Mobile apps are the way of the future. They're everywhere, and they're changing how we do everything from shopping to banking. The success of an app is determined by its user experience (UX), which means it must be user-friendly and simple to use. In this article, I will share top best practices for enhancing your mobile app's UX so that you can improve engagement and conversion rates.
1. Create an Onboarding Experience
Onboarding refers to a user's first experience with your app. It is the welcome process displayed once a new user opens the app for the very first time and tells them how to begin working on it. Onboarding needs to include all the information about how users can get started, what they can do, and how they can learn more about the app.
It is indeed a very critical part of the app because it can make or break your user retention. If you do not create an onboarding experience for your users, they are likely to be lost and confused about how things are supposed to operate on the app. This will cause them to delete it from their smartphones. It also prevents users from opening your app again.
Onboarding helps to build the user interest in an app. It should achieve the following 3 things.
To educate: This is the perfect chance to give the users quick tips and tricks, teach them how to navigate and why the app is important.
To set up: Onboarding should help users through the registration process.
To collect data: After the user creates a profile then the details should be used to personalize their experience using recommendations and notifications.
2. Explain all the permissions that your app will request
People have become more careful when it comes to granting apps permissions. If you explain to the users why the app requires certain permissions then they will understand. But when they are caught up by numerous permission requests without proper explanation then they might feel that their privacy is at risk. You don’t want the user to feel insecure and stop using your app.
For example, If you are requesting location permissions, you need to explain how the app will use it. Besides you need to assure them that you will not disclose any information that you collect with anyone.
3. Create an offline mode
Poor internet connections can frustrate most users. If you allow users to use your app offline then they will not be interrupted by a poor internet connection. Offline mode provides users a great UX hence your app may get recommended to many people. Apart from accessibility offline mode offers other benefits to the users.
Saves Battery: Offline mode allows users to save their battery power. Users usually complain if an app drains their charge while connected to the internet.
Quick loading: An offline mode loads faster compared to an online mode. The users will save money on data and time and still manage to access the important features offline.
Loyal Customers: Apps with offline mode are more convenient and easy to use. Your app users will become more loyal if they find out that they can use your app even in areas with poor connectivity.
Edge over the competition: Loyal customers will get you more referrals that will translate to more sales. The app market is very competitive. People choose apps based on factors such as top-notch design while others go for better functionality.
4. Perform a competitor usage analysis
Benchmarking your app against other app users is a good way to find the flaws. Users often share similar behavior. You might find something that makes users prefer certain apps. It’s easy to implement features that are already tested and proven.
If your app usage is less compared to other users then you need to improve the UI. For example, 41% of users launch an education and training app only once a month. If a higher number of users only launch your app once then you need to find the culprit as fast as possible.
Find the apps related to your service, products, or industry and compare the numbers. This is a perfect way to tell if your app has a better UI. Look at metrics such as app launches, user retention, downloads, reviews, and engagement
5. Consider "The Thumb Zone" when designing a layout
It is important to keep important elements within reach because most people use only one thumb to operate their phones. The thumb cannot reach all corners of the screen as your hand tries to balance it at the same time. So the most active part is in the middle part of the screen. If the important elements are easily reachable then users will spend more time in your app.
The thumb can tap on the functions in the middle of the screen accurately. This is where UX designers focus to put the most important functions. Other secondary and tertiary functions can be placed in the lower accuracy zones. But they will require a little more work to access.
When sizing key elements it’s important to have the thumb in mind. It can be frustrating for the user trying to tap one element but accidentally taps another. The elements need to be large enough for tapping by the thumb.
Besides tapping the thumb can easily make the slide gestures. If you are making a social or an e-commerce app then you need to offer simple swiping. This will boost your mobile app’s UX.
6. Limit user input to the minimum
You can reduce the user’s workload by limiting the inputs. Nobody likes filling up endless forms when using an app because it’s tiresome and very frustrating. Endless forms require a lot of typing. There are a few things that a designer can implement to reduce the workload for the app users.
Combine multiple fields: Some fields in the form such as first name and last name can be merged to one field “Full Name”. This will help minimize the form to a simple task.
Remove less necessary field: Forms are very important when it comes to collecting data. But there are many fields that the app can without. For example, there is no need for asking for both the state name and zip code. Nonetheless, you can make some fields optional to update in the profile section.
Segment the forms: Instead of having one long-form you can break it down into several steps. This will make filling the forms a little bit fun and less intimidating. The first step should contain a field with a contact method. You can use the contact to market your app in the future to those that didn’t complete the sign-up process.
The UX is an important factor in the success or failure of your mobile app. Many people look at the pricing and features but tend to overlook the user’s experience. It is important to study other mobile apps that are already established and offer a better experience. Always remember that a good user experience is characterized by simplicity and ease of use.