You have probably heard of some tech experts and enthusiasts discussing how a particular app has a laughable UI or a certain product has an amazing UX. Familiarizing yourself with mobile app design involves an understanding of UI/UX.
UI and UX Explained
Design is more than just graphic design. It can be associated with a myriad of roles in textile, fashion, print, ceramic, and so much more. However, technological advances paved the way to a new set of designers, which expertise focuses on improving screen interface: the UX Developer and the UI designers.
UX Design pertains to the user experience design and UI design targets user interface. These two should work hand in hand. The combination of both is vital in creating a good mobile product. However, both play very distinct roles despite being closely integrated into design aspects.
What is UX Design?
UX Design is a new player in the industry. In fact, some companies are only beginning to recognize the role of a UX designer in terms of reaching out to potential clients or customers and maintaining the existing ones. The UX design team needs to be familiar with the target market and research on how to enrich their experience upon using the product. Essentially, UX design covers functionality, user adaptability, and usability of a product. It aims to bridge the user’s needs with the product goals and involves a series of testing and alterations to get there.
What is UI Design?
User Interface or UI, on the other hand, should be grounded in intuition. A great UI need not be explained. It just works. A good example is when a lot of people were asked to choose which they prefer more – Samsung or Apple. We all know that both brands offer incredible user experiences. However, the majority of people picked Apple. When the people were asked about their choice, they found it hard to explain and just settled with “It looks simpler” or explained how the Apple apps have a more consistent appearance and feel. UI design should make an app seem easy and instinctive.
Finding The Right Combination
Sometimes you encounter a product that looks really exceptional and promising but the minute you used it, you are left baffled. That product has a poor UX and a great UI. On the other hand, if something is easy to manage but does not look engaging, it has a poor UI and a great UX. To have a promising product, it should have an amazing UI and UX that just flawlessly merges.
Principles and Elements of an Effective Mobile UI/UX Design
UX Design Principles
Crafting an exciting mobile experience is more than just focusing on aesthetics. To achieve positive feedback from users, you must hit all the basic principles involved in interface design.
A person’s average attention span lasts only for 8 seconds. This is why it is important to utilize the first few seconds well. Do not add anything that can serve as a distraction. Less is more. Showcase only the important information and highlight the functionalities of the app that speaks to the user.
Provide Ease of Navigation
Going through your design should not require too much fuss. Its learnability is determinant of success. Users should be able to use their instincts to move around the app and complete tasks without going through a series of puzzles.
Have you ever encountered an app where you struggled to hit the right button? You are not sure if it is because it is too small or too close to the other option button, but you missed it a few times before it pushed through and transferred you to another page. When creating a design, mind the target size and the spacing.
Legible and Clear Texts
When choosing a font, keep readability in mind. Fonts should focus more on practicality than style. A text should have a size of 11 points at the very least. Anything less will look overwhelming on screen and might require zooming in to be read. Legibility can also be improved by improving the spacing and line-height. This can be an issue when transforming a web page to a mobile app. To prevent issues related to the transition, always look for established mobile app developers such as GoNative.
Interface Elements Visibility
We use our mobile phones while walking in broad daylight or while in bed with the lights off. In both cases, the text, images, and background should all be distinct. Finding the right amount of contrast in all interface elements is essential to promote legibility whether the phone’s brightness is at its maximum or its minimum.
UI Design Elements
Being familiar with your UI elements can help you incorporate them seamlessly in our designs. Below are some of the most common UI elements:
- Accordion – enables the designer to display plenty of information in one space.
- Bento Menu – named after bento boxes, this menu is in grid style.
- Breadcrumb – links that enable users to identify where they are on a website. They are often at the top page. For example: My Account >> Settings >> Password
- Button – a shape with a label that performs an action when clicked. Example: Add to Cart
- Card – a current trend these days. It serves as a user’s point of entry and displays various clickable contents side by side.
- Dropdown – you can freely select from a list that drops down.
- Carousel – where you can feel browse through images, cards, and other content.
- Feed – think Instagram.
- Checkbox – a little box where you can tick or untick depending on your choice.
- Icons – images that can communicate or elicit a response from the user
UI Design elements can be divided into four categories: Input Controls (checkboxes, dropdown), Navigational Components (breadcrumb, slider), Informational components (icons, progress bar), and Containers (accordion).
2019 Hottest Mobile UI/UX Design Trends
These current UI design trends are bound to enrich the user experience for a more enjoyable mobile app experience.
Since most smartphones are now going buttonless or edgeless, mobile app designers should take note of these changes. UI designers have implemented gestures in response to the buttonless feature. Additionally, maximize the screen for edgeless and buttonless phones and add simple animations or task-related buttons.
UI designers can improve mobile app design and add more security by adding Face ID in their apps. This will come in handy for people who scratch their heads when an app requests for their passwords.
Chatbots make the users feel like a business is open 24/7. That’s the internet for you. While customer service can’t be present all the time to entertain questions, chatbots can break the barrier for a while.
Video and Animation
In response to quick attention spans, it is important to captivate the user with visuals that are engaging. You can recognize how vital this trend is in social media, where videos effectively replace texts.
The quick advancements and transformation in the world of mobile technology affects mobile app development. Despite this adversity, finding the right blend of great UI and UX design can improve mobile app experience.
About the author:
Charles is a writer for GoNative.io. He is a tech enthusiast and an avid fan of Apple who spends most of his free time browsing the web for tech news and playing video games.