May 07, 2019 13:04
4 min read479 views so far!
Everyone in the world uses apps. They are a part of everyday life, whether it be playing games on your tablet, or using messaging apps on your phone. But every app needs to have basic elements to make the user experience better, and to make the life of the user easier. If an app is not easy to use, then the users of that app will not enjoy the experience, and subsequently not use the app at all.
Here are 5 basic elements any and every mobile app should have.
1. Prioritise your features
As an app designer, it easy to get into the mindset of giving the user every function they could ever need in one place. This is not the case. At the end of the day, the user wants to be able to use the app, quickly and efficiently. If the app has too many features, then a first time user can get confused with what buttons to select. Keep the features simple, and focus them around the original objective for the app.
2. Minimise the need for typing
Users want to be able to use their apps quickly and easily. By cutting down the need for typing using features such as drop down menus, users will feel more at ease, as well as feeling like the app isn't taking up so much of their time. For example, when booking a flight on a mobile app, users will not want to enter lots of information straight off the bat. Using drop down menus and intuitive user experience (UX) design, the amount of information collected will be the same, and less space will be taken up on the screen. This undoubtedly improves UX, and therefore more people will use the app.
3. Less is more
Streamlining the design is key. The more minimalist you can make the app the better. People prefer to see clean and easy user interface, so the less you put on each screen helps. A few screens with less clutter on is easier to learn. Try to keep one call-to-action per screen, as people are more likely to use an app that has a few simple screens, as opposed to one screen with too much on it. Removing clutter will lead to better comprehension of the app in general.
4. Break complex tasks down
If your app requires a series of complicated tasks, then breaking them down into manageable subtasks greatly improves UX. Take the example of online purchasing through an app. Using a flow of subtasks makes the experience for the user a lot easier and manageable, with each subtask on a different screen, and each screen requiring less information to be input by the user. Chunking these tasks can also help flow from browsing to purchasing, making it more seamless and therefore again, improving UX.
5. Use familiar screens
Nearly all apps follow fairly similar screens. Screens such as ‘Search Results’, ‘What’s New’, and ‘Profile’ have been adopted across the board by pretty much everyone. Using these screens, with familiar terminology requires less learning on the part of the user. The best apps pair uniqueness and predictability, giving the user something new and interesting, while not pushing them too far out of their comfort zone. If the user is able to use the basics of the app without even thinking about it, then they will be able to focus and explore the main objective of the app that you have built for them. The less time they spend having to look for something, the more time they have to enjoy the app itself.
User experience is one of the first things many people think about when building an app. So much of the success of the app depends on a UX that can be accessible, easy to use and interesting, no matter the subject of the app itself. If the user can feel at home in the app, then they will use it more and more. Eventually, they will use the app without even thinking about it, and might even talk about the app to their friends. This all boils down to the UX, and how the user feels about the app is presented, and ran.