The world of mobile technology is growing with leaps and bounds. People are striving to get better mobile applications for their businesses. By a better mobile application we mean, a mobile application with an attractive user interface that delivers an enhanced user experience.
What is the user interface of a mobile application? It is a graphical representation, usually operated by touch on a mobile device. It allows users to interact with the mobile app’s features and functions. A good and friendly user interface increases usability, readability, and consistency, which eventually enhances the user experience of a mobile app. No matter how well your marketing tactics are for the publicity of your mobile app, if it is not giving a good user experience, it is useless.
As we know, people judge books by their covers. Likewise, the user interface of mobile application plays an important role in creating an impression. The term User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) are interchangeably used in the app development process. However, the User interface is directly related to the user experience of a mobile app but they are different from each other. The user interface defines the look, feel, and the overall interactivity of a mobile application. While User Experience defines the optimization of a mobile application for effective and pleasing use. A good user interface brings about a superior user experience.
What makes a mobile application successful? A large number of users make a mobile app long-lasting and successful. And what helps in gaining users? Good app design and enhanced user experience ultimately increase the number of users. Now, what factors should be considered while evaluating user interface inspiration. Let’s take a look at some pointers:
The foremost purpose of a good user interface is to enable users to interact with the app easily. If users can’t figure out how to use your mobile app, they will get frustrated and abandon. Complex navigation confuses users that negatively affects the user experience. Therefore, clarity is the most significant test for evaluating your app design inspiration.
Keeping the user interface clear and concise simultaneously is very important. Clarity doesn’t only mean to over clarify your mobile application by adding a description and explanation of each feature. Creating a massive mobile application for the sake of clarity is not a good option. Keep your application concise by describing features with short labels instead of forming a short sentence.
A mobile app user interface is supposed to be intuitive. What does intuitive mean? It means something that can be naturally understood without explanation or research. How can you make a mobile app intuitive? You can do it by keeping a mobile app familiar. There are some standard and universal features, which are considered to be user-friendly. And no matter how innovative an app is, users are attracted to the app that is more feasible and familiar. While designing a user interface you should keep in mind the user expectations. It is because when users are already familiar with some features, they know what to expect, how to use it and how the app will behave further.
By responsive user interface, we mean the user interface should be fast and quick. If the user interface fails to interact instantly, it will greatly diminish the user experience and result in frustration. Waiting for delayed loading time is quite annoying that deviate users to switch to some other app. Usually, the users are performing multi-tasking for which they want their commands to be completed in the least possible time.
An app’s user interface should maintain a level of consistency. Consistent user interfaces allow users to develop usage patterns. Consistency in user interfaces allows users to identify and differentiate between buttons, tabs, and icons. They can also able to recognize the working patterns of these elements. Furthermore, if you plan to update your app for additional features, don’t forget to keep the consistency in the user interface. A consistent user interface brings about more usability that enhances the user experience.
This characteristic may be taken as a little controversial. It is because keeping a user interface simple, clear, concise, familiar, responsive and consistent as stated above, how it can be attractive at the same time. There are many different types of mobile applications that are developed according to their markets and audiences. So considering this segmentation, you can go a step further in making your user interface more attractive. You can fashion the look of your user interface accordingly besides maintaining its consistency, clarity, and familiarity. Aestheticism can be used in moderation for the attractiveness of the user interface. It must be used just to strengthen the functionality and increase the user experience.
A user interface of a mobile app is a channel to drive you to different places. Those places are different functions of a mobile application. A good user interface must allow you to perform those functions quickly and with ease. One good word to summarize this phenomenon is “efficiency”. What makes a user interface work? Besides a long list of good features, the main purpose of a good user interface is to provide users what he/she wants to achieve without any difficulty. In short, designing a user interface up to the user’s expectations is what we called efficiency.
This is a very useful and remarkable feature of any mobile application. But usually, designers do not draw attention to this feature or take it for granted. A forgiving user interface saves users from performing costly mistakes. For example, if a user mistakenly deletes some important information, there is an option of retrieving that data back. Or if a user navigates to some wrong or broken page, there must be a navigational list of alternative destinations instead of the appearance of some cryptic error.
These above-mentioned characteristics can be effective in refining your app design inspiration for a better user experience. Now, I want your attention to draw on some common mistakes that lead to bad user experience. Some of them are as follows:
- Concentrating on inspiring design over usability:
Most app designers want their mobile apps to be fascinating to users. They think that an aesthetic interface mesmerizes their users. This perspective is wrong because you and the user have two entirely different aims. You want your application to be appealing but the user wants to use the application with ease. This difference can easily be identified. In order to avoid this mistake, focus on the usability of a mobile application. Usability comes with a user-friendly experience. You may consider the above-mentioned characteristics for meeting the users’ expectations.
- Not eliminating nullified features
While carrying an app development process, you plan for a complete set of features for your mobile application. You spend a good amount of money and time for its development. And eventually, you feel accomplished. But sometimes after the execution of an idea, there are many features that turned out to be nullified. Again, it depends on user usability, they may find that feature irrelevant or not as important. Therefore, you should remove that feature rather than to retain it. It makes the application bulky and massive with no usability. No matter how many expenses and time you incurred, it will remain useless until the user doesn’t feel it be valid.
- Listening to what users want rather than what they actually use
Sometimes taking users’ opinions before app development may deviate you from your respective goal. For example, if you circulate a questionnaire of application features in order to take users opinion, they might suggest you a wide range of features to include in your app. But when it comes to usability after app execution, it is confined to limited use only. Only some prominent and significant feature would be in hand. Therefore, for testing new features, don’t take users’ opinions, instead, observe what they actually intend to use.
- Imposing users to signup without offering them any value
Usually, it is observed that mobile apps request for fulfilling the signup procedure before actually entering in its user interface. It shows that the user has no other choice than to sign-up in order to achieve the app’s benefits. Most users are reluctant to provide their personal information like contact info, email address, etc. for this sign up process, which might not be useful later.
- Taking user feedback personally
Don’t get offended if a user gives negative feedback about your mobile application. Negative feedback is actually a positive criticism. So, transform your weakness into a strength by improving your mobile application according to the needs and demands of the user. Despite the fact that you worked hard in bringing up the mobile application, there is always room for improvement.
- Not helping users with the onboarding experience
There is always a first time when people use anything new. They probably need guidance on how to use it for the first time. The onboarding experience is something how a mobile application interacts with a user when he/she uses your application for the first time. It’s often in the form of guided tours with overlays, tips, and arrows pointing out what button does what. Therefore, incorporating an onboarding experience is a good idea for your app design inspiration.
- Not having a good search option
Half of the users on the Internet are search dominant. This means 50% of your users are using your search option as their main point of navigation. They don’t care about your drop-down menus or your side navigation or any fancy browse function available on your mobile application. They enter, search, and find what they want. In order to make a user’s search experience functional, you need to take the following key points into consideration.
- Keep the search option in every user interface of mobile application
- Keep it visibly prominent
- Always allow navigation in the whole application upon searching
- Allow people to sort and filter their results
- Not offering help to users
Users always have their particular sort of questions and confusion regarding your mobile application and its functionality. There must be a proper help option available in the user interface. You can include FAQs or live assistance in the help option. In order to address this issue, provide a lot of high-level “how-to” videos and have an FAQ section with common tasks phrased as questions.
The above-stated characteristics and considerable mistakes help you improve further on your app design inspiration and ultimately achieve a better user experience. A satisfied user who has a good user experience with your mobile application would definitely refer and recommend others to use your mobile application. Hence, the increased number of users make the mobile application successful. If you haven’t considered the suggestions stated above while working on your app, take an initiative in implementing them accordingly.
Q. How to design a good user interface to enhance the user experience?
A. Focus on some characteristics like clarity, conciseness, familiarity, responsiveness, attractiveness, and efficiency for a good app design inspiration that enhances the user experience
Q. How a user interface is different from the user experience?
A. User interface defines the looks and feels, representation and overall interactivity of a mobile application. While User Experience defines the optimization of a mobile application for effective and pleasing use.
Q. Are there any standard user interface themes available for mobile applications?
A. Yes, there are many websites providing User interface themes for mobile applications.
Q. What are the common mistakes that an app designer makes?
A. There are many mistakes that an app designer can make like concentrating on design over usability, making a complex interface, and not making a consistent interface.