Mobile UX Design in 2022

October 3, 2022

Design is science. The deeper you dive in, the more you’ll understand the intricacies of visual communication. Delightfully presenting your data is what leads to an optimal user experience. If your users are satisfied with your mobile app’s flow, this increases your chances of making conversions. You need to pay close attention to your mobile UX design and design for your users.

“Mobile UX design is the design of user experiences for hand-held and wearable devices. Designers create solutions—typically applications—to meet mobile users’ unique requirements and restrictions. Designers focus on accessibility, discoverability, and efficiency to optimize on-the-go interactive experiences.”—Interaction Design Foundation

The user-interface (UI) design includes everything relating to graphic design. But UX design extends beyond the user interface’s solely visual representation. It also considers how users perceive an app before, during, and after its use.

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Why Is Mobile UX Design Important?

When designing for the mobile Web, your first choice is whether to develop a single design that works on all devices or many different versions that you’ll build explicitly for specific screen sizes. Responsive design is one approach; adaptive design, another. Typically, you should start by designing for the simplest gadget, then work your way up to smartphones and tablets.

Using common-sense design concepts or just learning by doing won’t cut it when you want to create a great mobile user experience. Such ill-judged tactics could be fatal to your product or Web site. Google has said that 61% of customers are reluctant to return to a mobile site they’ve had problems accessing and, even worse, 40% opted to visit a competitor’s site instead. A user’s understanding is 50% lower on a mobile device than on the desktop. Therefore, content, navigation, and visual design must be twice as simple and easy to understand on mobile devices.

Remembering that there is a minimal margin for error when dealing with small screens can help you face such stark realities. Learning the skills necessary to produce a user interface for mobile devices that is simple to use and, as a result, provides an excellent mobile user experience is essential.

Peter Morville’s user experience honeycomb, which is shown in Figure 1, defines the elements of the user experience that you should consider when designing a mobile app.

Figure 1—Peter Morville’s UX honeycomb
Peter Morville's UX honeycomb

Image source: Wikipedia

Factors of Good Mobile UX Design

Now, let’s explore some basic considerations of mobile UX design.

Minimizing On-Screen Content

Imagine the stress of trying to use a crowded desktop design on a mobile device. Everything becomes more complicated with the addition of each button, image, or piece of content. Declutter and remove anything in a mobile user interface that isn’t necessary. Strive for minimalism, but don’t sacrifice utility. This often becomes doable by giving one significant action on-screen priority.

Creating Finger-Friendly, Tappable Elements

Follow these UX design guidelines when designing tappable UI elements:

  • Ensure that all interactive UI elements are easy to tap accurately with a finger.
  • Always make it evident to your users that they can tap on-screen elements. For example, give buttons the appearance of buttons. Users must immediately be able to distinguish what is tappable from what is not.
  • Avoid adding too many buttons, and place them where users would expect to find them. When labeling buttons, indicate what they do.

Providing Legible Text

Improving a mobile app’s typography contributes to the legibility, accessibility, usability, and overall visual balance of its content. An app’s body text should be in a responsive font with a minimum size of 16 pixels, or 1 rem. If your intended audience is over 35, the font size of the body text should be at least 18 pixels. Users should be able to read a Web site’s fonts at their typical viewing distance, which is between 20 and 30 centimeters for mobile phones.

Making Active Elements Easily Accessible

Users frequently use just one hand to hold and use their smartphone. Therefore, your objective is to organize all the active items on the screen so users can access them with only one hand.

Using Icons That Are Familiar to Users

Making unnecessary changes that would require users to adjust to a significantly different user interface would increase consumers’ learning curve and, thus, often backfire. For instance, all first-time users would be perplexed if you replaced the standard icon for playing a movie with a hexagon. UX design requires that you put usability before innovation.

Choosing Soothing Color Schemes

Selecting a color scheme for your brand can contribute to your app’s making an impact on your customers and assist consumers in differentiating your app and brand from those of your rivals. Always make an effort to avoid using overly bright colors, and be sure to accommodate people with color-deficient vision. One rule you should always follow when designing user interfaces is to define an appropriate color-contrast ratio. If your user interfaces don’t have sufficient value contrast between foreground text or other UI elements and their background, users won’t be able to easily able read the text or distinguish the UI elements.

Conducting UX Research

You might be tempted to jump immediately into creating mockups or prototypes. Resist that urge. Conducting in-depth UX research prior to design is essential. It is crucial that you always remember that “you are not your user,” so rigorous UX research is necessary to provide a great user experience that meets your users’ needs.

Focusing on Providing Feedback

People interact with well-designed applications that keep them updated on what is occurring. If there is a lack of positive feedback, users might become confused and wonder whether anything has happened or is occurring now, or why something did or did not happen. A good practice is to utilize several types of feedback—sound, haptics, and visualizations.

Ensuring That Your Product’s Logo Stands Out

You must make your product adequately visible and draw users’ attention. Make sure that your product’s logo on the mobile device's home screen distinguishes your app from the rest of the on-screen elements.

Focusing on the Navigation Bar or Menu

When it comes to using mobile devices, bottom navigation is a real game-changer. With each new iPhone release, phones and their screens become bigger, making it more challenging for users to use only their thumbs to browse Web sites and apps. A bottom navigation menu nicely helps to remedy this problem.

Gamifying the Entire Workflow

The execution times for loading screens, processes, and preparatory phases can vary. For ecommerce Web sites, the waiting period until customers receive their purchases is a particularly delicate subject.

Users demand swiping and scrolling as part of their mobile-app experience. It’s an excellent idea to gamify or animate interactions if a user would need to swipe through many pages or cards in an app to accomplish their goal. Users are less likely to lose interest when interacting with moving elements that attract their attention, ensuring that they’ll reach their intended destination within your app.

Eliminating as Much Friction as Possible

The optimal approach to designing displays and controls is to reduce friction as much as possible. Reorganize the content, pay attention to the thumb zones, reduce the number of taps necessary for users to achieve their goal, and improve any annoying cross-device log-in procedures.

Mobile UX Design Tips for Building Your Understanding

  • Design for mobile devices of any sort and any size, considering the needs of all users.
  • Ensure that users’ fingers or thumbs don’t obstruct key content.
  • Make sure that the sizes of the UI elements and other objects allows comfortable tapping.
  • Design for the many different ways in which people use their gadgets.
  • Remember that people often like to touch the middle of their screen.
  • Put important actions between the center and the bottom two-thirds of the screen.

Wrapping Up

You can make users’ interactions with their mobile devices seamless by following design best practices and being aware of mobile devices’ limitations. It is essential that you consider the design guidelines that I’ve outlined in this article to produce designs that deliver pleasant human experiences.

Typical UX design and usability concerns are equally applicable in designing for the mobile context, but considering the user’s environment necessitates your considering additional design issues. Mobile UX design is different from designing for the familiar desktop environment. To provide the finest user experiences possible, mobile designers must pay close attention to the details that matter in the mobile context. 

Content Writer at Net Solutions

Los Angeles, California, USA

Paige GriffinPaige is a seasoned content writer. She has worked at Net Solutions for seven years, applying her expertise in blogging and writing creative and technical copy for direct-response marketing and promotional advertising for business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) industries. Born and brought up in New York, Paige holds a bachelor’s degree in English literature. She has worked for industries such as information technology (IT), product engineering, and lifestyles, among others, and her writings have provided some great insights on technologies such as Python and PHP Web development and iOS app development. Beyond her technical background, she is a poet at heart, who loves to connect with people through her creativity and imagination.  Read More

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