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Mobile UI design rules of thumb for designers

Mobile UI design rules have been created to make UX as consistent as possible. Everyone needs to be aware of these best mobile UI elements before designing just about anything for mobile.

8 February, 2023
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Smartphones have become the go-to source for digital activities, from sourcing information to e-commerce. The appeal of smartphones is the staggering level of convenience they offer. However, what truly makes them stand apart is the websites and apps designed for them.

Mobile UI design rules have been created to make user experiences as consistent as possible. Anyone soliciting UI/UX design services should be aware of the basic button types for UI design and the differences between UX design on iOS and on Android, but first, they need to understand these rules.

The mobile UI design principles any designer needs to know

These are the best mobile UI elements everyone needs to be aware of prior to designing just about anything for mobile:

Simplistic navigation is vital

Simple navigation is an essential aspect of any website and provides an obvious way through which users can move between screens and find everything they are looking for. Remember that mobile users will need to go back as well as forward within the same window.

A large touch area is essential

Smartphones rely on touch controls, so it is essential for websites to be designed with control sizes that are easy to tap using the thumb.

Rule of thumb
Rule of thumb

Clutter should be minimized

It isn't really necessary to display all possible information on the interface. Designers need to organize their content in a way that presents users with a clear understanding of available features.

Text should be large

The smaller screens of mobile devices can make text hard to read, so large text can be helpful for readability. If necessary, split your UX across several screens instead of using one screen with small text.

Touch controls are a must

Many mobile controls are available throughout the design process, so it isn't a good idea to use simple web controls, as these can be difficult to navigate on mobile. A good principle to remember is that mobile controls are easy to use for desktop users but the same doesn’t apply in the other direction.

So, it may be a good idea to design mobile-first controls for your user interface despite expecting, both, desktop and mobile users.

Simple forms are important

Forms are used on many websites, and it’s important to ensure that users can provide their input easily.

Thumb position is key

The screen layout needs to be designed in a way that is comfortable for users to engage with their thumbs. Designers need to provide tapping controls in places where users can access them easily. Think about the area that a users thumbs can reach and place most usabe elements within that area.

User experience needs to be consistent

Each version of a website or application that is available in both a web and mobile version will need to provide a similar, familiar, and consistent experience. What this means is that content on small devices needs to be minimal yet similar to its web counterparts.

Of course, there is a lot more than what is listed here that goes into mobile UI design, but by understanding these essentials, moving forward can be much easier. With the best UI/UX designers from Merge, you can rest assured all mobile UI design rules will be followed so that your website or app is a success.


CEO and Founder of Merge

My mission is to help startups build software, experiment with new features, and bring their product vision to life.

My mission is to help startups build software, experiment with new features, and bring their product vision to life.

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