When it comes to intelligent app design, it’s important to always be thinking about the next big thing. With Apple recently releasing the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro, and the New Year just around the corner, it’s vital to stay one step ahead of the game by creating web and mobile apps that stand out from all the rest. Whether you already have an idea in mind or are teetering between several concepts, an intuitive, unique, and, especially, target audience-relevant app can elevate your brand and transform your company into an industry leader.
But what exactly does it take to elevate an app to next-gen level? Two words: User Experience.
User Experience (UX) can make or break an application. UX refers to all the interactions a customer has with your business and, consequently, your application. It takes into account the practicality of the product and how meaningful consumers find your services to be for their particular needs. In a nutshell, the easier it is to use the features on your app and the more solutions the app provides that your users can relate to, the better their experience will be when using your app and the more likely they will remain loyal to your brand and solutions.
Still, with ever-evolving technology concepts, it’s not always easy to keep up with changes in user demands. Not to worry; at Koombea, we’ve got your back. Below are four questions to ask yourself during the ideation (conceptualization and discovery) phase that can help you create an innovative and groundbreaking app in 2021 that offers an enhanced User Experience.
What Makes a Good User Experience on an App?
Contrary to popular belief, there’s no “one size fits all” when it comes to creating an app that will become a universal hit. In actuality, several factors tie into designing an app that offers exceptional UX. However, it’s not easy to determine the perfect combination of features and functionalities that will grasp a user’s attention, and above all, retain it.
That being said, there are a few key components to consider if you want an app design that not only impresses your customers, but trumps those of your competitors. Here are some of the top User Experience app fundamentals to keep in mind:
- Consistency: If you want to attract and retain customers, your app needs to have a seamless flow throughout. Your choice in fonts, color schemes, text size, and graphics are yours to decide, but once you settle on a particular theme, you should not deviate from it.
- Responsiveness: Creating a responsive app design is crucial. No one wants to spend time on an app that does not adapt to your device, takes forever to load, freezes, or poses complications. Most users crave fast data download and will become impatient if they encounter problems. Speed is among the best practices for mobile app development, so ensuring your app doesn’t lag will undoubtedly boost UX.
- Compatibility: iOS and Android vary greatly, which means that if you want your app to provide the best User Experience possible, you should ensure cross-platform compatibility. Additionally, it’s important to take into account the variances in newer smartphone software. Your app needs to be able to adapt every time operating systems are updated so it can continue to run smoothly without any hiccups. If a software update renders your app obsolete, you run the risk of losing customers.
- Relevance: Do you think anyone will find your app useful? If you have to second guess yourself, you may want to head back to the drawing board for app design inspiration. Your app needs to offer something that your target market has a need for. It needs to address a problem and provide a solution that is easy to understand via a tool that is simple to use.
That brings us to our next question…
How Do I Make My Apps More User Friendly?
Ensuring your web and mobile apps are user friendly is a vital component of UX. But the term “user friendly” is not exactly concrete. Simply put, something that is “user friendly” (especially when in regard to app design software) is easy to understand and interact with. However, not all users will find an app “friendly”. While one person may navigate your app with ease, another may find it overwhelming.
So then how do you define or determine what makes an app user friendly? Moreover, how can you create an app design that your prospective customers will actually consider user friendly? It all boils down to the needs of your target audience and understanding their preferences.
Depending on the type of industry you’re in, your app should be designed with a certain type of customer, or “persona”, in mind. A persona is basically another word for a consumer profile. This profile takes into account certain UI elements that can impact how a user interacts with an app and what they will ultimately find beneficial.
Customer personas are heavily influenced by demographics, such as age, location, income, etc. For example, a high school student may not find a FinTech app about saving for retirement particularly interesting at this point in their lives. Likewise, a retiree may not find a HiTech entertainment app very useful. It’s important to know what your target audience is and to come up with an app design that will fulfill their needs. Demographics play a large role in what a user will look for when searching for an app, and recognizing the demographics of your target audience will factor into how you’ll go about conceptualizing your unique app design.
Here’s a rule of thumb to make your apps more user friendly: The younger the target audience, the more likely they will favor complex features and graphics. The more mature your target audience, the more likely they will favor a simplistic user interface and app design. By understanding your users and giving them what they want, your app will prove to be user friendly, and thus, provide an enhanced User Experience.
How Can I Improve My UX Design?
UX is at the heart of the mobile app design process. If you have an existing app and it fails to provide a well-rounded UX, it may be time to think about a revamp. First, it’s important to perform a full evaluation of your application to determine which components are working and which are falling short.
One way to evaluate your app is to perform a usability test. This can be done in person or remotely. The testing process is simple and merely requires users to download your app and engage with it. There are several testing tools to choose from, but they all serve the same purpose: determining User Experience.
Many of these tools track user actions while on an app and even provide feedback on the demographics of your users, providing valuable insight into who is using your app, what features users tend to prefer, how much time users spend on your app, and which screens are problematic for users and lead to higher bounce rates. When you review the analytics, you’ll be able to decipher which app functionalities are keepers, which you can do away with, and those that merit an upgrade.
If you want to perform an even deeper analysis, you can launch an A/B test with your app by creating different screens for users with varying components. Some options include modifying the size of your app’s texts or graphics, rearranging the location of your CTAs, and testing differing color schemes. A/B tests are among the most highly successful tools for determining what app features your target audience gravitates toward and those that are less favorable so you can modify your existing app to cater to their preferences.
After the usability test, it’s time to initiate a complete quality assurance (QA) review of your app. The QA process will further review your user interface and distinct app design elements for any anomalies, pinpoint any bugs, and address inconsistencies so your app can launch successfully without any setbacks.
After the design audit process is complete, you can then begin to incorporate additional functionalities into your app that better cater to your users’ preferences to improve their experience while using your app.
Which Software Is Best for UX Design?
The purpose of User Experience design is to deliver a product that users will love. In order to do so, the right software must be chosen. There are several tools that can be used to design an app depending on the stage of the app design process.
For example, if you are in the prototype stage, you’ll be using software that’s specifically created for visualizing a concept and bringing it to life. When presenting the user interface, you’ll want to turn to a software with storytelling or wireframe capabilities. Finally, you’ll want to perform quality assurance on your app using usability testing software. Although many app design tools can serve multiple purposes, some are known for their unique functionality.
While each designer will have their own preferences, below are some of the most common app design softwares and what they are used for:
- Prototyping and UI Design: Sketch, InVision, AdobeXD, Figma, Photoshop, UXPin, Illustrator, CorelDRAW
- Motion Design: Flinkto, Principle, After Effects, Premiere Pro, Cinema 4D
- Usability Testing: Hotjar, Smartlook, Crazy Egg, VWO
Bring Your App Design Ideas to Life with Koombea
Partnering with a knowledgeable User Experience app developer experienced in web design and mobile design can help you take your app to the next level. At Koombea, we put our years of experience to work for you, from the ideation stage all the way through deployment. Whether you have an existing app that needs refurbishing or have an app idea in the works, our app designers will help bring your app design to life. Contact us today to get started.