A Plan to Launch: Strategic Mobile App Design
A great idea, enthusiastic innovators, a solid development team, and a great UI design. It may seem simple to gather the core elements of a winning mobile app, however, the result is only as good as the makers behind it. A creative and strategic team must ideate and collaborate from concept to launch in order to deliver the most optimal user experience possible. With that first-of-its-kind idea in place, the journey and design are the next most important factors at hand. Sticking to a set of user-centered design guidelines can help to ensure a design will be used successfully and propel the app to a high rate of usage and download.
Keeping a consistent layout from screen to screen will allow for a seamless flow for the user. Once the user becomes familiar with the interface, a consistent design will allow them to adopt new interactions throughout the experience. A user can become frustrated or even drop out if an unexpected feature emerges.
When designing a mobile app UI and determining the needed screens and functionality, be aggressive in paring down to the essentials. This is where the information architecture comes into play. Bells and whistles might be great for future versions, but if a user is bombarded with more than what they need to get the job done, it’s just unnecessary bells and whistles. Focus on core branding, color and the path to conversion first, then add the bits and bobs later – the user will appreciate them more when they can understand how to use them.
In order to convert a user, it is critical to engage them to interact very early in the experience. This engagement helps to instill trust in the user, anticipating a developing relationship and ongoing interactions. Effective interaction elements are generally helpful tools such as search features, chat, quick responsiveness, location services and confirmations. Platform Accessibility Incorporating platform flexibility from the beginning will create a more agile product that appeals to a wider range of users.
Consider different app versions or a design that conforms to all platforms. To meet the daily expanding capabilities of various platforms (iOS, Web, Android, etc), this route is ideal. If designing an interface that is conforming, it’s important to ensure that the design is consistent enough across all devices to remain seamless to the user.
At first glance, best practices can seem like a ‘been there done that’ approach, when designing for UI, it is possibly the smartest route to begin with. Applying tried and tested implementations to a design that users are familiar with, particularly within the industry being targeted to, can allow the design to become more fluid, allowing for a greater level of ease throughout the process.