Mobile apps are becoming a necessity now and it is evident from the thought process of the millennials who are the largest generation in the US workforce. For this generation,
- Mobile apps are the must-haves.
- They have about 20-25 branded apps installed on their devices.
- Nearly 75-80% of this generation users browse and purchase products through these apps.
- If they feel that mobile app experience for a particular brand is not good, nearly 55% of them waste no time in dumping that, which in turn means no purchase or use of that company’s products or services.
With the millennial generation so keen on apps, almost all major brands have their mobile apps and the small businesses that do not have apps till now are planning to have one in near future. While mobile app is must to increase your customer base, it should deliver the user experience that a customer wants and expects; else the result will be negative.
Whether an app will be successful or not depends on a combination of factors, but the user experience (UX) tops them all. If the user is not happy then all efforts are futile. So, what are the factors that will enhance the user experience in 2016? There are some best practices of the industry, which one should adhere to and at the same time try to improvise upon it to give a better experience to the user.
- Designing for Bigger Screens: Now is the era of phablets and bigger smartphones. It is expected that the phablet market will grow by about 36% per year till 2018, which makes it vital to design apps keeping it in mind. The main difference between using a smaller screen size and a bigger one is that in the smaller screen the thumb covers half the screen size, whereas in larger screen it reaches to only one-fourth the screen size. Keeping in mind the way people hold their phones (vertically or horizontally) and taking into account that nearly 10% of the population is lefty, the designers need to make necessary changes for better UX and navigation for bigger screens.
- Simplicity Is the Key: With flat design in vogue, the emphasis is on clarity, simplicity, and functionality with the trend of minimalism and thus it will continue in 2016 too. Today, the trend of having blank screen space is a design element in itself. Designers are highlighting the empty spaces giving users a chance to focus on other elements. Users also like this as the clarity and simplicity give them the best app experience.
- Micro UX: The year 2015 saw the growing focus of the designers in micro UX details. The trend is still continuing and will remain so in near future. Designers today are more focused on improvising and improving small details to provide a more holistic experience to the user. This focus on small detailing makes the little moments more effective for the user rather than concentrating on the big picture and high-level designing.
- Content Strategy: Every business, big or small, is going for mobile apps and most of these apps are quite similar in working and appearance. Then, what will act as the differentiator? How will you ascertain that your app will be adopted by the user wholeheartedly? In such a scenario, content is supposed to be the key differentiator. The messages conveyed should be clear, compelling, and useful. The designers need to provide the right content to users within apps along with the features. The content needs to be approachable, conversational, and personable.
- The Psychological Effect of Colour Selection: Everyone is aware of the psychological effect that colour has on the mind. There are happy colours that make you feel elated and then there are gloomy and sad shades. If you see the colour red is a must to use in China as it communicates happiness in Chinese culture and nothing can beat a happy customer. The use of colour has a profound impact on conversion rates as certain colours infuse a propensity to take action. For instance, using colours red and green in call-to-action buttons are known to rank high for conversions.
To have a really refined user experience, the designers need to have a concrete understanding of the psychology and philosophical underpinnings of the practices they choose; else it will lead to a frustrating and friction-filled user experience. A focus on UX is a key differentiator, and smart companies are embracing it from the word GO.