Designing an app with good user experience (UX) is important to increase your app’s usability and stickiness, but it’s also key to boosting engagement, satisfaction, and perception of speed—and ultimately conversion and revenue. With these tips on how to make your app user-friendly, you can keep your users coming back again and again, even when they face new features or content with which they aren’t familiar. Here are the top 10 ways to do just that.
1) The Design Makes it Easy for Users to Navigate
It’s important that your app is easy to navigate. If your customers can’t easily find what they’re looking for, they won’t engage with it as much. To keep things easy, use a navigation design that fits on one screen and makes sense. That way, people will spend less time hunting around and more time using your app. Plus, some designs are so innovative that they even make browsing content fun—which is definitely something you want when it comes to getting users engaged! The right design can have an enormous impact on how user-friendly an app is perceived by customers. A great starting point for inspiration is Google Play or Apple App Store design trends in recent years.
2) It Feels Fast
Have you ever started using an app, gotten through a few screens, and then left it? For example, have you downloaded an app, opened it once or twice, used it for a minute or two, and then forgotten about it? If so, that means one of three things: You didn’t like what you saw; there was nothing there for you (no value), or it just wasn’t usable. If your application doesn’t feel fast – which can be defined as intuitively easy to use and on-point with your customers' needs – people will leave. When they do that they could leave frustrated with your brand or they could tell their friends how bad the experience was and maybe even discourage them from using your product.
3) The Navigation Makes Sense
One of the top issues that impact usability is making sure that your app’s navigation makes sense. You want people to be able to find what they’re looking for right away and intuitive navigation design helps achieve that goal. For example, using a hamburger icon to access menus when users are familiar with a side-menu button may frustrate them. Try different variations on your app’s navigation and make sure users can always find what they need, quickly and easily. Just because something worked well in one version of your app doesn’t mean it should continue into another version. Keep an open mind about change as you plan out future releases.
4) The Experience is Positive
If you expect a great user experience, you should be positive from start to finish. Every interaction with your customer is an opportunity to improve your app’s usability and make your customer more satisfied. Take advantage of these opportunities and make sure that customers leave their experience on a positive note. And it doesn’t matter how good or bad their first interaction with your app was; improving usability and providing quality customer service are two fundamental ways to create repeat business through word-of-mouth marketing.
5) Users Don’t Get Confused
The most common cause of user confusion is a lack of awareness. When users don’t know what they’re supposed to do on your app, they get confused. The very first step in creating an app is making sure you understand exactly how it will be used, so you can make design decisions based on that use. Researching your target audience and creating a persona or avatar can help give context to your features. Even if you have multiple types of users in mind, it’s good practice to create one main user or hero persona around which your entire app revolves. This way, everything you design is focused around one person and their experience with your product (and not just their overall experience with all products).
6) You Can’t Lose Data or Progress
In some cases, your app may be a one-time use. For example, users want to watch a specific movie and then never watch it again. Or maybe you want people to read one of your books once or twice before selling it back on Amazon or secondhand elsewhere. In these cases, you’ll want to make sure they won’t have any issues if they accidentally click something that causes them to lose progress or data—such as loading a game up while offline. To keep users happy and avoid angry customer reviews, work on building apps that have safeguards in place against data loss.
7) The Interface Is Uncluttered
The fewer buttons, icons, and fonts on your app's interface, the less intimidating it will seem. Users should be able to figure out how to do something quickly and easily. But if you're not careful, an app can become cluttered with unnecessary icons, buttons, and features that could complicate its use. Check-in from time to time on your app's user interface—make sure it is uncluttered but still makes sense for users. For example, test it with someone who has never used your product before and make sure they don't have any trouble figuring out how to navigate through all of its features.
8) The App Feels Secure
Users are usually hesitant when they’re asked to provide personal information. Once users feel secure and safe, they’ll be more likely to actually convert, which means developers must create an app that makes people feel safe. This is especially important for financial apps like Venmo and PayPal, which must have a sense of security. Apps can use better encryption or a middleman service like Braintree or Stripe to make users feel more secure and help drive conversions.
9) The Interface Allows Personalization & Customization
The initial launch of your app should be simple and allow for easy navigation. The interface should also allow customization so users can personalize their experience to their own taste. If users are unable to easily navigate, your conversion rate will plummet. But if you provide them with an opportunity for customizing their experience, they’ll spend more time in your app and be more likely to take action—like installing updates or sharing with friends. For example, you could have a bar at the bottom of every screen that allows a user to set a preferred color scheme or font size on each screen. This can boost engagement and make people feel like they truly own their experience within your app!
10) It Works with New Technology (Voice commands, etc.)
If you’re working with an older app, then these features might not make much sense. However, today’s consumers are continually adapting and adopting new technology, such as voice commands. If your user experience or app requires these types of commands then it’s a good idea to start planning now. Integrating newer technology helps make your application more efficient and fast – something that is important when it comes time for users to decide whether or not they want to use your app.
If you've ever used a mobile app and thought, Wow, I really like using that, chances are good that user experience design is a big reason why. The amount of users an app has may seem like a numbers game, but when it comes down to actually using apps, what really matters is how good they feel. If you're thinking about revamping your app or creating one from scratch, start with UX and let everything else fall into place. It will be worth it in both dollars and cents.
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