Mobile applications have become the most effective tool for facilitating a wide variety of consumers transacting with their service providers. Mobile apps guarantee a personalized, secure and reliable interface between the consumer and the service provider; in the internet era, nothing could come closer to meeting the demands of the consumer as well as the service provider.
What are the important usage considerations should one watch out for?
- Launch screen
Every user who downloads the app sees the launch screen, and the theme of the launch screen should convey something unique about the app. The size of the launch screen needs to be optimized so as to reduce load time.
- Empty states
During the initial days of app usage, there would be minimal content to display. This state when there is less/no content to display is called ’empty state’. Empty state screens need to guide a user towards starting usage of the app.
- Login screens
Given the ubiquity of using username-password combinations for login, it has become overused to the extent that users find it difficult to remember all of them. A better approach would be to have users login through existing platforms such as Gmail, Facebook, or LinkedIn.
- Signup screens
If the app includes a signup process, it is important to make it as simplified as possible. Using details from other platforms like Gmail, Facebook, or LinkedIn, as in the login screens, would be ideal.
- Checkout process
With all apps now allowing transactions, it is important to represent transaction details in a clear and structured manner. Details to be shown clearly during checkout include shipping information, and transaction value.
The best approach would be to show shipping and monetary information in two separate screens.
The key consideration during the checkout process is: the user should NOT be overwhelmed!
Comments, along with ‘Sharing’ (mentioned below) are important screens that help publicize the app among the user community. If it is easy for the app user to share comments easily, a well designed app will receive more positive comments that are more easily disseminated within the user community.
Just like comments, sharing options enable users to share the app within their peer community. It would hence be ideal to provide ‘Share’ links within the app.
Users are intuitively familiar with the navigation screens in Android and iOS platforms. App design should factor these aspects while conceptualizing the navigation screens.
If the app has text content to be displayed, it is important to choose an internationalized font, rendered in a contrasting foreground/background combination
- App settings screen and notifications
This screen allows users to set the applications settings. The design of the setting screen preferably should use icons; separate different setting groups with dividers or negative space, and help users navigate quickly to decide what to do next. Also, provide quick options by using native toggle buttons.
Notifications are an important functionality of the app. Notifications should be subtle, and should not overwhelm the user.
The above are some of the most important things to consider in designing successful mobile applications, that puts user at the forefront in the process.