A mobile app is often the best way to go for a great controlled UX (user experience). I say ‘controlled’ because app functionality can limit the user to a stricter, more defined UX than a mobile website could. The inability to browse around means less distraction and more focus on the goal, primary function, CTA (call to action), etc.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind to maximize the effectiveness of your apps.
1. Use Apps Yourself!
The Best way to create an effective user experience is to have experience with it yourself. Spend some time using popular apps and figure out what makes them so good. Try to pick out the things that you might want to change and why. All of this information is invaluable when starting to create an app of your own.
2. Understand Mobile Design Patterns.
There are several design patterns commonly used in mobile app design. A solid understanding these patterns will make for an easier design process, as well as a smoother UX down the road. The most common of these are: springboard, list menu, tab menu, & gallery design patterns. Although you are not at all limited to these structures, chances are your app will work with one of these, or a slightly modified version. Of course an added bonus to using a well-known interface style is your users will already be familiar with how to navigate it!
3. Touch Buttons Are Still Buttons!
A common mistake in mobile app design involves miscalculating the hit area. Consider that the average person’s index finger is around 1.6 to 2 cm wide. Obviously thumbs are bigger. Plan for either or any combination of finger, hand, or possibly even face gestures. Just make sure that your buttons and clickable areas are large enough to easily hit. Also, that there’s enough space in between clickable areas that you don’t accidentally hit the wrong one.
There is a lot more you’ll need to know about and consider to create a successful mobile app, but these tips are a great way to start the design process.