Elements of Intuitive Mobile User Experience

With million of apps available to download, as well as mobile optimized websites, consumers have a sea of choice and little tolerance towards apps that don’t deliver. The spotlight is not on how to launch apps quickly, rather on how to improve the different elements that create the mobile user experience.

In this brutally competitive market, quality and seamless performance always win against brand loyalty. In the app world, there are no second chances.

Remember, the competitor’s app is only a tap away. Ultimately, everything is about developing a mobile app that not only stands tall in the crowd, but also beats the competition. Consumers are fiercely vocal about an app’s shortcomings; even minor flaws are not spared. It takes a conscious effort throughout the design and development process to get mobile app user experience right.

While spectacular visuals and elegant interfaces can entice customers to hit the download button, a long-lasting relationship depends on the quality of user experience, which is directly proportional to how the app performs. Mobile applications need to focus on core functions, and they need to be fast and reliable in order to create an impact on user’s life.

Good looks alone can’t influence user’s experience with the app.

It is all about right feeling

Mobile user experience primarily takes into account the user’s engagement level with your mobile app before, during and after their interaction. It is all about relevance and effectiveness. You need to focus on how the user perceives and enjoys interaction with the app. It is all about making user’s life easy and providing holistic, easy to use and valuable solutions.

Example: Hulu


Hulu is a free vod (video on demand) application. Many popular shows including TV shows, seasonal shows, kids shows, reality shows etc. IT is the most engaging Android app till now which gives right feeling to it’s audience.

Rise above the clutter

Each and every aspect of the user interface design must serve a purpose; any superficial element that doesn’t need to be part of your mobile app should be simply knocked off. Even if you think a feature is critical to the success of your app, reconsider it repeatedly. It’s not a random coincidence that extremely popular mobile apps are the ones that let users do a few tasks very well. Minimalism, ease of use, efficiency and sophistication can act as a differentiator and set you apart from competitors.

Example: FaceTune


FaceTune is a efficiently powerful photo editor with sophistication and easyness with simple interface layout. It’s features makes it outstanding among all other paid apps.

Don’t reinvent just for the sake of innovation

Undoubtedly innovation drives the mobile app world. Users expect robust and cutting-edge features. However, in a bid to innovate don’t deviate from best practices. Reinventing for the sake of innovation could alienate users. Implement simple and clean features that users are already familiar with, as well as adopt Apple and Android rules for mobile user interfaces. Users will engage with familiar interface immediately, instead of navigating through complex navigation.

Example: Temple Run, Angry Birds, Cut the Rope

Temple Run, Angry Birds, Cut the Rope

Such apps have made their mark in app history by achieving unbelievable success through launching new inventions and features to their existing game apps.

Rich interface

Just because we suggested not to reinvent the wheel, does not mean that your mobile app interface should lack the look, feel, features and the cool quotient. In fact, creating a dynamic experience that delights and connects with users is one of the most important differentiators in a very saturated and competitive field. Smart and apt use of content delivery, transitions, video, images and audio can help you achieve your goal.

Example: Vine & Nike+ Running

Vine & Nike+ Running

Vine is the best way to upload and share videos free in unlimited manner. Whereas Nike+ Running is for tracking your running progress to reach the goals. Both of these apps have tremendously beautiful interface. The look & fell they give to the user is completely rich.

Rise beyond the obvious

If you are looking to improve user experience, you need to rise above the cliché and traditional analytics tools. Use sophisticated visual mobile analytics tool. This tool provides the insight behind user action by presenting you with key behavioral visual data. It transcends beyond the concept of just working with the numbers that a traditional tool provides you with. This gold mine of information allows you to optimize your app strategy.

Example: Kony, Flurry, CA Analytics and AppsSee etc.

Kony, Flurry, CA Analytics and AppsSee

These are some really helpful visual mobile app analytics tool which can provide more insight on user behavior rather than just providing some statistics of traffic. By using any of these, you can make sure your mobile app strategy is working in perfect direction throughout the design, development and marketing process.

Don’t go overboard with jargon

This is one of the most basic, yet blatantly overlooked guideline in user experience. Well, technical jargons are a way of life for developers; users tend to think the other way. They expect warmth and a simple language that is easy to understand. The ultimate goal should be to empower and enable users to perform tasks effortlessly without making them jump through unnecessary roadblocks.

Optimize content for mobile

Designing for mobile apps requires striking a perfect balance between simplicity and functionality. One needs to take into account several constraints such as limited screen size, bandwidth, speed to ensure optimal performance, as well as factors such as devices or operating systems. While designing one needs to consider the constraints and make every inch count. Simply emulating your desktop site will not work. Remember, mobile is about keeping context and location at the forefront. Ensure that core features and content are optimized for mobile.

Example: Expedia


Expedia is the best example of content optimization for mobile.

Usability for both novice and pros

Walking the tight rope. It’s important to keep in mind that while designing a mobile application, you are targeting two groups of users with very distinct capabilities. More than likely, both novices and experts will use it. This effectively means your app interface should deliver an experience that is intuitive for the novice, yet captivating for the experienced user.

Example: Umano


Functionalities and features Umano carries are truly handy for both novices and mobile experts.

Thumb rules

When it comes to mobile app, consider the user’s thumbs, ability to grip, and motion. Remember these factors play an instrumental role into how responsive an app is and whether it is appealing enough to encourage users to come back. Can users navigate through the app with one hand? Is it easy enough for left-handed users or not?

Staying relevant

Relevance is the most crucial factor which will determine the success of your customer experience. Users need to see a reason to adopt and engage with your mobile offering. Only thorough knowledge of your target knowledge enables you to meet their expectations. Once you understand what users want, you need to map user needs against your core business objectives. Once you determine the connection between these two elements, channelize your efforts towards the area. Successfully align the user’s needs to the device capabilities and offer a personalized and relevant experience. Make optimum use of factors such as location, social network, or time.

Context matters

A smartphone or tablet can be used at anytime, anywhere. The needs of mobile users are different compared to those using a website. They may be walking on a busy street, using tablet for a quick product comparison, or actually purchasing. In such cases, these users can get easily distracted and the mobile context plays an instrumental role. Context is all about circumstances that affect interaction between the mobile user and the interface. It can change constantly and rapidly. Think about enhancing device capabilities to anticipate and support the user’s context of use.

Example: Amazon & Fish Dope

Amazon & Fish Dope

In Amazon app, it shows products and offers based on your location, whereas in ‘Fish Dope’ app, it locates your place with real time GPS and guides you about fishing on particular place and particular time.

Constant evolution

The mobile app industry is witnessing a paradigm shift. Whether it is advances in technology, rapidly changing trends and user preferences, conflicting business requirements and last but not least, feedback from your users. Consumer expectations are higher then ever. You need to be responsive to such changes and take conscious steps to improve your mobile proposition. Listen to your users and respond quickly to their feedback and their needs. Introduce new features as required. Don’t blindly ape your competitors. If your users experience technical glitches, immediately correct them. Constant evolution can help you survive and stay ahead in this competitive world.

Analyze and comprehend: Ultimately iterative process works

It is important to analyze comprehend how users are behaving and interacting within their apps at a contextual level. In-depth study of user behavior will strengthen your app marketing initiatives and enhance the mobile user experience.

Here are few key features of user behavior analytics tool that will help you refine your app marketing efforts.

User recordings

Get deep into every action users are taking; gestures such as pinch, tap, and swipe. This will allow you to fix problem at the root level and help you in converting new users into active.

Touch heatmaps

Visualize user behavior on your app’s screens with a visual aggregated report of all gestures performed on each screen. With this crucial information, you can eliminate and revamp confusing UI elements, ultimately securing high conversion rates.

Realtime in-app analytics

Analyze where users spend the most time and how they navigate through the screens of your app, as well as any glitches they may have experienced. You can take preventive measures.

Notifications: Next big thing

Whether it is wearable, smartphone, tablet, or PC, the goal is to provide a robust user experience, irrespective of device or screen size. There is a noticeable shift towards actionable notifications which is fast replacing opening a full app. Notifications provide user with predictable and a consistent experience. That’s incredibly powerful and future of user experience.

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  1. Priceless notes on the vital factors to think when designing & developing mobile apps.

  2. Thank you @Designsolv for your appreciation. Such encouraging words strengthen writers like us to write and spread knowledge.

  3. Very well written post. It is very interesting and informative. Thanks for sharing this.

  4. I couldn’t agree more about constantly evolving, it is so important to keep improving and keep trying to do better. I definitely recommend fixing bugs and glitches as soon as they come to light. Nice read! Thank you.

  5. ok tq

  6. Thank you Steve and Teelah. Glad you like this post.

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