What is mobile UX?
Literally? the letters U and X stand for User Xperience (as in ‘experience’). But according to the Interaction Design Foundation, the definition of ‘mobile UX’ means “the design of positive experiences during the use of mobile devices and wearables, and applications or services running on such devices.” (1) In other words, through efficient application designs, we can create, measure and tailor a positive user experience that may lead to conversions or continuous use of the service app.
How does it affect businesses in today’s technology? Best examples
As technology becomes even more intertwined with people’s lives, it is crucial for businesses to offer a seamless digital experience that accommodates their lifestyle. Author Goran Paunovic writes in his Forbes article that “Most business clients who engage in site design are looking for a revenue-driving product, but few are aware of how much their business can change for the better with the right UX.” (2)
Indeed, having the right UX matters. The numbers speak for themselves.
In the same article, Pauvonic reports of research done by Forrester Research: “a better UX design could yield conversion rates up to 400%”. But how can you differentiate a good UX design from a bad one? Read my next point to find out.
The good, the bad and the ugly.
One of the most recognized events that shaped UX history is, arguably, the downfall of Snapchat. A journalist for The Guardian (3), Edward Helmore writes that after their controversial redesign, they have suffered “their first decline in daily active users” as well as plummeting stock shares.
Bloomberg (4) reports that Snapchat lost over 325.1 million dollars in 2017.
On the other hand, an example of an app made famous by its unique navigation method: Tinder.
With their iconic swipe right/swipe left feature, the app designers got inspired and mimicked real-life rejection/approval movements(5). All that within the optimal on-screen thumb placement.
Smooth navigation is essential in providing good and memorable user experience, however, it isn’t the only aspect you should consider when you’re designing an app.
Do’s and don’ts.
In his article, Nick Babich, Editor-in-chief of UX planet, gives us 10 tips for a better UX.
1- Know your customer.
2- Don’t confuse your users, prioritize features.
3- Don’t overcrowd the app, strive for minimalism.
4- Make navigation feel familiar to users.
5- Keep the right amount of space for finger tapping.
6- Use legible font and color contrast.
7- Provide visual feedback and animation to show app responsiveness.
8- Make data entry easy and minimize the need for typing.
9- Create a seamless, homogeneous, experience on all of your platforms.
10- Test your design and constantly measure your app.
Considering that less than 0.01 of applications were predicted to be a financial success by their creators at the end of 2018, let’s have a look at the mobile UX trends of that year. (7)
Mobile UX trends of 2018
With the unleashing of the iPhone X, full screen and vibrant HD experiences dominated the trends. That trend also included apps who have integrated facial recognition and biometric fingerprints for authentication purposes.
Furthermore, Nick Babich writes that “ In 2016, Google stated that roughly 20 percent of all mobile searches were done with voice activation. It’s easy to see why the next big thing for coming years will be voice-activated interfaces.” (8)
However, will the latter be on the list of predictions for the 2019 UX trends?
Indeed, design leader Sumit Dagar writes “Voice interfaces (VUI) is the next big thing in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). While visual and voice interfaces have largely remained independent entities till now, 2019 will see seamless integration of both and adoption at scale.”
He also predicts that in 2019, we’ll witness a “larger adoption of design systems amongst companies” but most importantly: the “liberal customization of design systems as companies target new geographies where users have less exposure to default systems.” (9)
The implementation of a geographically customized mobile UX would mean that businesses now have a broader audience within their reach. Hence the reason why mobile UX is an essential investment for companies looking to expand their target audience.
All in all, 2019 looks like a very promising year tech wise. As interesting as it might seem to see all of the above actually come to life, I believe it would be more so to witness the unpredicted trends that could pop up during the year. But until then, I’ll keep a lookout.