UX for mobile apps

UX; User Experience is often wrongly Interchanged with UI (User Interface), even by industries that offer employment to the latter. This misconception is one of the reasons mobile apps get low ratings in the app store. Most of these apps, though they promise many great features, have been victims of poor implementation.

Differences between UI and UX

User Interface provides a means for user interaction with the app, usually designed by the graphics designer and is mostly frontend execution.

User Experience on the other hand aggregates tasks that focus on app optimization to make it enjoyable for the user. UX deals mainly with the backend and is everyone’s responsibility

UX Optimization

Having highlighted these differences above, it is easy to see that one can have a good UI design without a good UX, yet a good UI is an important part of having a good UX design.

A good UX design leaves the user satisfied because there is more focus on the actual purpose of the mobile app, rather than on the mental work involved in understanding how to navigate the app.

Many users will even prefer less features with better UX for an alternate app.


Reaction to mobile app with terrible UX


Some Simple Examples of UX Optimization

Login/Sign Up

 Many mobile applications require user sign up and login, for several reasons, ranging from tailoring the app to the user’s preferences to security checks and privacy. The first step of many developers may be to program an account creation form. Google Developer Advocate and UX designer Nazmul Idris recommends using a ‘Sign In with’ option instead. Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Twitter etc. can be used to sign in, to eliminate the cumbersome form filling process or the multi-step registration process.

Refresh Button

A well designed and programmed mobile app should have the ability to reload or refresh automatically when new data is detected. In mobile app programming, refresh is usually used for debugging.

Multi-Step Processes

Multi Step processes in ordering mobile apps such as a pizza app or a taxi app can be reduced to a couple of textboxes, checkboxes and a link to recent orders by that user. This helps for on the go navigation while performing other activities.

Save Button

Many schools of thought consider the ‘save’ button to be unnecessary, especially for mobile apps. A good app should be able to save data automatically at various intervals, at least, till the user clicks on the “save” or “submit” button

With great UX designs, the simplest of apps tend to have high ratings in the app stores. More insight on mobile apps UX will be discussed in the next UX post.