UX ideas to design better mobile phone applications

A recent Google study reported that, while an average user has about 36 apps on their phone, he uses just nine of them on a daily basis. Statistically, only 4 % of the apps will be used for more than a year.

This situation presents a good reason to create better mobile phone applications and take advantage of fundamental user experience design (UX) concepts. A far more functional application should be high on user engagement and less likely to be uninstalled. Better UX with elevated user retention is among the prime causes of application evangelism too. In the end, there’s a 52-percent chance that the application is going to be discovered through a friend or family member, outside the application store.

Here are the 5 UX guidelines that will help you to design better mobile phone applications:

Usability and user goals

You’re stranded on the street in a new city, or you took the wrong turn in an unfamiliar neighborhood. To make it even worse, it’s raining heavily. You fire a cab application (recommended by a friend). As a user, what’s that one thing you’re hoping to achieve when the application opens? Hopefully, to get a cab. In case your users have a chance to get stuck in a situation like this, create your mobile application for such users as well as their goal. Make a UX flow that enables them to book a cab in minimum, using as fewer steps as possible

Image result for mobile phone applications

Define obvious action button

Also referred to as a CTA (call-to-action), this is actually the button that makes sure that your user, in the example above, will get his cab. There are a few things to consider while defining your action button. One, it has to define the action clearly. When it comes to cab application, the action button should be ‘call a cab’ instead of a plain ‘submit’. It’ll serve to explain the purpose better. Two, an action button ought to be easily visible and approachable. For any right-handed user, it’s difficult to reach the top-left corner of the mobile screen without stretching or using both hands. Hold the mobile phone in your hands and test which screen area your thumb can reach easily, without a need to stretch. You should place your action button inside this area.

Design for fat thumbs

Consider the following hypothesis: there are two cabs available, and a person can call any of them using the application we discussed above. Both of them are placed as different action buttons, alongside one another at the bottom of a mobile screen, in a form of a little dot. But the user trying this application has fairly fat thumbs. He accidentally presses cab number 2,  even tho he wanted to press cab number 1. Only when the experience buttons are large enough (not gigantic), this error can be prevented. Create bigger action buttons and put them at a fair distance to enable easier application navigation.

Don’t drain the battery

Another deterrent regarding mobile user experience is high bandwidth consumption. You should limit the data to be downloaded on the go. Background services consume plenty of bandwidth too. Create multiple-use graphic assets for various tasks within the application, like a cab icon that shows cabs moving on the city map. Request a user action that enables him to download more information, graphics, images, and videos. Also, don’t forget to optimize these images and videos for mobile use.

Bandwidth is costly

Another deterrent inside a mobile consumer experience is high bandwidth consumption. Limit the data to become downloaded on the run. Background services consume plenty of bandwidth too. Create multiple-use graphic assets for various tasks inside the application, like a cab icon to point moving cabs with the city, on the map. Request user action beyond a piece for more download of knowledge, graphic assets, images, and videos. Optimise images and video for mobile consumption. Don’t forget to make getting a cab more costly!

Hopefully, these guidelines and tips can help you enhance your mobile application UX while increasing your user retention. Should you have any questions, I’ll be pleased to answer them in the comments below.