Every aspiring app maker should know that excellent mobile app usability is synonymous to great mobile user experience (UX). Plus, most smartphone users prefer to download apps based on ease of use and good UX. In line with that, this post aims to give you tips to ensure best practice in mobile app usability. Learn more below:
Build apps for all platforms – Scale and reach are crucial, most especially if your target market is composed of users from various types of mobile operating systems. And while iOs is the most popular, Android is also rapidly dominating globally. Besides, a mobile application doesn’t work the same across all platforms. Each specific device has to be optimized differently to offer the finest user experience. However, doing so requires extra effort and cost, which is worth it in the end.
Mobile devices are not PCs – It’s a common misconception to think that content can be seamlessly shrunk to fit all screens and mobile platforms–simply because smartphones and tablets are not desktops or notebooks. Mobile devices still have limited functionalities compared to a full-scale computer. Thus, a mobile app should be easier to use and navigate. Colors, font size, graphics/images and other important design and functionality elements need to be re-structured for legibility. Screen resolutions have to be refined, too.
Audience’s needs come first – This is pretty obvious. Unfortunately, many apps out there are completely irrelevant to what consumers are looking for. Usability has to be focused on apps created for when users are “on the run” like when out with loved ones, when waiting for the bus, etc. Also, they need to be easily accessible enough that a few taps would get the users to the content/page they want. Complex searches and long browsing is typically not recommended for mobile devices.
No frills and fuss – Frills are fine but don’t go overboard. As they say, Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS). This is very much applicable to mobile usability, especially if you’re thinking about incorporating media-rich features like audio, video, animation, etc. Keep in mind that mobile apps load relatively longer than on a computer. Half-loaded images are unappealing and so are text heavy pages. You need to strike a balance between graphics and images to ensure great mobile usability and user experience.
Try, test and even torture – Launching an iPhone app or any mobile app sans testing is a major sin in terms of mobile usability. So make sure you build a few prototypes and run a series of test on them. Do the same for each mobile operating system that you’re building for and adjust accordingly. Besides, it’s much more difficult to make modifications once the app is launched.
Mobile usability is truly one of the most important factors to consider when building an app, as it may make or break your business. Be a smart app maker and follow these useful pointers above.