
It is important to provide breathing space to app elements or components, so that a cluttered interface does not frustrate users, with unwanted actions and text, appearing seemingly close to one another. Allowing for an ample whitespace around icons and text boxes presents content in a clear and concise format.
#3. More tappable elements be included
There should not be any complexities associated with the app. If a user finds actions or text within the app difficult to handle, they will get irritated soon resulting in abandoning the app. Keep navigation as simple as possible with large tappable elements, letting users have more options of performing actions, rather than going through the content.
#4. Have a consistent color scheme throughout the app
Choose a color palette wisely, showing consistency all across the app. The colors should be capable enough in solidifying brand value, and in turn your app as well.
#5. Let everything be in reach of users
The app should be such designed that every corner of the app is reached easily without much effort. No matter what size your smartphone screen is, users hands remain the same all along the way.
#6. Retaining user attention is vital
People hate interruptions. Today’s world is full of it, no matter what medium it is. Allow users to have a peaceful look at your app first, before throwing across advertisements. Preserving user attention is far more difficult than grabbing one. Avoid distractible material filling your app. Instead, think about the main purpose of your app, and the reason users have landed upon in the first place. Let users’ first get to the solution they are looking for. Once primary goal fulfilled, you can throw across ads and other distracting things, getting your purpose solved.
#7. Give complete control to user hands
Humans feel empowered when given complete control of something. Let your app do the same. Allow users to choose and customize things by themselves. Enable them to choose actions and give them power to see only relevant things. Additionally, let them have the ability to remove unwanted interactions, and get to their goals quicker.
#8. Cut down on number of steps as much as possible
Users will feel happy and satisfied if they are able to reach their goals with minimum steps or actions. Keeping minimal layers within interfaces, with only highly relevant ones in place, allow users for a direct manipulation with the UI/UX elements, giving an impression of your app being lighter. Keeping the optimal number of human gestures to reach desired app screen, enable the least number of footprints for users to solve their problems.
#9. Differentiate between primary and secondary actions
Every screen should have only one primary action with others acting as secondary actions. Primary actions ask users to conclude on what they have learnt before, while secondary actions help users to roam around within the app. With multiple primary actions, users are confused on which action to act upon. In addition, you need to have primary action and secondary actions differentiated, so that users can comprehend which action acts as a mentor, while others acting as guides.
#10. Deliver a natural conversational flow everywhere
Do not have app screens arranged in the way you want it. Instead, think from a user perspective, and understand how the conversation moves ahead in the real world. Go for app screen sequential design, exactly same as a natural conversation. Unwanted screens in between, allow users to think if there is something fishy.
#11. Highlight things without involving colors
Colors play a key role differentiating things in real world. However, there is a complete contradictory scenario when it comes to a mobile app. Here in, color is not something that defines an interface, its elements, or components. You can use colors for the sake of highlighting, but do not use them in a complete form. Make use of muted or light background colors, in order to save user eyesight from long extended hours of viewing. Vibrant colors can be used sometimes; however, there is a proper place and time for that.
#12. Disclose things progressively
Initially, show only necessary relevant things on screen, omitting on details. Allow users to first make their choices, and then show detailed information progressively. Eliminate the habit of showing everything at once, by distributing information on to subsequent screens. This will help you to deliver clearer interactions with ease.
#13. Inline approach is highly useful
Ideal interfaces need not explain how to go about using them. However, for ones that are not ideal, inserting text inline could be highly useful, acting as a contextual manual guiding users. The inline text is hidden and visible at the same time. Therefore, people can only see only if they want to.
#14. Zero state is best for helping users
First interaction with an app is a crucial experience not to be taken for granted. For helping users speed up the understanding of the app, it is necessary to introduce a zero state of the app design. This is very similar to a blank canvas where users are guided with a proper direction, as to how to go about using the app. Much of the interaction friction can be avoided in this stage, with the likelihood of app usability success increasing rapidly.
Some final words to conclude
UI/UX design is successful only when people are able to grasp things as expected with the app. A design could turn out to be a failure when people seem puzzled in using it. Using the above principles, you can definitely allow for a soothing UI/UX environment, satisfying the needs of users with great user-friendly appeal.