What should users do in your app so you can achieve your goals? Why do people that you target would want to use your app? These are two questions our design team usually asks themselves before we start designing an app.
We usually expect app design to sell this app’s idea. People buy a product when they want it, not when they need it. As long as we can satisfy the emotional wants of our users, we can deliver a message that we want them to hear.
We believe that mobile app design is all about emotion, usability, and communication. Designers call this user experience. These three concepts intertwine in the design of the most successful apps of 2016. And this is where our team heads off on an adventure to design a mobile app.
We will guide mobile app product owners in this interesting design journey by teaching them five things they should pay most attention to. This year you can win the competition if you arm yourself with these five weapons:
- Onboarding Experience
- Icon Design
- User Navigation Flow
- Menu Design
Let’s now illustrate how we think you can put a winning app design into practice.
Create an Emotional Onboarding Experience
Onboarding experience matters. This is the first conversation you have with your users after they have checked out your app on an app store. You want this conversation to be pleasant and engaging so you can keep healthy relationships with your customers. Onboarding design helps users quickly get the main idea of your app. If they like what they see, they will stay with you for long.
Ex. #1A well-designed and easy to understand onboarding experience:
Ex. #2 Onboarding experience with emotional characters:
Design an App Icon That Speaks About Your App’s Core Features
There are two common mistakes that a lot of entrepreneurs make: 1) trying to make an icon talk about the app’s value and 2) designing an icon at the end of the product design process when the team doesn’t have any more time to experiment.
Our advice would be to start designing an icon from the first days of work. 5-6 iterations are usually enough to deliver great results. We also recommend that you focus on the app's core features in your icon design. If an icon can explain the app's idea easily, people will be more likely to download this app.
Ex #1This icon tells us that a new messaging experience is the main reason we should install the app:
Ex #2 This icon tells us that we can get a brand new photo experience by installing the app:
Design User Experience Flows Before You Design Interface
This is a common rule. However, in the rush to win the competition and shorten time to market many entrepreneurs start with user interface design. We advise to design a prototype first and work on it for 2-3 weeks. This is enough time to test the prototype and get feedback from the app’s future adopters, and your design and development teams.
Start with user experience flows and you will reduce the number of changes to the app’s interface in the future.
Ex #1 A concept that explains a general scope of work:
Ex #2 A concept that explains navigation between all app screens:
Use Animations for Better User Engagement
This is simple. Animations engage. Your investment in designing custom animations will improve the average session length. Just give it a try and see what happens.
Ex #1 New information shows up on the screen in the animated manner:
Ex #2 Animated market data visualization:
Create a Menu That People Would Love
How many times do people click on a menu while using an app? Right, many times. A menu button is the most clickable item on the app interface. This is the reason why we need to deliver the best menu navigation experience for our users.
Ex #1 An example of the bottom menu with animated appearance:
Ex #2 The Guillotine menu:
How We Can Understand That Design Works
At this point we will keep things simple and say that design works when it helps to meet your expectations and the expectations of your users. Here is how you can check if design works:
- After a survey, more than 60 percent of users said they were impressed by your app screenshots and icon and wanted to give your app a try.
- More than 30 percent of users are engaged. For example, three sessions per day at about 7.30 minutes per session for a social networking app like Instagram illustrate high user engagement.
- You can easily define common patterns of user navigation flows. This means your navigation architecture is well designed.
Our Yalantis team uses Localytics, Mixpanel, Google Analytics, surveys and UX testing tools to get these insights.
- How much does it cost to design an app?
- Top mobile design trends for 2016
- 7 types of mobile interface animations
- UX design tips for mobile application
What Makes Mobile App Design Great
At Yalantis we firmly believe that great design includes three fundamental pieces: emotion, usability and communication.
What we design is emotions. Emotions drive people to act and feel. Usability helps them get around the app easily and comfortably. And communication is all about messages that we convey to our users from screenshots on app stores to text in push-notifications.
See also: How to design a mobile application
Let Us Know What You Think About Mobile App Design Trends in 2016
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