Smartphone users have millions of mobile applications to choose from – and yet only use an average of 9 applications in a day and 30 within a month. That number might not sound too discouraging, but this includes pre-installed applications you find on any smartphone. So take those out of the picture and we’re looking at a handful of unique applications that each person uses daily.
So how do you make your mobile application stand out? You need to become valuable to your consumer. One way to achieve this is through creating a strong user experience. This is a shift in focus from the content you’re offering to the way your application makes a user feel. It makes sense that a person is going to be more likely to reopen an app that is easy to use and fun then one that might offer more variety but is confusing. Here is how you can design a successful mobile app oriented around the user experience:
- Offer Customization
If applicable, give your users a unique way to experience your app through customization and make it clear how to adjust these settings. Options like different colors and font sizes can help with accessibility and make your user feel like they are in charge of their experience. If you have any kind of social component to your app, privacy settings will help the user feel safe and like they can trust you with their information.
- Make Sign in Easy
You don’t want it to be a hassle for users to make an account for your mobile application. You might scare them away before they even get started! Using Facebook Connect or any other form of social media/single on services will definitely be appreciated by your customer. Also make it simple for them to retrieve or reset their password if they forget it- while still protecting their security.
- Allow Crash Reporting
Technology doesn’t always work the way we want. Even if you do rigorous testing on multiple devices – crashes and bugs happen. The quickest and easiest way to address this is to allow users to alert you using a crash reporting system. There are multiple benefits to crash reporting. One – users will feel heard and take comfort in the fact that someone is aware of their issue. And debugging will be easier for your team because you can collect the specifics of the incident directly from the source.
- Focus on One Action
Each single screen should translate to a single action for users to complete. Having more than one call to action on a small mobile screen might overwhelm the user. One way to achieve this is to make a step-by-step process. Let’s say your mobile application is for food delivery. On the first screen, don’t ask for them address, payment, and order all at once! Start with just ONE of these requests. Once they’ve completed that, you can take them to a NEW screen for the next task.
- Create Simple Navigation
One of the challenges of designing for mobile is that everything is smaller. This includes your navigation options. Navigation/tab bars are a good way to go, especially if you have an application with fewer pages. If you have a ton of content, think about taking users on a journey versus showing them all the options up front like you might on a desktop interface. Start with the broad idea and move them into your more specific pages step by step.
Having a mobile application that offers unique content, reaches a new niche, or otherwise disrupts the market is great! But if your target audience can’t figure out how to navigate or sign up for your app, they’re never going to discover just how great your mobile applicaton is. Create a superb user experience and loyal consumers will follow.