8 minute read

With each year that passes, app usage is on a meteoric rise. RiskIQ has estimated that upward of 8.9 million mobile apps are currently available. To stand out in this saturated market, what makes some apps more successful than others?

Although mobile apps naturally need a marketable concept and high-quality functionality, a user-friendly mobile experience is also a significant contributor to the overall success of your mobile app. You must create a mobile app that welcomes users into your world while engendering a sense of trust and community.

Once your company has fleshed out a unique concept and developed an understanding of your target audience, experienced UX designers can use this information to create a user-friendly mobile experience leveraging the best UX design practices currently available. With their help, consider implementing the following UX design practices to create a more engaging and fun user experience, so that your mobile app can stand above the competition.

1. Define Your Target Audience and Appeal to Them

To understand your target audience, you'll need to know who your ideal customers are and what appeals to them. Begin your design process with in-depth audience research to identify your target users' interests, common behaviors, and requirements. Then, establish the situations in which your audience will use your app and clearly define the entrepreneurial goals you intend to reach with UX design.

There is no such thing as a product for everyone, and your mobile app is no exception to the rule. To get started, ask yourself the following questions:

  • "Who is my mobile app helping?"
  • "What problem is my mobile app solving?"
  • "What group of people is most likely to use my app?"
  • "How would an individual use my app?"

Of course, many apps may appeal to multiple demographics. In this case, create various UX personas to understand who your mobile app users are and the style of UX design that they prefer. Base UX personas on concrete research to ensure that the profiles are as accurate as possible. Depending on the angle of your app, you may want to establish these personas based on demographics like age and gender or specific psychological traits.

Once established, these UX design personas will set the foundation for an engaging mobile app experience by allowing you to craft data-driven UX design concepts and achieve better empathy for your users.

2. Consider the Context of Navigation

At its core, mobile navigation design is about getting users where they need to go in the simplest way possible. While it's tempting to implement UX designs that simply prioritize quick navigation, this isn't always the only consideration. For example, your mobile app's navigation template should account for a user's finger positioning while maintaining clarity regarding the purpose of each button. Since mobile devices have such small screens, they are prone to clutter. This is especially true if your mobile app is intended to transmit a large amount of information.

Creating an effective mobile application design also requires a profound understanding of the context in which users will interact with your mobile app. Of course, your target audience will use different apps at different times. For instance, people will use a navigation app while in the car and a recipe app in the kitchen. However, people cannot tap certain buttons while their hands are preoccupied with other tasks, so UX designers must account for this. If your app is likely to be used in a context of other activities, encourage your UX designers to implement appropriate solutions — such as features that make it easy to navigate with gestures or voice controls.

Establishing a balance between functionality and ease of use can be challenging, so it is in your best interest to work with experienced UX designers who can create a mobile navigation template that suits your app's needs.

3. Don't Leave Empty States Blank

Empty states are screens that appear when users have recently signed up for your app and have yet to enter relevant data. While empty states may seem insignificant at a glance, well-crafted empty states can streamline your onboarding process and mark the beginning of consumer loyalty. You can leverage empty states to guide newcomers throughout your app, along with tips and helpful links for an improved navigation experience.

Empty states have the power to create a welcoming experience for users. If you don't have extensive UX design experience, it may be challenging to use empty states effectively. Improperly designed empty states tend to confuse or even frustrate new users, and they may abandon your app in favor of a competitor. Experienced UX designers can help, already understanding how to create engaging empty states and mobile experiences.

If you choose to handle empty states yourself, think about content you can add that will add value for users, such as helpful tips or insights. Even a positive sense of humor and cheerful text will put your users more at ease than a stark white screen. Utilizing design techniques that create an amiable mood allows users to feel connected to your application. Most people value emotional responses over utility, so don't underestimate the power of using empty states to produce a positive emotional reaction!

4. Use Microinteractions to Improve Communication

Microinteractions inform users about the mobile application’s status in real-time by providing immediate feedback, which often appears in the form of animations. Essentially, microinteractions fill in the empty moments when users engage with a mobile application. These minuscule animations add a bit of excitement to otherwise boring tasks and increase the overall enjoyability factor of the app. 

When an action takes place, users should know that the action is happening in real-time. An example of this is when users download a file, and animations appear to demonstrate the status of the action. The user will see the download's progress, percentage completed, and whether or not the action was completed successfully. If a user attempts to download a file and can only see a static screen, they cannot tell if the file is downloading or if there is an error, breeding impatience. In this instance, a progress bar would be superior because users can easily view the device's current state.

A clear system status display using animated microinteractions allows users to control their in-app experience completely. Microinteractions can even include simple features, like checkmarks that appear when users enter text into specific fields such as "username" or "password. All of these small details inspire users to continue interacting with your app by communicating that they're headed in the right direction.

5. Design for Personalization

Anyone who uses mobile applications is familiar with the concept of personalization. It has the power to create an authentic experience for your users by displaying content and functionality that appeals to a highly specific person or group of people. Although many people confuse personalization with customization, they are not the same. Customization is performed by users, while personalization is automatically performed within the mobile app itself, providing a bespoke experience.

A prime example of personalization in mobile app UX design is the use of geolocation technology to provide location-specific content. For example, geolocation enables users to receive content related to local weather conditions or events. When UX designers and app developers create personalized experiences, it increases the value of your app by delivering content that is directly relevant to each member of your target audience.

One excellent feature that professional UX designers can implement for a more inviting experience is allowing associated users to create or link individual profiles. For instance, Netflix allows users to create both individual and group profiles in a single household, empowering the app to reward each member with their own tailored recommendations.

Create an Inviting Mobile App with CodigoDelSur

These days, the bar has been raised on user experience design. As such, poor UX design has become virtually intolerable for mobile app users. To compete, companies must strive to create the best experience possible from the moment users open the app. And the truth is, a small investment in UX design will pay off big time. Studies have shown that an investment in UX design can yield an ROI of up to 9900%. In other words, every dollar spent on UX design earns companies nearly $100 back.

Our mobile app designers and developers at CodigoDelSur can create a warm, welcoming user experience that your audience is sure to love. We can work together to assess the direction in which you plan to take your company and create a stunning, functional mobile app that supports your vision.

Since 2007, CodigoDelSur has helped nearly 200 US-based startups design and develop a wide range of mobile apps and websites. Our team of web developers leverages their technical expertise and knowledge of usability, engagement, and growth hacking to scale your business exponentially. These 140+ designers and coders know how to apply their knowledge to create innovative, cutting-edge digital products for all audiences and were selected for the CodigoDelSur team based on their talent, thirst for knowledge, and supreme dedication to their craft.

Through the consistent creation of stunning, functional websites and mobile applications, CodigoDelSur is rising to the forefront of our industry. We're always ready to apply the latest developments in new, exciting technologies for your brand and create valuable, engaging user experiences that will keep your customers coming back for more.

Ready for a more inviting mobile app? Contact our team today and find out how we can revolutionize your brand's digital experience!