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UX Best Practices for Mobile Development

Posted by Dmytro Chervov on Jan 16, 2012 9:57:08 AM

The main factor for your application’s success is determined by the amount of satisfied users. That’s why you should always base design of your product on UX best practices. Guidelines below are based on experience of successful developers and they want to share it with you.

1) Common usage scenario for most of mobile apps is that the user launches the app, makes a few necessary actions and closes the app. As such, the application should be tuned for the best performance and should launch as quickly as possible. This is especially true if you expect your application to be launched by users several times a day.

2) Compared to using a mouse on a desktop PC or laptop, it’s unfortunately much easier for a user using touch input to tap in a wrong place of the screen. Following the best usability practice of touch screen development, all buttons should be large enough to ensure that they can be easily tapped with a finger.

3) Great applications should always give prompt, visual feedback when users tap buttons. By checking the default controls on both the iOS and Android phones, you’ll see they all follow this rule. But if you modify existing controls or implement new ones, it’s important to keep this in mind.

4) Buttons should perform their intended actions at the moment when user releases pressure from the screen. This gives users the option to move their finger away elsewhere if the wrong button was tapped accidentally.

5) Because there’s limited space on a mobile device screen, each application screen should have its own distinctive functionality. It’s often better to split different functions into several screens rather than trying to fit a lot of controls and functionality on the same screen. Even so, it’s perfectly fine to add scrolling on a screen if its controls belong to the same part of functionality and don’t fit on the screen initially. This is because scrolling is a widely used, common practice on mobile devices.

6) If you target your application for wide audience of users, it’s usually better to have a simple and intuitive interface with only the most important functionality included in the application. This is preferred rather than a cluttered interface which is difficult to understand because it has all possible functionality.

7) Good custom application design is mandatory. Make sure to choose style which is consistent with application task. It also makes sense to create a stylish and attractive application icon which will help to ensure your app won’t remain unnoticed among all other applications.

8) When talking about design, it’s usually not a good idea to drastically or completely change the look of the default UI controls. They still should be recognizable. When implementing your own custom controls from scratch, make sure that they are intuitive and easy to use for people who see them for the first time.

These UX best practices and touch screen tips are only recommendations for mobile application developers and it is always your call to use those or not. But instead of reinventing the wheel we suggest you to check out what our developers have come up with.

Sphere Consulting, Inc. – Global company that provides custom application development services including mobile application development. Company’s team is comprised of experienced mobile app developers and experts with proven experience in development and deployment of various mobile applications (iOS and Android application development).

Topics: iOS, Mobile Applications, Android

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