The state of mobile: With increasing internet penetration (even in developing countries) and availability of high speed internet,mobile has brought an avalanche in technology. Having taken the world by storm, digital mobility (both consumer and enterprise) observes an increasing user base day by day. In such a scenario, businesses are fighting to capture the mobile channel of revenue generation by having their presence on mobile devices in the form of mobile apps.
“Look n feel” that matters:
However, the look (User interface) and feel (User experience) of a mobile app can make or break it in the massive mobile app market. These two aspects are at the development core of any mobile project. Competent developers realize that a major chunk of their development efforts must be centered upon the end user, concentrating on how their user will interact and react to their app. Mobile screens are much smaller than PC screens which we are used to. But the lack of screen space doesn’t negate the need for a good interaction. When a designer/developer works in building for a smaller screen (and a much smaller user attention span), a solid UI/UX design gives an opportunity to the app to be in sync with the user’s speed of thought. Clearly, we are far ahead of web applications. And as modes of interaction, we have a number of mobile operating systems each with their own benefits. And to add some challenge, innovation messiahs like Google are redefining how users interact with mobile applications.
Design whiz vs your average programmer: Unfortunately,poorly designed iPhone, iPad and Android apps are not uncommon in app stores. They are unable to generate sales or leads as they have been “developed” by a programmer or coder but not “designed” by someone who understands the mental make up of user behaviour. When programmers start too early in creating functionality, the overall UX/UI design suffers in delivering a great experience that works for your business. The growing app uninstalls and bounce rates are an indication that a well designed , great looking, intuitive mobile app is not everybody’s cup of tea. The major issue is that sometimes business are unable to understand the importance of a good design and end up not devoting the required amount of resources to it, in terms of time and money. On the contrary, when business owners and project managers realize the importance of UX/UI early on, they hire a professional designer to handle their front end. Let’s learn from a market story. Because success stories are inspirational and always a good start for adoption of any business trend or operation.
Market story: There are more than 35 billion apps downloaded cumulatively across iOS and Android. Evidently, people love their smartphones and the applications on them. But they don’t love ALL of them. Remember Palm OS, Symbian, Windows CE and Blackberry? HIghly doubtful that you do. Remember Apple? Yes sir. However, Apple was not the first company to provide a mobile OS or a mobile app. Yet, it surpassed the competition and it’s “appearance” played a large part in its achievement. We love pretty things, period. It has been setting entirely new norms for the role of creative design in the mobile app user experience arena. And this ain’t new. It’s the basic foundation for all apple services. And those who are smart, follow the giant whose platform they are building on (this holds true for Google as well). It has been observed that the top selling apps follow three general aspects :
They do not let the web design guide them When you are developing for a smaller screen, you need to let go of the rules and expectations of standard web design. Consistent look and feel and brand standards across platforms are a different thing. Following conventions set specifically for mobile UI/UX design is an entirely different story which must be practised while rolling out a mobile app.
They keep it simple Simple is the key to providing a clutter free and smooth experience. The growing trend of flat design is entirely based on keeping things “not too flashy”.As users find hassle free navigation on your app, they will keep coming back to it, rather than having installed it once and never opening it. ANother aspect is that the simpler the app, the faster it is on the user end, ultimately not playing with their patience (like some poorly designed apps do).
They add the fun element This might seem contradictory to the above point, but as long as you have your audience in mind, you can forego a bit of simplicity in order to make the app more exciting. For ex: If you have an app that caters to a young audience, slight flashiness will do no harm. Bright colors, 3D effects, fun buttons and icons, exciting new textures etc can go a long way in making a mark on the younger audiences. You will realize that simple and fun can go hand in hand as long as you don’t overdo it.
Wrapping it up: User interface (UI) is that aspect of a mobile application which faces your user while User experience (UX) is how they feel when using the app : navigation, engagement etc. As you apply effective user design in your mobile app, you ensure the right engagement and desired emotional or transactional response from your user. Developing new revenue streams, boosting brand identity and user engagement are the prime business objectives that mobile apps are designed for. As a business, when you have a slick and fluid design (both UI and UX), you can fulfill all your strategic objectives on a wider scale. So the role of UI in mobile app development is very important
Author Signature: Rick Brown is a highly skilled mobile app developer for Mobiers Ltd – a renowned iOS app development company. In order to avail his assistance either to clear your queries or to avail detailed information, get in touch with him.