One of the main factors when we choose mobile apps is its user-friendly and simple design. The market is so big and competitive that a user will not hesitate to install a competitor's app just because your navigation was quite confusing. It is the design of the app that attracts and retains users, so it should be well thought out and perfectly displayed on the devices.
Mobile app design - what it should be
What is mobile app design? Simply put, it is the visual layout and design of a program for mobile devices.
Developers can put a lot of useful features in a web app that will easily close the user's need. But if they pay little attention to the design stage, all efforts will be useless - no one will want to use the app. Therefore, for a product to be a success, UI and UX design must be carefully worked out.
UI-design is user interface. Simply put, it is the design of the application (its colors, fonts, bars, etc.). UI-designer is responsible for the appearance of the product. UX design is user experience or user experience. It is what kind of experience and impressions a person gets from working with the interface, UX shows whether the user can reach the intended goal.
So what does UI/UX design of mobile apps entail:
- as easy to use as possible - don't overwhelm the user with too much information, because additional icons, buttons and images complicate the screen. The technique of functional minimalism works well here: avoiding a lot of text and unnecessary interface elements. When only the essentials are on the screen, it becomes easier to interact with the product;
- simple navigation in the application - if users spend a lot of effort trying to figure out how to use your product, they are likely to stop using it altogether. Therefore, you should implement navigation elements that they are already used to. For example, a standard tab bar for iOS or a navigation drawer for Android. Intuitively, users already know how to use these features and have no trouble doing so;
- focus on the first experience - statistically, 24% of users no longer return to the app after the first use. To prevent this from happening, the app design should be as user-friendly and easy to get to know as possible. For this purpose, it is worthwhile to distance the registration stage or remove it completely. If the first thing a web app does is ask for mandatory registration, it degrades the user experience. User education works well when introducing the product to show all the advantages;
- the speed and responsiveness of the application - although the design is not directly responsible for the speed of the product, but it can significantly improve the user experience in moments of "waiting". To do this, designers use solutions such as showing loading progress as a percentage or other progress bar. This will make it clear that the web application has not hung, which means that everything is fine and you just need to wait a bit;
- Content optimization - in the vast majority of applications the main content is text. It should be easy and comfortable to read: selecting the right font size, using a clear and familiar font (for example, for Apple IOS devices it is the San Francisco font), limiting the length of text lines. As for the visual content, you need to set the right aspect ratio and optimize it for portrait orientation.
These are the main points when designing an app. You can also add to this list personalized experience from using the product and adapting the design for an evolving market, such as use with poor internet connection or limited device capabilities.
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Stages of creating a mobile application design
Application design is a fundamental stage in the creation of a product. In addition to the first launch, redesign may be necessary in the situation of updating a web application or when releasing it for a different operating system.
The main stages of application design development:
- Market research and user portrait. It is necessary to learn as much as possible about the market you will be entering and find out a detailed portrait of the target audience. This step involves answering the question, "What CA need will the app fill?". Knowing what the audience really needs, it is much easier to create a WEB-application with a well-thought-out design.
- Drawing up the TOR and developing the structure. At this stage, first the terms of reference are drawn up, which shows all the requirements for the product. When working on the architecture and navigation of the mobile application, the main screens, their sequence and interaction between each other are worked out. Working on the architecture makes the design more intuitive.
- Prototyping. First, a mockup with minimal detail is created, on which the main points of the interface are defined. After approval with the client, a detailed prototype is developed showing a detailed layout of each screen.
- Prototype Testing. The prototype app is built and clickable buttons and other interaction methods are added to the app. At this stage of mobile app design, they study the behavior of users while using the product and track how well the interface meets the set TOR.
- Mobile app development. After testing the application and finalizing the design, the project is handed over to the development team, which is engaged in the implementation of the technical part.
- Preparation for publication in Google Play and App Store. At this stage, additional icons and other design elements that are needed to attract the attention of users are developed.
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