10 Tips For Designing Better Mobile Apps

By James Tredwell on May 27, 2020

Of course, you want to make a fantastic mobile app that’s the best it can be. You have dreams of it revolutionizing the app stores, performing above and beyond what you ever thought it was capable of, and having a fantastic user base that adores what you do and would never even think about taking their time elsewhere.

It’s not impossible to create an app like this, but on top of having an amazing idea, you need to make sure you’re landing the basics when focusing on what makes a superior app that outshines the competition. With this in mind, today we’re going to explore the ten essential mobile app design tips you need to know to ensure you’re giving users what they want and have the most positive impact possible.

  1. Stick with the Tried and Tested Methods

When designing a mobile application, there’s no reason why you need to think so far out of the box that you’re trying to do something completely different. Sure, you might change the app game completely, but the chances of doing this are very slim, and the reality is that an app too different from everyone’s expectations is only going to crash and burn when nobody knows how to use it.

Instead, people know how apps work, how to navigate them, and what they expect, and sticking to this means you won’t have to spend time educating people how to use your app, but instead providing them with the service they’re looking for.

If you look at the top apps, they all use the same design and have very little to no learning curve, and for a good reason.

  1. Always Use Clear Action Buttons

When you want someone to carry out an action on your app, you need to ensure that the action button is crisp and clear. You don’t want people having to hunt around for action buttons because they’ll simply give up and uninstall your app.

Hand in hand with this point, it’s essential that you give feedback on actions. This could be a flash of the button when pressed, or even a vibrate feature upon touch. This is a great way to keep users engaged in your app and to ensure their actions have been acknowledged.

  1. Keep Fat Thumbs in Mind

While you don’t need to make your buttons fill a screen, keep fat thumb users in mind, and with this, we don’t just mean physical fat thumbs, but more than people will try to use your app with speed or while they’re doing something at the same time. People aren’t going to mindfully be very accurate when using your app, so make it easy for people not to miss.

If your users need to take a lot of time to zone in and pinpoint where the button works, this is too much hassle, and people will give up on your app.

  1. Optimize for Optimal Battery Usage

If you have an app on your phone that drains a ton of device battery while it’s in use, obviously the user is going to notice the difference and will end up deleting the app. At every stage of development, make sure you’re optimizing your device to maximize the use of the device battery and is as energy efficient as possible.

  1. Minimize Bandwidth Usage

Hand in hand with the point above, you don’t want to drain the bandwidth of your user’s devices. If you’re draining internet and putting them over their usage limits, they’re just going to uninstall, so make sure you’re minimizing the bandwidth usage where possible.

This could involve offering offline accessibility and downloads, or just lazy loading images and only loading what is needed to make certain features run while they are being used.

  1. Use Grid-Based Designs

Using a grid design foundation for your app is an important aspect to remember because it keeps everything neat and tidy, easily accessible, and your users will be able to easily come to grips where everything is. This means using margins and spacing your features and buttons out evenly.

If your app design is messy and doesn’t line up, it simply won’t look good, and this alone can put a lot of people off using your app. This rule applies to images and text that need to line up. Simply put, using a grid design will help your app look great, look professional, and will meet your user’s design expectations.

  1. Keep Things Plain and Simple

Right off the bat, your app doesn’t need to be super simple. It can have complicated features and settings, and it doesn’t simply have to be a black and white app full of text. I mean, look at Facebook. When you think about all the menus and areas of navigation it has, it’s actually one of the most complex apps which could easily see someone getting lost in.

However, Facebook is renowned for being one of the simplest apps. What they do, and what you should be doing with your app, is making sure you’re not cramming everything into one space, but instead keep everything laid cleanly and easily.

Not only can cramming your app make things take longer to load and can actually affect the performance of your app, but it can also make your users lose focus and be unable to concentrate on what they’re doing. Thus, they’ll give up and do something else.

  1. Responsive Designs are Essential

While many modern mobile devices come with similar screen sizes, they’re not all the same and may even vary in design, especially when you consider devices like the new iPhone and Samsung ranges that have a full edge to edge screen and notches on the top. With this in mind, you must ensure that your app is suitable for any device it will be downloaded onto.

This means ensuring your apps are responsive and will automatically adjust themselves to fit into any screen design. Ideally, you’re going to want your app to be optimized for as many screen sizes and designs as possible. Also, don’t forget your app may be screencast onto smart TVs, such as the ones that have Apple Airdrop, so bear that in mind.

  1. Accessibility Options are a Must

Think about who may be using your app, and whether living with disabilities is going to impair someone’s ability to use your app. If you’re creating an app for a wider market, such as Uber or Facebook, and not just a dedicated user base, accessibility options are essential.

As a rule of thumb, making sure the size of the screen can be changed, such as making text and images larger for visually impaired people, audio cues for hard-of-sight users and placement of the buttons to be used on both left and right-handed people is all essential for making your app as accessible as possible.

  1. Test with Your Core Users

I cannot say this clearly enough; before you release your app, you need to ensure that you’re testing your app within your main user base. Even though you’re going to spend time testing your app yourself, it’s always going to be somewhat biased because you know how the app works.

Getting external yet focused test users onto your app is going to bring up and highlight issues you won’t have even thought about, and the value these changes can make to your app is invaluable when it comes to your actual launch and making sure everyone has the best experience.

Use beta testing groups and focus groups and make sure you’re taking time to properly look through the feedback you receive to make proactive changes that make a positive difference.

Author Bio. :- Ashley Halsey is a mobile app developer and writer at who has been involved in many projects around the world. Mother of two children, she enjoys traveling, reading, and attending networking meetings.

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