12 May 2021

Apps that Are Experienced! Take Advantage of Mobile App UX trends!

The world has gone crazy for smartphones, and consequently for apps that are more than mobile services. They can be anything - a game, a messenger, a list of sentences from your favorite movie or a music database. The possibilities are limitless here. Mobile applications that are modern and attractive for users should be designed according to the latest UX trends. Apps that are easy to use and intuitive will make us want to use them. So what should you be paying attention to when designing an application? 

UI and UX Design – what’s this all about?

Mobile application development is a complex process requiring the work of professionals from various fields. This is why it is crucial to cooperate with a good software house which will help with the project at all its stages. UI and UX Design - these are two terms that you will surely encounter when you start working with a software house on a mobile application. Although UI and UX Design are two separate fields of design, they work together to create visually appealing and useful products. 

UX Design - what is it? 

User-centered design requires knowledge of the basics of UX Design, literally translated as experience design. This method involves creating products that are easy and pleasant to use. And it is precisely such mobile applications that are most popular among users. UX Designer makes sure that the product is best perceived by the user. In the case of a website, this is influenced by such factors as: clear layout of the elements, valuable content, loading speed, competitiveness of the website, etc. Using their own experience, as well as various analytical tools, a UX specialist researches users' opinions and expectations, and responds to their needs accordingly.

UI Design - what is it? 

The term UI Design, on the other hand, refers to all graphic actions that make a previously prepared scheme of an application visually attractive and legible. A UI Designer is first and foremost a creator, they are mainly concerned with building the language of communication between the user and the program. This means that they are responsible for preparing such elements as: the visible structure of the page, menu, content distribution, graphic design, photo galleries, etc. An important aspect of the UI designer's work is to optimize the tools used by the user while using a website or application - these include: the control panel, navigation, and even an external or electronic keyboard. Generally speaking, the most important task of a UI Designer is to create an aesthetically pleasing and functional product.

What affects the user experience? 

A positive user experience is affected by all the interactions that take place through the application. Fortunately, there are a few key principles to developing an engaging and thoughtful product. Our brains work based on recognizing familiar patterns and conserving energy. Therefore, it is important to design in such a way so that using an app does not require making too many decisions or learning new things. It is worth applying commonly used patterns and elements that are familiar and recognizable for users. An interesting solution is also the introduction of simplifications - prompts, autocomplete capabilities, or the use of data and process visualization. A good UI is characterized, above all, by simplicity and minimalism. It is worth reducing the amount of displayed information to those that are really important and take care of their readability. Visible fonts and matching colors are the basis, affecting the reception of messages.

Mobile application design step by step 

Cooperation with a professional software house will give you the guarantee that you will have control over the stage the mobile application project is at. You and your company will go through each stage of the application’s development with a team of experienced programmers who will plan every hour of their work. 

  1. Preliminary analysis

The first and most important step is to determine the purpose we are creating the application for and what functionality it should have. Tools and libraries, which will be used at later stages, are selected on this basis. Planning includes not only the creation of a list of tasks to be performed, but also a specific work schedule, or preparation of tools to facilitate cooperation and communication. 

  1. Functionality and mock-up 

Graphic designers and programmers work together from the very beginning, defining the information architecture and all interactions that will be included in the code. By creating the first mockups they can determine what actions the user will take while using the application. 

  1. Graphic design of the individual screens

At this stage the previously created wireframes are visualized and prepared so that they are not only functional but also aesthetically pleasing. The selection of appropriate fonts and colors, which on the one hand affect the appearance of the application, and are responsible for content readability and ease of their assimilation on the other, is of particular importance. 

  1. Programming and testing

The previously prepared code is refined and then passes to the verification stage. In order to minimize the risk that the application contains errors limiting its functionality, testers take on the role of future users - they check the correctness of the code, the operation of individual functions and determine the ease of use of the application. Any found errors are eliminated. It is also important to check how the application will display and work on devices with different specifications and screen diagonals, which is especially important when developing software for Android. Instead of several available screen resolutions, as in the case of Apple devices, we have to deal with a countless number of manufacturers and models, differing in specifications. 

  1. Deployment

A ready application is made available to users, who at this stage can already use it freely by downloading it from popular application stores. Marketing also plays an important role - the emerging application needs promotion and publicity, which allows it to reach its target users. 

What else is worth remembering when creating a mobile application? 

Regardless of whether you are developing a mobile application yourself or with a software house, you should remember the basic aspects that a modern and useful mobile application should take into account. 

Native solutions

At present, the cell phone market is dominated by two operating systems - Android and iOS. Guidelines to facilitate the design, as well as extensive systems and libraries of elements that are worth using have been prepared and established for each of them. Material Design, which is a set of recommendations and ready-made materials designed to create applications for Android can be an example of such a solution. Their use translates not only into the stability of applications, but also a positive user experience. In this case, inventing innovative solutions is not a necessity - the use of well-known patterns and recognizable elements, thanks to which using an application will become pleasant and intuitive, is sufficient. 

API, or Application Programming Interface

When commissioning application development it is worth understanding what API is and how it can be used. In a nutshell, it is a place that stores huge amounts of information - both available to the users and invisible. Currently, much of the functionality of mobile applications is based on sending requests to the server, on which they are stored. Thanks to this, each time the program can, for example, download the latest information from the website, check whether a given email address is already in the database, or confirm that the user has purchased access to premium services. 

Reduce loading time

In times when everything is inexorably rushing forward, it is also worth focusing on reducing the time required to use an application. Limiting the amount of information, the size of images, or compression have a positive impact on the speed of content loading, and thus do not give the user the opportunity to become impatient. A lazy-loading approach that prioritizes the loading of key content is also interesting. Some apps are also a combination of standard apps and websites (Progressive Web Apps), so that they function even with poor Internet connections. This is especially important when users use them while moving around at the same time - the stability, as well as the size of the device and the fit of the content, then makes a big difference to their experience.

A poorly designed UX has a significant impact on conversions. Even a minor error that causes user frustration can result in cart abandonment or app uninstallation. Trends in mobile app design are changing. What worked well just two years ago may not produce the same results this year. In order for your mobile app to follow current trends, you can't end the improvement process at deployment. Once your mobile app is published, you need to incorporate new updates to it on a regular basis. A team of experienced developers from a software house can help you with this. 

Personalization 

When using a mobile app, the user expects it to be completely customized. That is why it is so important that the offers and information presented in it are tailored to specific users. This is a trend that has been gradually developing over the past few years, bringing a positive impact on the relationship with recipients and potential customers. Personalization makes it possible not only to tailor marketing offers, but also to build more lasting and engaging relationships. 

Dark Mode

Following the lead of websites, or browsers, dark mode has also made its way to apps. Its use has several key advantages for users - it allows battery consumption to be reduced, affects comfort of use (especially in the dark), and even reduces the level of radiation that we experience while using devices, at night or on cloudy days. 

Design Systems in design 

Large screens, modern high-resolution displays - all this makes the visual aspects of an application particularly important. A good application no longer means just refined content, but also aesthetics. Ready-made design systems, by means of which the appearance of an application can be assembled from ready-made blocks, can prove to be a facilitation. Using the guidelines, we can create coherent and comprehensive projects, thus relieving graphic designers and designers.

Lukasz Bozek

Lukasz Bozek is a founder and CEO of Softiero, a graduate of the Warsaw School of Economics and MBA at Lazarski University. Lukasz started his career as a FX dealer at Santander Bank. As a passionate of new technologies he founded Softiero which is developing innovative tech startups.

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