The Importance of UX and UI in Mobile App Development

app development
michael-signal@2x By Michael Signal October 18th 2021

32% of customers leave a brand after having only one bad experience with them.

This statistic also applies to mobile apps. With the millions of apps available these days, it’s easy for users to switch to a competitor’s app if they’re not satisfied with yours.

No matter how good your app is, user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) are vital components to its success. Your mobile app needs to be designed with the user in mind every step of the way so that your app stands out from the competition.

Keep reading for our guide on why UX and UI are vital components for mobile app development and how good design can help keep your users coming back.

What Is UX?

Although you might have heard the terms UX and UI used interchangeably, they’re not the same thing. 

UX stands for user experience, and it refers to how your user feels when interacting with your app. When you design UX, you need to look at how your app operates and how it meets the needs of your users.

To design good UX, you need to focus on the user’s emotions and preferences while they’re using your app. You also need to look at how these emotions might change before and after using your app. 

UX also includes how easy and simple your app is to use and how accessible it is to people with disabilities.

For the most efficient UX design, you need to research the needs of your target audience.

All these aspects determine how a user feels when they use your app. If users enjoy the simplicity of navigating your app, then you’ve achieved a good UX.

What Is UI?

UI stands for user interface, and it refers to the way that users interact with your app. User interface includes all the buttons, controls, and interactive elements of your app.

When designing UI, you need to look at your app’s design and how it is presented to users.

With user interface, the main goal is to give the user an easy and enjoyable interaction with your app. This interaction also needs to be effective in allowing users to achieve their goals on your app in an effortless manner.

UI design involves deciding on how your app will look, as well as mapping how the user navigates from each page of your app to the next. 

Why Are UX and UI Important for App Development?

UX and UI are complementary to each other in the development of your app. Both of them contribute to creating an app that’s pleasant to use and lets users accomplish their goals in a timely manner.

When designing your app, you need to find the right balance between how well your app functions and creating a good UX and UI.

If your app has technologically advanced features but confusing menus that leave users frustrated, then you need to focus more on UX and UI.

But if you have smooth menus that users enjoy interacting with but nothing in your app that provides actual value, then you need to focus more on offering useful features.

Now let’s take a look at some specific ways that UX and UI can help you build a better app and grow your business.

Save Time and Money

Starting with efficient UX and UI is more time and cost-effective than if you decided on adding these elements later.

If you rush the development of your app and forget all about UX and UI, chances are you’ll have to improve these later, especially when the reviews start coming in.

When you already have an app already set up, it’s going to cost you more in both time and money to fix any problems with UX and UI. You may even have to completely redesign your app.

You might also have service interruptions for your users, which can cause frustration. When you develop an app, you need to minimize risk, which includes reducing the risk of losing your customers to your competitors.

But if you make sure UX and UI are at least efficient at the start, then you won’t have as much editing and rearranging to do later.

Create a Better Brand

When you invest time and money into designing a good UX and UI, your customers will be both grateful and happy.

And the happier your customers are with your app, the more likely they’ll stick around, even if your competition creates new products.

Always remember that the key to keeping current users and getting new users is to build relationships with them. Part of this relationship building is making sure you are as focused on your customers’ satisfaction as you are on making money.

Even if you have a free app, keep giving value to your users. This will encourage them to upgrade to the paid version of your app or motivate them to make in-app purchases.

To keep building your brand, don’t be afraid to upgrade certain features if users keep asking for them. This shows that your brand takes customer feedback and satisfaction into account and makes users feel supported.

Increased ROI

ROI refers to return on investment. Return on investment measures the profitability of an investment. It is calculated by dividing the investment’s net profit by the initial cost of the investment.

You might think that investing in UX and UI is too costly upfront, but it increases your ROI in several ways.

First of all, you satisfy your current customers, who are more likely to keep using your app and stay loyal to your brand. They may also be more likely to buy new products or apps from your company in the future.

Second of all, your satisfied customers are more likely to recommend your app to others, which increases your number of users.

Understand Your Audience Better

Before you design your app’s UX/UI, you need to research the needs of your audience. And when you start to develop your app, you’ll design it with the target audience in mind.

Once you get more users on your app, you can use your app analytics to look at your audience and see their demographics, how long they used your app, how many days your users go between sessions, and other valuable information.

Analytics lets you identify where users spend the most time on your app. You can also see where they close the app so you can focus on improving these screens and pages on your app.

Keep Your Users Engaged

The worst thing you can do is create an amazing app full of value and innovation that can’t keep users engaged. 

Aside from the quality of the content, users most often don’t stay engaged when the UX and UI of an app aren’t good.

This is why having a clear design is so important. When users can navigate your app with ease and are satisfied with the way your app operates, they’re more likely to use your app longer and more often.

Boost Your Rating on the App Store

Satisfied customers can also boost your rating on the app store. 

Once the positive reviews and ratings start coming in, these will show up on the app store. This means that your app could get featured at the top of the list when someone searches keywords related to your app.

And when you’re featured at the top of the list, potential users can see that your app is trustworthy and has a high level of satisfaction. They’re then more likely to buy or download your app.

UX and UI Best Practices

Like programming, there are best practices in UX and UI for mobile app development. You want to give your app the best chance of success, and you don’t want to frustrate users before they’ve even seen what your app has to offer.

No matter where you are in your stage of learning or app development, keep these best practices in mind as there’s always room to keep improving your app.

Make Everything Uniform

This means that you need to make every aspect of the app look the same no matter which page of the app the user is on.

For example, if you have a scheduling app, your buttons should be the same colour on the login screen as they are on every other page of the app, such as the button to make a new calendar entry. 

Your fonts and other colours should also be the same across your entire app. These should also be consistent with your branding. 

Imagine how confusing it would be as a user if you logged into your calendar on a blue screen, only to be taken to a neon yellow screen with completely different fonts and patterns. You might think the app malfunctioned or that the creator doesn’t care about the user experience at all.

But when you make everything uniform, you show that you’ve put a lot of thought into users’ experience of your app. This builds trust in your brand.

Optimize Loading Speed

29% of smartphone users will quit an app if it doesn’t meet their needs or is too slow.

This is why you need to optimize page loading speed from the start. With the amount of competition out there, you can’t risk new customers uninstalling your app because it was too slow.

Optimizing page speed makes for a smoother user experience. It gives users a sense of ease and satisfaction when they can use your app to solve their problems in a quick manner.

A fast loading speed makes it more likely that users will stay on your app and keep it installed on their devices.  

Make Actions Flow

When designing your UX and UI, it’s helpful to create a map of the actions your users will take to go from one page of your app to another. In mobile app development, this is called the user journey.

Making actions flow from one page of your app to another also involves keeping the design of your app simple. It might be tempting to add some cool graphics or colours, but you can overcomplicate things and make your app confusing to navigate.

You also want to make the next action clear to your app user. Going back to our calendar app example, a clear flow of action would be signing in→viewing your calendar→making a new calendar entry→clicking the “save” button→returning to the main screen.

The flow of buttons and actions should make sense given the purpose of your app and should always be easy for users to see and use.

Use Standard Elements

Standard elements refer to buttons, colours, symbols, fonts, and icons that are common elements of all apps.

While you may want to change these so that you stand out from your competition, you risk confusing the user.

The purpose behind using standard app elements is to make sure that a regular person can use your app right after downloading it. Users should not have to read an instruction manual to be able to use your app.

When you use design elements common to most apps, users shouldn’t have any trouble getting used to and navigating your app. This improves UX as well as customer satisfaction, making it more likely that your users will recommend your easy-to-use app to others.

Ready to Take Your App to the Next Level With UX and UI?

UX and UI are vital components of the app development process. 

When you strike a good balance between the functional elements of your app and how easy and pleasant it is to use, you set your app up for the best chance of success.

If you need to improve the UX and UI of your app but aren’t sure where to start, EB Pearls can help. 

Having built over 380 iPhone and Android apps, we’re Australia’s most experienced app developer. Take your app to the next level and contact our app experts today for a free consultation.

michael-signal@2x By Michael Signal

Michael is the creative brains of the company and he leads the UX and UI team at EB Pearls. He has experience of over 20 years in interaction design and have designed digital products for Fortune 50 companies all over the world.

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