Bit by bit, mobile applications have invaded our lives. According to research by comScore, in 2016 more than 65% of users prefered mobile applications to their desktop counterparts. Web applications currently take a back seat to mobile apps. Because mobile apps are so prevalent, designers are constantly thinking about how to create a sleek and polished mobile user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) that will keep users happy. In this article, we review common best practices of mobile design that we follow here at RubyGarage when designing applications.
1. Determine Your Target Audience and Design for Them
’Target audience’ is a buzzword for marketing teams. But while the term may be overused, you should consider your target audience when designing a mobile app.
Start your design process with UX research to identify your target users’ requirements and behaviors, determine in what situations your application will be used (for example, on-the-go or mostly at home), and define business goals you want to achieve through your design. You can use services like Statista and Forrester to analyze survey and market research data; create custom surveys via Google Survey; and analyze tendencies with Google Trends.
In addition to UX research, you should also create UX personas ‒ depictions of typical users that help you visualize who you’re designing for. Ideally, UX personas should be based on field research and should depict users as realistically as possible. UX personas help you to validate your design ideas and focus on concrete user types, and promote empathy towards the end user.
After you’ve defined your target users, build a user scenario ‒ a detailed description of how personas will use your application to achieve a specific goal. For example, a user scenario for a taxi-booking app might describe what steps Mary (your UX persona) takes to book a taxi. Focus on your user’s goals and the context in which they use the app to create relevant user scenarios.
UX research will help you outline UX personas and predict real-world user scenarios. By collecting this necessary data, you increase your chances of successfully appealing to your audience and being recognized on the market.