Ten years ago, none of us would have imagined the impact that mobile applications have now. Whether it's for personal leisure or a marketing strategy, a good phone software can create an experience that resonates with its user.
Today, companies are hopping on the app trend by delivering innovative and immersive platforms to increase brand visibility and connect with their consumers.
With a fantastic mobile app that's a delight to use in terms of design and function, brands can share more stories and send compelling messages to their users. The effort soon translates to higher conversions and deeper customer loyalty – all thanks to a well-thought-out User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) design.
What do we mean by UI and UX? The two terms are commonly interchanged, but understanding the difference between the two concepts is vital for any business.
User Interface (UI) refers to the overall look and feel of an app, from general presentation to visual appeal. The focus for designing UI is implementing buttons, features, and functions that are intuitive. An efficient UI allows its users to instinctively figure out how to navigate with minimal help or instruction.
User Experience (UX) aims to turn customers into loyal users. Attention is poured into making sure that the user’s journey while using the app is seamless, with little to no errors—a successful UX design results to a simple and extremely user-friendly platform. The easier an app is to navigate, the better is its UX scorecard.
Potent as mobile applications are, many companies still fall behind in adapting them, which leaves us wondering why interface and experience design is outstanding?
In a nutshell, a good app should create engaging brands, build your company's name and reputation, and attract more customers. We'll further break it down into two essential goals for an efficient UI/UX design.
Goal #1: Attract visitors that convert
Certainly, your platform should draw users and entice customers to remain loyal to your brand. A carefully drawn UI/UX design conveys credibility and proclaims your commitment to providing users with the best first touch experience. That, in itself, will promote a positive first impression that can drive word-of-mouth marketing.
By successfully hooking users to your app, you can lure them to stay engaged much longer. The more time they spend on your end-user service, the better chance for you to seal that deal!
Goal #2: Strive for easier platform maintenance
Almost every brand is investing in an online presence, especially in mobile apps, which have become crucial to attracting today's market. However, the downside of having an online platform is in its maintenance. Continuous improvement of your app calls for frequent developer checks and updates.
If you create a seamless design from the get-go, you won’t need to spend much time, effort, and budget on maintenance later on.
Your UI/UX design should always be user-centered. Choose colors, symbols, buttons, and font styles that are easy to read and even easier to use. Your holy grail should be intuitive design – allowing your users to navigate without having to explain every functionality. Further, strive to create a smooth feel and look for all pages of your app, so you stay in sync with your brand.
Additionally, your users would want to reach the information they need as effortlessly as possible, so you should aim to give them all the details without the inconvenience of having to reach out to a representative or customer care agent.
With so many mobile apps available nowadays, it can be a challenge to stay unique and grab your market's attention. Here are some principles to help make your UI/UX design stand out from the competition:
Don’t use your app merely to share information about your brand – that’s what social media pages are for. Instead, combine text, graphics, and layout to create a unique experience for your users. Your visuals should be able to tell compelling stories and touch emotions. Share more about what your brand stands for and allow that to resonate with your users.
One of the essential rules of UI/UX is that your users should not have to think about what you want them to do. Any function should be simple and easy enough to understand how to jump from one page to another immediately.
You can add a few functionality features here and there, such as inserting default values into forms. However, be careful of filling the app with additional content that can inadvertently confuse your users.
Everyone loves visually-appealing designs. Incorporating color and patterns can be an effective way to grab attention, but it runs the risk of sacrificing usability.
When designing your app, remember to incorporate common patterns whenever you can. Users must be able to understand that a link is a link and or a button is a button. Otherwise, a confused user will only decide to exit the platform.
The last thing any brand would want is for users to exit and uninstall the app because navigating through it requires too much effort and endless in-app searching. And as the brand owner, you should also be mindful that clicks and taps are expensive when designing your UI/UX. Thus, it makes sense to bring users to where they want to go through the easiest and fastest route.
UI/UX Trends to look out for in 2020
The world of UI/UX is getting more and more attention as time goes by. Staying on top of what’s new in the industry is vital for your UI/UX department, who want to give the best to their customers. This 2020, the UI/UX elements to be included are storytelling, 3D graphics, and simplicity.
As UI/UX designers continue to innovate and build successful businesses through experience, we’ll find new trends in app development emerging from more brands who try their hands at creating their end-user services.
Lest you go astray, we laid down six of the top trends to watch out for this year.
Trend #1: Narrative over emotion
In building your brand story through UI/UX design, why you do something will become more important than what you do. The trend will now switch from invoking emotion to sharing stories that customers can relate to. By creating meaning, brands can tap their audiences’ advocacies and highlight social impact as their focus alongside their product or service.
Trend #2: UX for every type of user
Previously, apps were created as a one-size-fits-all service, aimed to cater to any user. Characteristics, demands, and wants were listed by assuming a particular customer personality.
These days, however, the experience is more tailored for an infinite number of audiences depending on each one’s behavioral nuances. With it, an app can behave differently, whether your customer is a first-time purchaser or a loyal customer.
Trend #3: Visualizing what matters
When it comes to attracting customers through stunning visual UI/UX designs, it’s better to show than tell. New technologies make it easier for developers to incorporate and share their strategies with visual data. Apart from charts and graphs, infographics and other digestible pieces can be appreciated by users when presented to explain a product or service.
Trend #4: Standing out with empty spaces
Brands used to squeeze in as much info as they can on every page of their mobile app. With the trend starting to shift to single element designs, a single sentence or piece of information at the center of blank spaces grabs all the attention and successfully sends the message across. It’s an effective way to make your ideas stand out, sans elements that seem to "shout."
Trend #5: Write as you converse
In pursuit of intuitive design, human writing is becoming increasingly popular because of readability. Text is as important as any other design feature on your platform. When you write your UI/UX design copies in a way that is similar to holding a human-to-human conversation, you can connect and communicate better with your users.
Trend #6: Fine art meets commerce
The stock illustration is losing its appeal. In 2020, designers are reinventing illustrations to create segments of fine arts on digital media. Focusing on the market, brands are crafting contemporary designs and incorporating them into their end-user services to take a purely artistic approach to tap emotions.
Trend #7: Removing distractions with full-screen visuals
Social media has made it extremely easy to get distracted with other open tabs or notifications. Thus, more brands today are utilizing full-screen apps and visuals to create an immersive experience and reduce bounce rate. Tearing down any other content that could wander on the screen, UI/UX is dominating the platform by placing content in every spot the eyes naturally gravitate to.
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