When building a mobile app, considering the target audience, development platform, device type, ease of navigation, and design can help you deliver an unrivaled user experience.
- Your target audience should be your first consideration in mobile development.
- Native and cross-platform development are suitable for different applications. Consider your project’s requirements before choosing between the two.
- Your users will likely have devices with different RAM, CPU, DPI, and screen sizes/resolutions. Factoring these aspects into your decisions can help you deliver a more consistent user experience (UX).
- Some ways to improve your app’s navigation include making it intuitive, eliminating clutter, using legible text, and optimizing elements for hand positioning.
- A well-designed app translates to success for your business.
Mobile app usage has grown exponentially over the last few years. Per Statista, there were 255 billion mobile app downloads in 2022. That’s roughly an 80 percent increase from the 140 billion downloads in 2016.
This trend is likely to continue as people embrace new technologies like AR and 5G-enabled devices, which is encouraging news if you’re considering mobile development. There’s a caveat: You must build an app that promotes seamless interactions with your products and services. Otherwise, people will download your app but never use it, or worse uninstall it.
Here are five considerations when building a mobile app to make it successful and grow your business.
Before executing your brilliant app idea, take time to understand the target audience, how they’ll use the app, and what they are most excited about. Collect feedback as quickly and often as possible to concretely establish the target customer. Doing so can accelerate and streamline decisions about the app design, features, and functionalities, and help you deliver unique value to users.
In addition, validate the need for the solution your app will provide before mobile development starts. This includes everything from how the app will improve customer experience, increase reach, or even amplify your business value.
Assuming you need to build a full mobile app, there are two development paths you can follow:
- Native development. For example, creating Android apps using Kotlin and iOS apps using Swift with two separate development streams
Usually, hybrid development is the best solution for most apps – especially those moving from a web environment – as it requires less incremental knowledge, most of which includes interacting with OS-specific nuances, device-specific functions, and the mobile app release process.
However, you may need to go native in the following scenarios:
- Your mobile app requires high-performance standards – like when even milliseconds of lag can cause an issue
- You need support for exotic extensions and peripherals like echolocation
- You want to build a responsive app that maximizes users’ mobile phone hardware and resources
- You want an easily scalable mobile app
Remember to factor in the time to market and your budget when choosing between the native or cross-platform modes. Cross-platform development is usually less costly and allows for faster development than native development, but limits functionalities, UX design, and performance.
After choosing the development platform, consider the smartphone models your customers and target audience will use to access your app. This decision will help you optimize the dimensions of your mobile development, directly impacting quality, customer reach, and UX.
Important considerations on the device type include:
- Screen resolution
- DPI and screen size
Understanding your users’ smartphone models helps you create a consistent UX across different mobile devices and platforms so that every user has the best experience.
Navigation serves as the direct link between the user and the design, influencing both the front-end and back-end aspects of the UX. It guides users in an easy and logical sequence, helping them find what they need without cluttering up the app’s interface or affecting page speed.
To ease navigation and minimize friction throughout the customer journey, follow these navigation best practices:
Make navigation intuitive
Intuitive navigation makes the mobile app feel familiar to users, helping them find links and buttons faster, and explore other app elements more efficiently.
Usually, the best way to make an app more intuitive is by getting it into the hands of users and through continuous testing to discover usability gaps.
Understanding your users and how they interact with your app eliminates the false-consensus effect where developers, designers, UX researchers, and other members of your mobile development team project their reactions and behavior to users assuming that other people will use the interface like them.
Mobile screens have limited space. Thus, including too many elements in your app can make it hard to navigate. On the contrary, prioritizing the critical screen elements and creating a well-mapped information architecture can make for a more lucid design. Additionally, using no more than one primary call-to-action per page can drive better results.
Use legible text
Readability significantly affects UX, especially if the navigation is text-based. Therefore, ensure all text on your app is legible so that users can read and access the most valuable content quickly and without struggling.
Consider hand positioning
Your mobile app’s design should play nicely with users’ thumbs and their hand positioning. All buttons and links should be in easy-to-reach areas and be large enough for users to tap comfortably. In addition, there should be sufficient spacing between elements for seamless navigation.
Your app’s navigation should retain the most critical design principles and offer creative solutions for people when they use or explore it. Keep the navigation simple, invisible, and familiar, but detailed enough to optimize the UX.
Design end-user experience
Your mobile app’s design can significantly impact its first impression and success. Therefore, one of your priorities should be to create a customer-centric product design that delivers an outstanding UX.
Take time to understand what’s truly important to users. For the most part, people want a quick and simple experience when interacting with a mobile app – an efficient solution.
Consider constraints such as visual real-estate, pointing accuracy, connectivity (both throughput and speed), storage, memory, and processing speed of users’ devices when architecting and designing the mobile app to maximize results.
In addition, the app’s design should address customer needs intuitively and follow Web Content Accessibility Guidelines to ensure inclusivity for everyone, regardless of their abilities.
Remember, if your app is well-designed, user-friendly, and lets people complete tasks without mental heavy lifting, they’ll likely use it again and recommend it to others. And if your mobile app is successful, your business will be too.
Build your mobile app innovatively with Shockoe
Technology is constantly changing and increasingly influencing customers’ digital experiences and demands. To remain consistent, on-trend, and relevant, you need the right tools and expertise to deliver an outstanding UX. That’s where Shockoe comes in.
Shockoe’s comprehensive, customer-first approach to mobile development provides valuable insights into your app’s users and their interactions with it. As a result, you can identify the most effective acquisition campaigns, attract more users, assess feature stickiness, and track and compare user groups more efficiently.
We help you understand your users’ interests, purchase behavior, and preferences to optimize every touch point, elevate UX, and maximize results.
Let’s work together to bring your mobile app to new heights. Book a consultation with our experts to learn more.