Have you opened a mobile app only to abandon it quickly because it just didn’t feel right?
Chances are the experience affected your perception of the app.
We spend a relatively large portion of our day on the phone, which is why focusing on how a mobile app looks and behaves is as important as how it feels; that’s usability for you.
Mobile app usability should be intuitive and have a high learnability curve; it should take little time for users to familiarize themselves with the interface. Usability is fundamental to any user experience and mobile usability done right can help you rake in the ROI as well as user loyalty. It is vital to pay attention to the key points that can make or break a mobile experience.
Here are three usability points to keep in mind while designing for mobile screens:
When people visit your mobile app, it is with an end goal in mind; whether it is to access specific information or purchase a product or service.
Guiding them strategically to complete that goal with least amount of resistance is what good navigation can provide.
We can follow hard core rules like the minimum number of clicks to get to the end goal or we can just design for simplicity that allows users to be successful at finding what they are seeking out.
What users want are not more complex ways of how they can reach the answers but the simplest way they can do so.
What perhaps is key to notice is that the best mobile apps aim to do fewer things in a more streamlined fashion: limit mobile navigation to 4-8 items on the top level, ensure ample importance it provided to enhance their search experience and to remove elements of the desktop navigation that is irrelevant or redundant for the mobile app.
Simple intuitive design where content and interface elements are minimal will help declutter a mobile interface while reducing the cognitive overload.
This includes considering consistency in the buttons, colours, typefaces and labels as well as actions and situations; predictability is the name of the game when it comes to helping users apply existing knowledge across the app.
So a visually appealing mobile app is bound to make an impression on the user especially if the branding is on point; this along with a UI system streamlined to guide users can foster a connection and increase user engagement.
Illustration and animations can add a lot of value when required but can be extremely distracting when used whimsically causing visual overload and distractions.
Another basic point to consider is using the WCAG (Web Accessibility Content Guidelines) standards while choosing colours for text and background for good readability while selecting appropriate fonts so users don’t have to zoom in to read text on a mobile screen.
Since designing an app that is error free is unlikely, the next best scenario is designing an app with good safety measures to handle error messaging successfully.
When users encounter errors and unclear messages on an app frequently, chances are they may search for other apps to perform the same task.
This is why error handling has a huge impact on the user experience; the way you help users recover from an error reflects the usability of the system. One way would be to make the user feel like error messages are cues for adjustments versus failures.
A good error handing mechanism is to ensure that users are rewarded for completing an action successfully.
Some key factors to keep in mind are ensuing that the error handling is visible to the user at all times in order for the user to fix the problem. Another is to make sure that error messages are clear and descriptive to educate the user along the way.
Using inline validation in forms is a good example of error handling so that field values can be checked instantly and corrected immediately.
Mobile usability is assessed by how easy a mobile interface is to use. It is an aspect of user experience that determines the relationship between user and product. There are several factors that contribute to good mobile usability; we have chosen to focus on three big ones here.
Whether is it the usability points mentioned above or other important aspects of UX design, at Twist Open UX we like that we bring value to the craft; one that can help you design your digital product. You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org