What design principle is important for mobile app development?

Any app development project should focus on the fundamental features of good mobile app design such as intuitive navigation. Today, we'll explain those key principles a great mobile app development agency will look at and why design excellence is crucial to maximizing the advantages of an app over a website.

The golden rules of mobile app design

Above all, a mobile app succeeds because it's enjoyable to use–no more, no less. In the development world, high-performance mobile apps need to include these vital usability concepts:

  • User-friendly and suited to first-time users
  • Efficient and enables users to perform tasks quickly
  • Memorable without re-learning navigation or functions
  • Fun to use with an engaging design
  • Free from major errors or glitches

Once you have hit those basic requirements, you should consider how the UX design underpins your user experience and how that influences their likelihood of revisiting your app. Below, we run through some of the most important UX components to factor into your app.

Bad vs good mobile app design
Bad vs good mobile app design

User-focused app controls

A mobile app lives in your customer's phone, so it's in their personal space and needs to be a service they control. Apps should give the user all the tools they need to customize their usage and decide how and when they want to access the app, such as:

  • Adjustable settings
  • Notification controls
  • Action cancellation options

Customers don't respond well to apps that tip them down a sales funnel without a side exit, so you need to provide freedom and transparency about how the app works and how to change it.

Optimized interface sizing and placement

If you've ever used an app that hasn't been optimized, you'll know how frustrating it can be. For example, if you buy something or play a game and a crucial part of the screen drifts out of view, you're more likely to close the app and go elsewhere. Smartphones have pretty small screens, so there are several considerations here:

  • Most people use their thumb more than other digits on a smartphone.
  • Small touch pads can make pressing the wrong thing too easy.
  • Action buttons should be spaced far enough away that a larger thumb won't mistakenly connect with the incorrect button.

As a straightforward design principle, you should always ensure the save and exit buttons (or the comparable alternatives) are not adjacent. Thinking through the real-life usage of your app and testing how customers respond is necessary to ensure all functions are positioned naturally.

Short, sharp content delivery

Most people tend to not have the best attention spans, so you must ensure that the core information you're delivering isn't buried somewhere difficult to find. Mobile app designs should be coherent and minimal with all the supporting or secondary tools in a menu, rather than cluttering up the landing page.

Use simple, short terminology and icons, rather than text, to keep the visual medium clean and easy to use.

Perceptive app navigation

Nobody wants to download an app and spend the next hour watching tutorials about how to use it–best practice app design incorporates evident pathways from one feature to the next without learning how the app functions. If users have to jump through hoops, complete lengthy forms, or spend time clicking through multiple menus to navigate to the tool they are looking for, they'll unlikely find the app enjoyable.

Choosing app design principles to prioritize

If you’re preparing an app for launch, you should ensure that somebody who has never seen your app before understands and can use it without any prompts the first time around. Great design starts with examining what your user will want from your app, because crafting logical, human-designed interfaces is essential to success.

Serhii Hyliuk

Head of Growth

Head of Growth and Customer Success. I'm interested in design, new tech, fashion, exploring new places and languages. My mission is to make our clients happy.

Head of Growth and Customer Success. I'm interested in design, new tech, fashion, exploring new places and languages. My mission is to make our clients happy.


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