4 Crucial Mobile UX Design Principles for Your Next App
With an overpopulated mobile app market to cope with, one has few seconds to grab the attention of their end users. The following post emphasizes on putting function ahead of beauty (using UX Design Principles) especially when it comes to developing a successful mobile app.
As I transitioned from academia to industry, I learned the technology being discussed wasn’t from the same board frame of reference that I was taught in my research-based institution. Though, the recent mobile UX conversations have undoubtedly benefitted from the ongoing smart phone revolution. Still, I find them unnecessarily driven by tactical adoration and lacking a conscious consensus especially in regards to the fundamental principles of the mobile-user experience.
If the internet has put the world at our fingertips, mobile apps have put it beneath our thumbs, do you agree? I am sure you do! The following post explores some of the time-tested mobile app UX design principles to trigger positive reactions of the end users. Well, I do not presume these principles to be all-inclusive or authoritative but they’re a pretty good place to start.
1 of 4 UX Design Principles – Understand the relationship between a user and their mobile devices
Though the concept may seem like a given, however, the depth of that relationship goes way deeper than you realize. I would rather say, the relationship exceeds a physical level which even includes the exchange of bodily fluids. For example, if someone asks to borrow your phone to make a call. And you hand it over. Imagine that level of trust! How many of you would lend your mobile device without hesitation? A very few, I guess! From a gooey physical level to a level of data privacy and security, there is an intimate bond between an individual and the mobile device respectively. “I am my phone. My phone is I.”
Henceforth, a UX design company requires assuming a semi-guarded state of primary users. After all, it’s their responsibility to protect the end users. The increasing trend of embedding ourselves into our mobile devices allows companies to realize what might happen if they lose themselves.
2 of 4 UX Design Principles – Figure Out the user’s state on the basis of the screen size
Have you ever been looking forward to seeing a particular movie since the day it was green lit, and now it’s about to release? You finally booked the seat on the largest IMAX screen in the tri-state area and all of a sudden you realize that the person sitting next to you has a very annoying laugh. Are there any chances of walking out? Probably fairly slim to none.
Now, what if the movie was played out in a college dorm on a 22-inch desktop? And a guy sitting next to you is having an annoying laugh. As a result, you might abandon the experience right away. Similar concept works on mobile devices. Undoubtedly, mobile devices are the smallest screens, and therefore, the design must accommodate the user’s varying commitment and distributed attention.
No matter how conditions will change depending on experience type — game, banking application, or the like — but the underlying impetus remains the same.
3 of 4 UX Design Principles – Unlike other interfaces, mobile interfaces are supposed to be truncated
One of the dreaded task for the end user is the act of transferring the data from the old device to the new. Although, a few notable attempts were made earlier to ease this burden. For example, GSM service providers pushed device manufacturers to save all user data to the devices SIM card by default, but its limited storage capacity offered a poor user experience. Later on, the practice of syncing was introduced to improve mobile user experience.
The concept involved the pairing of truncated mobile interface with a full-sized desktop interface, enabling the user to enter the address book via a QUERTY keyboard. And it may quite interest you to know that this isn’t limited to smartphones, it has even been incorporated into a wide swatch of consumer-grade devices.
4 of 4 UX Design Principles – Design for the real mobile platforms
It is very easy for anyone to get caught up in the moment of the latest tech demo, press release, or rumor and end up creating unnecessary segmentation across an already complex landscape. It’s all about focusing on the mobile platforms (the real ones) that have emerged constantly over time, i.e. voice, messaging, the internet, and applications.
Final Thoughts about UX Design Principles
I hope I have successfully illustrated the UX designing principles and my findings could spark and contribute to the larger conversation and consensus-building process. As mobile UX designers, we have both opportunity and choice. The opportunity is to establish the foundation UX design principles, which are still emerging, experiential space. While the choice lies between getting caught up in the excitement of the buzzword or asking ourselves the difficult question of what foundational principles I am following.