A 2024 approach to mobile UX best practices

by Ash Horton
November 2, 2022

Let’s face it! Mobile phones have become one of our daily key essentials, making it impossible to go anywhere without them. People can spend up to four hours using their smartphones per day, meaning that designers are challenged to make the mobile user experience their major priority, rather than designing a website for desktop. They have to fit every little piece of information in that a full-sized monitor would once display on a much smaller screen. They also have to keep up with the Google’s ever changing ranking requirements and constantly emerging markets to be providing the best user experience. This affects the popularity of the application itself, along with your profits, how Google ranks your website or app, and the success of your business as a whole.

What is user experience and why is it important?

UX – User Experience is a term coined for a design practice that focuses on the customer journey. The UX designer will create a seamless, and positive for the experience from the minute they land in your environment, across both mobile devices, tablets and desktops. This is often combined with user interface design (Ui). Google measures an app or website’s bounce rate, which means if people land on a site, and then bounce, your rankings will suffer. A great user experience improves the bounce rate. Keep your users engaged and your business will reap the rewards.

Why engage in mobile UX best practices?

According to recent surveys, almost three quarters of internet users (approximately 3.7 billion people) will end up accessing the web solely via smart phones by the year 2025. Even with their innovative abilities, engaging in mobile UX best practices has become the need of the hour, making it an important factor to consider in order to meet users’ demands as well as thrive in today’s market. Various studies indicate that experienced users tend to dislike mobile applications that are complicated, difficult to navigate, or even have poor usability, let alone an ordinary person or a potential client who may simply switch to competitors due to problems with UX.

Despite all the qualms, creating a user interface that meets the demand of users is not an easy task. In fact, Google has recently released an update on the core web vitals that penalises you for providing a poor user experience. 

Top UX best practices to make your UX mobile app design better

 Did you know that users have no reservations about deleting an app they don’t find worthwhile? In fact, 75% of apps’ downloads are only opened once. Even if you end up creating a useful mobile application that people find compelling, its popularity may remain low if it is not convenient to use. As a result, creating a really good UX design for a mobile application has become a priority for designers and developers alike. 

To help you get started, we have compiled a list of seven UX best practices that you can tap into in order to make your UX mobile app design better and more engaging, thus boosting your sales.

Limiting actions per screen

The smartphone screen is small, and even a few additional items can overwhelm the user with too much information. Therefore, you should avoid placing all possible actions and functions on just one screen. Instead, try to split them into several steps. By doing so, and creating one action per screen, you end up creating a favourable user experience. Users realise what is required of them when they have only two options for further action – either to take a step forward or to go back. 

Keeping it simple yet intuitive 

Believe it or not, even the most innovative features and top-notch content can be of no use if users cannot navigate them. Therefore, the second factor to consider in terms of UX best practices is that navigation must be simple yet intuitive. Users can go back and forth from one screen to another without any problems or complications by using easily recognisable elements.

Ecosystem Standards Matter!

There is no doubt that iOS and Android have dominated the smartphone market, with almost 98% market share since 2018, and one of the most important things that designers must remember when incorporating mobile UX best practices is to follow the recommendations and requirements described in the Apple iOS Human Interface Guidelines and the Google Material Design for Android. 

If you create an application for the iOS platform, you can’t just transfer the same design to another operating Android system and expect it to work flawlessly. Designers haven’t had to think about these principles in the past, but these days, the user experience is a ranking score and ultimately impacts your conversions.

Providing a quality experience for end-users

We all tend to live in a world of information overload and multitasking. Gone are the days when a personal computer was responsible for catering for all our needs. From work to entertainment and even access to the World Wide Web, a personal computer was the answer to all our prayers. Today, with the growth in technology, users are no longer bound to just one device. You can use your application on a smartphone and then switch to a tablet or a personal computer and vice versa. That is why one of the most important characteristics of a good UX design is to provide a quality, seamless experience for the end-user, regardless of the device.

Picking up the pace!

Another key factor to consider while focusing on designing your mobile app better is pace. Let’s face it! In today’s rapidly progressing digital era, no one likes to wait around, and quite frankly, why should they? Especially when you have plenty of other alternatives present in the market. So try as much as possible to design your mobile app to be fast and responsive and not to make users wait for content. Take the necessary steps in the background. A good example of UX best practices can be found on Instagram, whereas soon as the user chooses a picture to share, it immediately starts to upload it. When the user completes the steps of tagging the picture and presses the share button, the picture is posted almost instantly. 

Paying attention to the typography

We all use our smartphones probably a dozen times a day to consume content in one way or another. And the task of displaying enough information on a small screen and in a comprehendible way is one of the main challenges faced by developers and designers of mobile applications. One sure way to surpass this challenge with flying colours is to make sure that the text being used is easy to read without the need for any additional magnification. Apart from the font size, the text readability is also affected by a slight increase in the letter-to-letter and inter-line spacing and contrast. You’ll be penalised for choosing low contrast colours that are hard to read, or for choosing colours that are difficult for those who are visually impaired. Colour blindness, for example.

Focusing on each of the components on the mobile screen is a great place to start and while you’re at it, try to combine aesthetics with functionality for best results. And if you are not sure, try not to experiment with decorative fonts; instead, stick to the standard Helvetica Neue for iOS and Roboto for Android.

Focus on developing a context-oriented design

Concentrating on solving current problems encompasses a large part of mobile UX best practices. In this regard, personalized UX, which is one of the main trends of 2020, helps a lot. As mobile app designers and developers, your final goal should be to provide users with various features and content based on their current actions (history of browsing and purchases) and even locations.

Personalisation is not limited to content alone. It involves various design elements as well. Since no people are alike, some have poor eyesight and need to increase the font, while others may favour a dark interface instead of a light one, whereas some might be fond of animation, while others would like to turn it off.

Final Verdict:

UX best practices matter when designing a mobile app, from creating brand awareness to cultivating customer loyalty. After all, one of the main virtues of a good application is its utility and its usability. Implementing functional UX can facilitate trust and reliability among your users and improve your bottom line. So if you care for your audience and the impression left by using your application, you should strive to provide them with the best user experience by focusing on both the design and usability. This affects the popularity of the application itself, along with your profit and the success of the business as a whole.

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