Quite a few coding projects get off to a great start but then ultimately fizzle when it comes time to figure out what the user interface is going to look like. Experts at Adobe mention “The better the design, the more chances users will feel engaged with your app.” Knowing this, building a solid user experience from the ground up, can ensure that your app will get off to a great start.
Building Accessibility Features into Your Code
Perhaps the most important thing to consider is how end-users will interact with the software and what aspects they might find confusing. Programmers often don’t think too much about what parts of a project may prove confusing to consumers, in part because they’re used to working with their own software.
Once a beta version of an app ships to test audiences, developers may end up surprised with their response. Users may ultimately have no idea how to engage with certain features because the widgets that control them are anything but self-explanatory.
While this is a serious problem for desktop developers, it’s even more vital for mobile apps to follow some kind of logical flow. Since mobile device interfaces lack the pixel depth of stationary displays, they can’t convey nearly as much information to the user. If people aren’t immediately aware of the function of certain controls, then they might never touch them even if they could theoretically save a great deal of time.
As a result, mobile UX design has become a hot topic among software developers. Experts are able to plan out what users might potentially do with a piece of software and figure out how to ensure that they’ll be able to figure out how to work with it before your first clients even download it.
Even those who’ve worked with a particular app for a long period of time often remark that they didn’t know they were able to utilize some shortcut. By taking a few moments to consider the UX design beforehand, you can reduce the risk of this happening.
You should also be able to reduce the impact of what computer scientists refer to as interaction cost.
Decreasing Interaction Cost
Any computer program that makes use of a GUI has to hide some functions for sake of brevity. Mobile app designers often have to make drastic decisions to save space. As a result, users might end up having to make more gestures in order to get something done.
The total number of gestures needed to achieve something is referred to as the interaction cost of the action. Dropdown menus might require users to make additional taps to reveal further hidden menus. If every possible action were placed onto a control bar, then it would take less time for users to find the control they were looking for.
Developers could easily clutter up an app’s UI this way, so it’s best not to get carried away with making shortcut buttons. You should offer users some way of performing the most common actions without taking more than a few simple gestures, however.
So-called hamburger buttons have the potential to increase interaction costs more than any other control, which in turn can hurt user engagement. This kind of menu takes the form of a series of stacked dots. A menu is revealed when it’s tapped, which more than likely contains all of the functionality your app provides.
If you hide more content underneath controls obfuscated by a collapsed icon widget, then your users might never even be able to find it. In turn, users might not engage with your app nearly as much as they should.
Take a moment to make a list of options that either don’t need to be hidden under these menus or may not even need to be presented to the user at all. Once you’ve cleared them out, your app should already present a much less cluttered UX that comes with a lower overall interaction cost.
Once you’ve done so, you’ll next need to consider the fluidity of different widgets.
Fluidity of Mobile App Design
When it comes to UX design, everything should have a certain flow to it. Some developers have tried to develop apps that are so verbose and easy-to-use they actually become impossible to engage with. While minimalism is always a good thing, you don’t want to become so simple that your consumers can’t find what they’re looking for.
At one point, UX designers mocked some interfaces as being what they called user-obsequious. Basically, they felt that some apps tried so hard to be friendly to potential consumers that they completely lacked flow.
A good rule of thumb to keep in mind is never design app that you yourself wouldn’t want to use. If you adhere to this, then you can start pumping out fluid interfaces that are a joy to engage with.