For a long-term channel for many online businesses, mobile apps are a must. Yet, they can be a headache if they are not structured properly. Here are seven useful tips from Number9, the expert in mobile app development. Read on to improve your mobile app and make it more user-friendly. And remember: declutter your user interface to reduce cognitive load. Then, decide whether to build a hybrid, web or native mobile app.
Decluttering your mobile app’s user interface reduces cognitive load
Using mobile apps to accomplish work requires the brain’s processing power, and if the task is too difficult, users are likely to give up and move on to something else. The good news is that decluttering your mobile app’s user interface can significantly reduce this cognitive load. To create an easy-to-use mobile app, remove all unnecessary elements. Decluttering your mobile app’s user interface can also increase customer satisfaction.
Clutter is one of the biggest inhibitors of good design. Clutter is the most common culprit, as it complicates the user’s experience. Keep your mobile app’s interface simple and uncluttered, and you’ll be surprised at how quickly users will get the hang of it. By keeping your app’s user interface as clean as possible, you’ll be surprised at how much longer users stay on your mobile application and how many times they come back to use it.
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Introducing new features and fixing bugs ensures better user retention
Introducing new features and bug fixes to your software is one of the best ways to keep your customers happy and returning for more. However, some companies struggle with this process and have to resort to hiring more support staff or extending hours in order to meet demand. The experts of Number9 can prove to be handy in this task. By introducing new features and fixing bugs as quickly as possible, you can ensure better retention of your users. Here are three simple ways to improve user retention:
Designing for thumbs instead of fingers
Smartphones have grown larger and bigger screen sizes, and app developers must adapt to this trend. In his book, Designing for Touch, Josh Clark studied mobile phone users’ hand habits and accounted for them during the design process. For an optimal user experience, mobile app designers must use the right UI design that allows the thumb to glide over the screen without interfering with the other fingers. This will help ensure that users can reach all parts of the screen with ease.
While it’s true that hardware and software development methodologies may change, one thing is always constant: a human will always have five fingers. The thumb is one of those fingers and shouldn’t be ignored when designing a mobile application. To prevent a bad usability experience or dislocating users’ joints, consider using the thumb zone. Most mobile UX designing methodologies apply thumb-zone principles. These zones include hard, natural, and stretch zone.
The basic trick to better UX is to design for the thumb’s natural motion over the touch screen. Using the SMART-task approach has become a key rule for modern developers. Using full-screen overlay mode, users can fit links and buttons within their thumb zone. Adding a thumb-friendly mode to your application can also improve the overall user experience. In short, designing for thumbs instead of fingers will improve your user experience.
To make the mobile user experience better, consider creating a thumb-friendly zone for frequently used options. This way, users can reach these elements with their thumb and still get the job done. The “mobile thumb zone” became a common term for designers as screen sizes increased. In addition to the improved user experience, thumb-friendly mobile apps have more engagement. You can even hire dedicated developers to work on your project.
Choosing between native, hybrid, or a web app
Whether you want to build a web app or a native application depends on your business needs. While web app development is more cost-effective and easier to maintain, you should consider your target audience’s demands and how they would use your product. While web applications are easy to maintain, they are also vulnerable to security threats, have poor user performance, and cannot run offline. In some cases, hybrid apps may be the best choice.
If you are just starting out and have an app idea but are unsure of the response you’ll receive, a hybrid or native app may be the right choice. Hybrid apps have the advantage of using web technologies and sharing a single source code, making them much easier to update and maintain than native apps. But a hybrid app also may require more maintenance due to performance and user complaints, which may put off some startups.
While hybrid apps can help reduce time to market, they may sacrifice future benefits. When your product’s popularity grows, you may need a native app. But for now, a hybrid app is the best way to develop an MVP, test the concept, or build a more advanced version. And as social networks become more complex, hybrid apps are an excellent option for launching an MVP.
However, the downside of hybrid apps is their low customization. When it comes to mobile, user experience trumps cost and other factors. Native apps, however, are the most customizable and are ideal for many users. While they don’t perform as well as native apps, they are generally more expensive. If your goal is to create a native app, make sure to select a web development company that specializes in native app design.
Developing hybrid apps can be cheaper than developing a native application and is an intermediate step above browser-based web apps. Hybrid apps use cross-platform web technologies to develop an app. Web developers write code in HTML or CSS, then translate it into native Android or iOS code. Because hybrid apps aren’t native, they can take advantage of device features. They are also better suited for business use.