Note: This blog is the final installment of a 3-part UI/UX design series. Click here to view the other posts.
Mobile apps have become a major part of our lives. They facilitate everything from scheduling, communication with friends and family, to health and finances. Statista estimated that there were around 6.3 billion smartphone users in the world in 2021. Acquiring a share of these users will require more than App Store Optimization (ASO). Companies that want to stand out in a sea of mobile apps must focus on delivering an exceptional user experience. Here, we’ll discuss UI and UX design and give you some tips on how to create a visually stunning mobile app.
1. User Interface Design Defined
User Interface (UI) design is the process designers use to build an aesthetically pleasing interface. The designer’s goal is to create an interface that is easy to access, understand and use to accomplish a goal within the application.
Why is UI design important? Simply put, if your app’s UI is poorly designed, users will not use it consistently or pay a recurring subscription to use it. In our mobile-dominated world, there are dozens of apps that can be used to accomplish the same goal. Deploying an app with a subpar UI design is one of the fastest ways to encourage a user to delete it from their phone.
2. User Experience Design Defined
User Experience (UX) design is the process of providing a seamless and meaningful product experience. The goal is to enhance usability, accessibility and pleasure. Ultimately, it’s a process to design a very rich and interactive experience to a level of customer satisfaction.
According to Don Norman, the co-founder of Nielsen Norman Group and the one who coined the phrase “user experience,” the term includes “all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with the company, its services and its products.”
Why is UX design important? Your application’s success depends on how the users perceive it. “How easy is it to use? Does it help me accomplish what I need?” These are all questions that run through users’ minds as they interact with your application. The overall experience must be streamlined, enjoyable, and free of friction points for the end user.
3. UI and UX Design: Get Started With Wireframes
A wireframe demonstrates how interface elements will look on the screen. Wireframes are a set of drawings that consist of lines and shapes that represent the UI elements and core functionality. The lines and shapes represent menus, buttons, content and navigation functions.
Wireframes are a good communication tool for the developers and stakeholders to validate and agree on the UI and UX design. Wireframes are merely visual diagrams and are not final. They enable your design team to get immediate feedback and make adjustments quickly. Completing this exercise before writing code saves time and tedious rework later in the project.
4. Avoiding Common UI and UX Design Mistakes
If your app fails to impress from the onset, users will be less likely to return to use it in the future. And, according to Statista, it takes mobile users only an average of 5.8 days to uninstall mobile apps they don’t use. Here are a few common design pitfalls that can doom your mobile app from the start:
Everything on the screen should be intuitively clear on how things work. The best way to do this is to plan your navigation using the wireframing approach we discussed earlier.
Too Much Text
User’s don’t download applications for content. They’ve downloaded it to accomplish a specific goal. Anything that stands in the way is an unnecessary and frustrating distraction. Any text on the screen should provide tips or suggestions on how to use certain features.
Ignoring User Feedback
Users can make or break an application’s success. Ignoring their feedback will prevent you from the valuable insight that would improve the experience. Based on this feedback, you should fix the shortcoming quickly.
Too Many Design Features
Cramming an interface with tons of features is a UI and UX design mistake that creates a disorienting experience. If the app can’t be explained concisely, it’s likely trying to do too much. Pair down the features. You could try starting with a couple of core features. Then as the application gains traction, experiment with adding new features slowly.
5. Successful Examples of UI and UX in Action
Good UI and UX design improves customer satisfaction which ultimately helps increase your app’s user base and its positive impact on your business Here are three examples of apps with a great combination of UI/UX design:
To say the Starbucks menu is bursting with options is an understatement. Examining all of the options can be overwhelming. Starbucks has capitalized on the fact that humans are creatures of habit. Their app lets users avoid the hassle of going through the entire menu to find their favorite items. The app uses personalization and past purchase history to show the user their favorite drinks. It also helps the Starbucks faithful save time and money through features like mobile ordering and in-app rewards.
Fandango seamlessly connects movie-goers with all they need to have an enjoyable trip to the movies. The “Go Now” feature locates the closest movie theater and showtime through geolocation. The main page features the top five movies playing and all the details tailored to a user’s preferences. When they are ready to buy tickets, they can do so directly through the app, enabling them to skip the ticket counter and enter the movie with a completely digital ticketing experience.
The world of sports is vast. Attempting to present them all in a consolidated application might be considered near impossible. However, ESPN accomplishes this effectively. The app displays news, articles, social media, videos and scores in a well-laid-out interface. Users can pick their favorite teams and the application curates all of the content for their team. That way, it is easy for them to digest and get their latest sports updates quickly.
Interested in learning more about Mobile App Strategy & Best Practices? Check out these posts:
- A Guide to Great User Interface & User Experience Design
- How to Design a Mobile App User Interface that Appeals to Everyone
- Mobile App Marketing – 3 Proven User Acquisition Tactics
- App Store Optimization 101 – What You Need to Know
- Consistent App Usage Equals User Satisfaction