14 Nov 2017

Main-tame your app: How to create intuitive mobile apps?

Leaving from work today, I was attracted by a small notification on my mobile screen. It said, "Pick up the cake from the bakery and get the gift card for dad."

They say a stitch in time saves nine. I thanked my stars and then I thanked Siri. For of course, I am a good daughter, but work can be overwhelming at times. We planned a surprise birthday party for dad's 50th birthday and I was asked to bring the cake. Since last night extended to nearly midnight with back to back meetings and presentations, I had put a reminder. I still remember what Siri asked me, "By tomorrow, do you mean Thursday or Friday?" I was pleasantly surprised. The engineers at Apple surely like to go beyond what's expected of them. Sometime during development, someone must have encountered this dilemma and hence, came up with the solution. The result? An intuitive and efficient assistant called Siri.

Why go for intuitive mobile app development?

Every business is working to create mobile applications for their business today. The ultimate aim of all apps is to provide a knockout user experience. I understand that UI is important for mobile app design but giving your customer, a personal app surfing experience is important too. To do this, your app should be intelligent enough to understand the app using patterns for different users.

Don't get me wrong. I am not saying that every application should start focusing on including Siri or Cortana. Nor am I asking for Siri's descendant. What I am trying to tell you all is before you design something for the business, think about the value your product or application will add to your customer's day to day use.

Key takeaways

How to create intuitive mobile apps?

Remember Eminem's rap, "In my shoes, just to see, What it's like, to be me, I'll be you, let's trade shoes, Just to see what it'd be like"? Your app's UX design should reflect your user's world and not your designer's. When you plan detailed experience of a user's interaction with your app, you make the app more intuitive and in turn, make the browsing experience more pleasant. Developing an intuitive UI is not a big deal. You do not need to move mountains. Just follow the basics and you'll do okay.

Here are the basics:

Simplicity is the key

Developing an intuitive interface is all about keeping the necessary elements and discarding the unnecessary ones. Don't get the wrong idea. Do not make the design scarce of elements. Just craft it to the last detail without compromising the simplicity and purity of the design.

Simplicity is the key

A great example here is of Gmail. Apart from smooth, seamless interactions which make the new app a delight to use, the interface is structured in a manner for people to just check, respond and reply to their emails. It clearly shows its understanding that most often people do not look forward to checking their emails and thus, the app's interface is stripped down with the basic essentials which remain consistently on the main screen.

Give your app the ability to learn and memorize

A major turn off for app users is the problem of starting over and over again. While it is easy for users to finish off the basic tasks the first time they use an app; if they decide to return the app after some time, they're disappointed to find that the proficiency needs to be reestablished. When designing an intuitive app, it is essential to consider training the app with the user's learning curve. The more tasks are performed effortlessly and efficiently by a user, the lesser is its chances of being abandoned by exasperated users.

Give your app the ability to learn

Developers, take inspiration from Snapseed. Despite being one of the many image editing applications on app stores, its unique learning capability offers smoother user onboarding. The app also takes into account the hassle to provide training after prolonged periods of app abandonment from the user's side. It memorizes the common usage patterns and gives users an excellent app experience.

Keep it efficient!

Efficiency is vital to engage frustrated users. Once you learn the design, how quickly can the app accomplish the mundane, routine tasks? Does the interaction really take 4 taps to do the same thing after 3 times? If not, train your app or see your users abandon it after first few uses. Droplr takes the stage here. Users can share all types of files with this app. The process is as simple as it gets. All you have to do is click a photo. The app will then upload it, store it in the cloud, creates a shareable URL and copies it for you. All you have to do is share the link now. Effective? Yes. User satisfaction? Yesssss!!

Present your idea as a metaphor

The advantage of this is, your audience will understand what your app does without tutorials and screenshots. And the best way to develop an intuitive mobile application is to create a UX which compliments it. Take Evernote for example. The app claims and effectively remembers everything you do. And, it ensures that its user-friendly design supports and accentuates its claim. The app works on a mental model. It carries the same actions which are used when working with big filing cabinets. Users swipe files in an upward fashion and the screen displays the desired file.

To sum up, when you design a mobile app, make sure to give your app an identity of its own. With that, it will be able to work better in tandem with your customers. Design the app from a user's perspective and grant it intelligence to add value to the user's day. At BluEnt, we constantly work on creating mobile applications that offer interactive interfaces. A major part of our research time goes into finding the best possible ways to make an app intuitive for your users. If you want to know how we work, give us a call today. You can also email us with your questions on how to design intuitive mobile apps and we'd be happy to reply to you.

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Your Citation

Bluent Tech. "Main-tame your app: How to create intuitive mobile apps?" BluEnt Byte, Nov. 14, 2017, https://www.bluent.net/blog/how-to-create-intuitive-mobile-apps/.

Bluent Tech. (2017, November 14). Main-tame your app: How to create intuitive mobile apps?. Retrieved from https://www.bluent.net/blog/how-to-create-intuitive-mobile-apps/

Bluent Tech. "Main-tame your app: How to create intuitive mobile apps?" Bluent Tech https://www.bluent.net/blog/how-to-create-intuitive-mobile-apps/ (accessed November 14, 2017 ).

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