The 5 Features a Business Needs in an App

The adoption of mobile phones alongside high internet penetration rates dictates new developments in smartphone usage. Already, mobile apps are dictating new frontiers in web experiences by offering chatting, browsing, and payment services.

Mobile apps are transforming legacy communication patterns by providing digital avenues for communication. A classic example is the chat apps: WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Instagram Direct, Line, Skype, and WeChat.

Research shows that mobile applications could generate up to $930 billion in revenues in 2023 alone. Already, shocking estimates show the power of mobile apps, reinforcing the talk of why it’s critical to get started with mobile apps. For instance, users spent over 3 trillion hours on mobile apps in 2021 alone.

The ever-changing face of mobile applications and the desirability of mobile apps to young demographics make it a target for tech-savvy enterprises. Most importantly, young developers are embracing application programming as a new frontier of mobile usability.

While apps are crucial in transforming legacy enterprises and shaping customer experiences, it’s critical to identify particular features that make apps desirable.

Important features a business needs in an app:

1. Usability

Usability is a critical consideration in any app development exercise. That means that developers must approach any mobile app development process with usability in mind. The app must be creative, simple, and easy to navigate. Most importantly, the app must focus on robustness and intuitiveness by incorporating the things people see in apps.

2. User-friendliness

Always aim for a user-friendly app design that’s simple to navigate and highly responsive. Navigation and responsiveness are the cornerstones of any successful app design work. Therefore, ensure that your business app is user-friendly and responds well to the evolving user needs.

Some tricks to make your app user-friendly include:

  • Focus on your target audience
  • Offer superior design
  • Prioritize user security
  • Optimize graphic and font size
  • Make wise use of push notification
  • Aim for intuitiveness

A user-friendly app is highly adopted and has higher retention rates.

3. Chat and call-back

Your business app must incorporate chat and call-back options. Business communication is forever changing, making mobile apps the go-to platform for business communications. Alongside emails, chatbots, and web portals, mobile apps offer a unique avenue for users, mostly clientele groups, to communicate and interact with brands.

4. Intuitive user interface

All apps must incorporate an intuitive interface, and proprietary, discretionary privacy. Users must own their information and privacy for apps to make meaningful sense to prospective users. The fact that enterprises are accelerating their app adoption efforts means that enterprises must find new ways to retain customers. One of these ways is by offering discretionary privacy solutions, including the possibility for privacy notifications in mobile apps.

5. Payment gateway

Payment gateway integration is a no-brainer for any business app. As a business owner, you are involved in the “money” business. That means that your services and products are sold or leased out to customers, making payment gateway integration altogether important. Therefore, a payment gateway is a critical feature of your business app.

NS804 – Aiming for Excellence!

Other vital tips for business apps include:

  • User experience is your ultimate objective
  • Always aim to deliver a superior typography
  • Aim for smooth edges, soft app elements, and creative color
  • The logo is the centerpiece of your brand positioning. Keep it first.
  • Remember to keep users updated. Users must not feel lost.
  • Be accommodative in scope. Let your app encompass many features and functionalities.
  • Aim for an interactive design. You can do this by testing, fixing, and testing once again.

At NS804, we guide businesses in mobile app development.

Contact NS804 to get started on your business app development journey.

Mobile App Development Best Practices

The rising adoption of mobile apps has been driven partly by changing consumer lifestyles. The accelerated uptake of mobile applications is due to the increased need by consumers to shop, bank, communicate, and socialize on social platforms. Thus, mobile apps will continue to have diverse applications in many users’ lives.

There’s no doubt that as the world continues to move faster, business people, from frontline staff to executives, will want to draw insight into their business processes. That’s why NS804 launched mobile app development for individuals and businesses, putting the power of AI-driven and search analytics in the hands of executives and employees.

The global mobile app market was estimated to be $154.05 billion in 2019, and it’s projected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 11% from 2020 to 2027. The demand for mobile apps will grow mainly due to internet infiltration, smartphone proliferation, and emerging technologies such as; artificial intelligence, machine learning, and the cloud.

Although the global app market is expected to grow, generating millions of revenues to companies and reaching out to millions of new users, experts predict that not all apps will meet the evolving demand for new apps. That is why 80% of apps developed nowadays fail.

Below, we look at mobile app development best practices:

Mobile App Development Best Practices

1. Unique Value Proposition

Many individuals and start-ups fail to establish an original idea for a mobile application and copy their competitors. Without a unique value proposition, your app is likely to fail and get lost in a myriad of apps out there.

2. User Experience

According to research by Intechnic, users abandon downloaded apps after three or fewer attempts if they find the app problematic. The reason users have a poor app experience is due to unintuitive navigation, long loading times, low latency, and a long registration process. It’s advisable to blend intuitive and useful experiences in the following ways:

  • Reduce the effort required by users to get what they want
  • Break large chunks into smaller manageable portions
  • Offload tasks by setting smart defaults
  • Allow users to save actions and re-engage later. Users expected to continue the browsing journey after leaving the app for a while
  • Focus on user goals but avoid overwhelming users with too many actions
  • Home the pinboard setup – ensure simple walkthroughs, faster email setups followed by onboarding.

A superior user experience leads to higher conversions and retention.

3. User Interface

Make app content the interface and remove unnecessary elements that do not support user tasks. Cards are considered great elements to display actionable content. And it’s advisable to keep the app interfaces light. Remember that the most successful apps are focused on a limited set of features. So, limit your feature set and prioritize what’s important, and cut off the clutter.

Another way of improving the user interface is by using a typeface that works perfectly well in different sizes to maintain usability, functionality, and readability in every endpoint. In addition, use adequate contrast for text because insufficient contrast makes the text blend with the app’s background. Strive for a minimum contrast of 4:5:1 for image text and body text to achieve sufficient contrast.

Other tips for making interfaces invisible include:

  • Use content prioritization to improve the UX and simplify the UI
  • Use direct and simple language for clarity
  • Use legible font size

The user interface is the browsing surface of any mobile application and the lifeblood of any user engagement and user retention.

4. Problem Solving

Most businesses fail to define a specific user problem and thus do not solve a specific demand. If you design an app that’s fully functional and provides a superior user experience but fails to solve a problem, your app cannot be successful. A well-defined problem may sound something like this, “I am a young professional who’s focused on my career and professional development. I work long hours and do not have time to prepare healthy meals. I want to eat better and to pursue a healthier lifestyle.”

5. Monetization Strategy

Businesses conduct thorough market and consumer research, define their goals, prioritize their strategies and build an app that solves users’ problems. However, they still fail to make money off their app development efforts. That is due to the lack of a good monetization strategy. By launching it, you might attract and retain users but still fail to monetize the app.

6. Prioritize Security

It may not seem like a pressing concern right now, especially at the nascent development stages. However, when you critically think about your app for a minute, you realize it will have tons of sensitive information and data. The app will hold information about the company and its stakeholders – customers, employees, suppliers, and partners.

Depending on what your app is used for, you could be collecting sensitive payment information such as credit cards. You’ll have access to information such as phone numbers, email addresses, and everything else provided. It’s your responsibility as the app owner to protect your data. That’s why you need to prioritize security from the onset.

Users may hesitate to provide you with their information if your app is insecure. If security gets breached, it will have far-reaching implications by damaging your brand and making it impossible to recover. One best practice for mobile app development is to use encryption like the two-factor authentication TFA to protect sensitive data.

7. Test and Test Again!

Tests need to be run throughout the app development process. Don’t wait until the end to test the app’s performance, that’s too late to notice any anomalies. It’s much harder to identify and solve problems if tests are not run periodically. One best way to test your app development is with beta testers.

You can try using online resources and tools from the Beta Family to put you in contact with superior testers. You can identify crashes, bugs, and even error reports with beta testers. If you cannot run diagnostic tests yourself, outsourced mobile app developers can assist you with your app development process to ensure a smooth and successful delivery.

8. Simple, Discoverable Navigation

Navigation should inspire users to interact and engage with the content. The navigation should be implemented in a way that supports the structure of the app without bringing attention to itself. The navigation should be accessible and discoverable without occupying too much screen space. Indeed, navigation should accommodate the needs of the app users.

To make navigation simple and discoverable, assign priority levels to common user tasks. Give prominence in the user interface to destinations and paths with frequent use and high priority levels. Ensure that navigation is available at all times, not just when users anticipate using the app. Minimize the user’s memory load by making features available and ready to use.

Other ways to make navigation simple include:

  • Communicate location using location indicators
  • Icon and graphics elements must help users understand menu options
  • Make interaction easy
  • Hidden navigation affects engagement, slows down exploration, and confuses users.
  • Reduce search efforts. For instance, if “search” is a primary function, it should be in front of people. You can display the “search” icon at the top or have a reference that activates search mode anytime and anywhere.

Simple navigation with labels and icons helps with user experience, interaction, and retention.

NS804 – Accelerating Your Mobile App Adoption

NS804 provides superior mobile app development solutions. As a partner from concept to completion, NS804 works with individuals, businesses, and market leaders to identify and optimize market opportunities with innovative app solutions. With specialties in IOS, android app development, minimum viable product MVP, and app optimization, NS804 can help you bridge any development gaps.

Contact NS804 for superior, best-in-class app development solutions.

6 Interaction Design Tips For Your Mobile App

It’s easy to establish the quality and functionality of mobile apps. A clear sign of professional design work is when the usage is effortless and smooth that users don’t think twice when using it. But, if there are interactivity issues or problems, users will automatically recognize and won’t be pleased.

Mobile apps should be clear and smooth to be effectively used anywhere and anytime. The designer’s task is to create an intuitive and engaging interface that guides users within the app, helping them operate it without navigation or interactivity issues.

Below we look at essential interaction design tips for mobile apps:

1. Provide Simple Navigation

Simple navigation provides an obvious way to move between screens and find the desired items since users must navigate back and forth in the same window. App navigation design is like a GPS or a map that helps us navigate across places, and identify the specific features we’re looking for. A great navigation design makes you feel you are in control of where you’re going, letting you know where you’re headed and where you are at all times.

2. A Large Touch Surface

Ensure to create control areas or surfaces that are easier to touch by the thumb. Providing smaller touch areas may potentially annoy the user when s/he uses the app. The finger-friendly design provides ease of use, making it possible for users to hit their desired target icons with precision.

3. Eliminate Clutter

It’s unnecessary to display every icon and information on the app’s interface. Arrange and structure your content in a way that provides users with a comprehensive understanding of the features. Reduce clutter by keeping minimum content on the screen to enhance visibility and readability.

4. Display Large Texts

As a developer, keep in mind the small size of mobile screens and keep your app’s texts large and readable. One advantage of texting in the modern digital era is immediacy. Composing and conveying a text is easy and replying to a text is even easier. So, apps with large display texts provide convenience and easy readability.

5. Leverage Touch Controls

There’s no doubt that there are a lot of mobile app controls available in design. So, there’s no need to use web controls as they’re difficult to operate on mobile. Designers must keep interfaces sleek, smooth, and easy to use with mobile touch controls.

6. Leverage Simple Forms

Provide simpler forms where users can input details and information with ease and precision. Use form controls where there’s minimum typing. A simpler form saves users time, enables users to achieve easier navigation, and helps users to manage their information with ease.

Other interaction design tips for your mobile app include:

  • Take care of thumb position
  • Provide consistent user experience
  • Lead users towards the next step
  • Match interactions to your platform
  • Use clear simple icons
  • Apply recognition patterns
  • Add game mechanisms
  • Consider multiple holds

Luckily, with outsourced mobile app development, you can enjoy interactive designs for all your mobile app development projects. You can always contact NS804 for interactive mobile app design solutions.

Mobile App Design Do’s and Don’ts

Mobile app design may seem easy, but it’s not. An inexperienced or overconfident developer may think they can cobble together the mobile UI at the last minute. But that results in a clunky and unintuitive mobile app that only offers a frustrating and poor user experience. That’s why many of the best app developers have at least one UI/UX designer on the team that focuses exclusively on design.

But what if you’re an appreneur or startup that’s new to mobile app development? Perhaps, you haven’t had the time or funding to hire an experienced UI/UX designer. Or you possess some design skills of your own but don’t quite know how to apply these to your mobile apps. Please don’t fret, as we’re about to reveal several handy tips to help you out!

Mobile App Design Must Do’s

Your app’s success largely depends on how well you go about creating a fantastic user experience. Therefore, it’s crucial to be detail-oriented and have a checklist of the following must-do tasks. 

1. Study The App Market And Latest Mobile UI Trends

The app market is very dynamic and changes constantly. And what was popular two years ago may no longer appeal to today’s audience. That’s why you should study the top trending apps in the marketplace carefully and consistently.

Start by using the storefronts themselves, and see what apps appear in the top spots. Google Play makes things even easier for you, as it shows an estimation of downloads of every app.

Then, download and try out several of the most successful apps to see what makes them tick. More importantly, pay close attention to their mobile UI to determine whether they offer a satisfactory user experience. And study all their UI elements, such as the app bar, checkboxes, buttons, menus, and other interactive touch targets. 

Spend time spotting notable design trends in all of these. See if they’re using rounded or square corners on checkboxes and menus. Moreover, see if they use flat shading, glass effects, gradients, shadows, or 3D UI elements. And take inspiration from any impressive mobile UI animations, motion design, and other visual effects.

2. Keep Your Mobile UI Clean And Functional

Given that the mobile app market is incredibly competitive, you may want to outdo your rivals. Perhaps, you’re developing a music-making app and plan to offer more features than BandLab or FL Studio Mobile. But the reason these apps are so successful is due to their ease-of-use and clean, uncluttered mobile UI.

And if we take a deeper look at FL Studio Mobile, we’ll find that it’s a significantly stripped-down iteration of the desktop version. The desktop version is a professional suite used by producers behind many hit songs. It’s also a fairly complex tool with a bit of a learning curve, especially for newcomers to digital music production. Furthermore, its UI may seem overwhelming to many and have them searching through the manual.

The developers behind FL Studio knew that this comprehensive production suite would never work on mobile. So they created a simple, inviting, and colorful UI without the bells and whistles found in the desktop version. 

Therefore, instead of offering users everything but the kitchen sink, give them only the bare essentials. A clean, minimalist mobile UI that allows users to quickly and intuitively create professional-sounding songs will win the day. You can always add more features later, specifically when users ask for these.

3. Reward User Input With The Appropriate Feedback

Your mobile app design should focus squarely on what users want. And nowadays, users prefer snappy and responsive apps that look visually stunning. They also need apps to immediately register their actions and provide visual cues that this has happened successfully. That’s why it’s crucial to have a well-implemented input and feedback mechanism with every app you ship.

So how do you about creating such a mechanism? Firstly, you should make your app as tap-friendly as possible. Ensure that all buttons and other touch targets on the screen are easily identifiable. The last thing you want is users repeatedly tapping on a checkbox or menu that doesn’t register their taps because it’s too small, not positioned correctly, or incorrectly conveys its intended use. 

And secondly, implement mobile UI animations and transition effects to show that the app has registered the tap. A button may display a blink effect soon after a finger tap, or a menu item may quickly slide sideways and fade after a swipe. And if you work with a UI/UX designer or an experienced app developer such as NS804, they’ll come up with many more imaginative ways to enhance your input and feedback mechanism.

Mobile App Design Don’ts

Creating amazing apps that will keep users engaged is very difficult but rewarding work. Yet even the most experienced developers can ship substandard apps if they make the following mistakes.

1. Implementing Poor User Flow 

There’s nothing worse than users trying out an app and then quickly giving up in frustration and subsequently uninstalling it from their phones.

So why is this such a common occurrence, and why are so many appreneurs and developers getting it wrong? A primary reason why this happens is due to poor user flow. Either most developers didn’t correctly map out the sequence of events that users will take after running the app for the first time, or they didn’t consider user flow at all.

Whether you’re developing an m-commerce store, mobile game, or social media app, you’ll need to create a frictionless user experience. Start by mapping out the user flow from the welcome screen through to every page users will access. You may use flow charts to create an intuitive user flow that won’t drive users to a dead page or take actions that will frustrate them.

2. Interrupting And Annoying Users

Don’t ever take your users for granted just because they seem to be enjoying your app. It’s all too easy to lose users the minute you interrupt them when there’s no reason to do so. The last thing that users want is to respond to a feedback survey when they’ve only been using your app for a short period or while trying to complete a task.

Keep in mind that most users are still evaluating your app during those initial hours of usage. Thus, you want to make a good impression by ditching annoying popups and surveys during this critical stage. Instead, give your users enough time to make a proper assessment of your app before asking for feedback, ratings, and reviews.

3. Using Complex Words And Terms Unnecessarily 

Most mobile app users are not computer scientists or programmers, so avoid using complex words and terms they don’t understand. For example, your latest app may have impressive artificial learning (AI) algorithms that track down hard-to-find ebooks. You may want users to know about these algorithms by adding their names somewhere within the app or mobile UI, but that’s unnecessary.

It’s better to allow these algorithms to do their work behind the scenes. Users will realize that you’ve created a great app by how well it tracks those ebooks. After all, they don’t care about the inner workings of your app or want to memorize technical terminology. If anything, you’ll likely lower user engagement or even lose users if your wording is too technical or if you rely on marketing catchphrases.

The Bottom Line

Most of the best apps closely follow solid mobile app design fundamentals. Much work goes into creating a mobile UI that not only looks great but is clean and intuitive. But it’s also crucial to follow the latest design trends that will make even the most renowned UI/UX designer look on in envy. Contact NS804 to learn how we’ll help you develop phenomenal apps that look and feel great!

What Will Make The Users Happy? Five Key Elements Of Great UX Design

There’s no doubt that the sole motive behind a good user experience UX is to make users feel good about your product. Designers and programmers must keep their users in mind; that’s the only way to create truly innovative and rewarding solutions.

Steve Krug’s book “Don’t Make Me Think” details a common-sense approach to user experience. When asked what makes a website or an application interactive and easy to use, Krug answers, “don’t let the users think.”

To make your site interactive and attractive, you need to master the art of solving usability problems. Usability means ensuring that something works well and that users of average ability can use the product for their intended purposes without getting frustrated.

Below we look at five key elements of a superior user experience design:

1. Information Architecture

Information architecture denotes the model of organizing and labeling applications, software, and websites to ensure usability, easy tracking of information, and faster completion of tasks. Information architecture provides a structure that integrates content with the overall functionality of the platform.

In its simplest form, information architecture is how we arrange parts of something to make them understandable. In most cases, businesses avoid restructuring their websites because it demands additional resources and efforts – and may seem like a better deal to copy the structure of other sites.

Either way, you’re losing out a lot.

The following three elements need to be integrated into the overall UX design and web functionality to create the best user experience. Information architecture broadly captures users, context, and content. Information architecture is the core of a digital product that ramps up SEO efforts and cultivates better sitemaps.

  • Users. This is the target audience looking for specific information or products on your site. To begin with, you can design the user experience of your minimum viable product MVP for actionable insights.
  • Context. This captures the information or content and its relevance to the target audience. Ensure the message you convey is clear and loud.
  • Content. It’s crucial to ensure that every element of your content, that’s: images, icons, text, and illustrations, all work in a unified way to engage the target audience at every touch.

The above three elements are crucial ingredients for a powerful UX design process.

2. Interaction Oriented Design

The main objective of interaction-oriented design is the interaction between the design and its users in terms of sound, feel, and aesthetics. Interactive design centers on user behavior and personalizing user experiences.

Four elements define a good interaction design:

  • Words. Every design captures call-to-action buttons. The words used for these icons and buttons should be understandable, actionable, and simple.
  • Visual presentation. Visual presentation denotes the use of imagery and icons that depict the intent of the words accompanying this imagery.
  • Designing for touchpoints. The design must be valid across different platforms. Whether a person uses a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer, the user experience must adapt to the needs of several endpoints and platforms.
  • Response. Response refers to how quickly a user’s request or action gets approved or acknowledged. If a user clicks on an icon, the intended outcome must reflect without delays.

There’s no doubt that interaction-oriented design transforms usability in unique and powerful ways!

3. Usability Aligned Design

Usability is a central component of UX that enables users to attain their goals without confusing these end goals. One critical element of a great user experience design is to achieve the user’s goals and needs without confusing them in any way.

A classic example is Netflix, a video streaming platform that takes the backseat when it comes to usability. Netflix autoplay feature has a usability issue since the slightest hovering on the thumbnail triggers “play” mode. Although the autoplay feature highlights new content, dark UX design patterns attract unsatisfactory user experiences.

To design a superior UX design, you should implement the KISS principle: keep it simple and stupid. The objective of this design is to create an interface simple enough to be understood. A well-designed website ensures that users can understand the design, and interact with it instantly.

4. Visually Appealing Design

Visual design is a central factor in the UX design process as it determines the users’ first impressions. According to Taylor and Francis, users often have 50 milliseconds to make a great first impression.

The visual design transforms and reshapes the user experience through layouts, graphics, images, videos, and spacing. These UX design elements not only add to the aesthetic appeal; they make the digital space interactive.

By keeping the latest UX trends in mind, ensure to restrain from designing an overcrowded interface. Below is a summary of the elements to consider and the principles to follow when creating a visually appealing design:

Key elements:

  • Line
  • Space
  • Texture
  • Color
  • Volume
  • Value
  • Negative space

Principles to follow:

  • Unity
  • Balance
  • Hierarchy
  • Dominance
  • Contrast
  • Scale
  • Gestalt

5. Planned User Research

A superior user experience starts and ends with users. When approaching the UX design process, it’s crucial to understand user preferences, user behavior, and user mindset. This understanding ensures that the final design resonates with the intended needs.

User research inquires how your product or service will work in the real world. User research concerns validating and discovering the users’ needs to structure your UX design. There are usually three categories of metrics for user design you can consider when closing in on your UX design process;

Type of research Focus General claims Typical methods
Descriptive Describes a set of events or a situation Describes a set of events or a situation Field surveys, observations, interviews, and focus groups
Relational Identify relationships among variables Identify relationships among variables Field studies, observation, surveys
Experimental Identify causes of an event or a set of events Identify causes of an event Controlled experiments

 

Below are additional metrics that can help you make informed decisions based on users’ needs and requirements.

Evaluating Success

Measuring the design success and outcomes is the final stage of any UX design process. To ensure that the design meets the expected needs and satisfies the set requirements, a thorough assessment is critical.

So, there are two approaches to measuring the success of a UX design – qualitative and quantitative.

  • Qualitative methods involve analyzing the ability and easiness of users to navigate the site effortlessly and to finish tasks faster. Qualitative methods add authenticity and create credibility to your website or mobile application.
  • Quantitative methods include: examining conversion tracking, analyzing click-through rates, and using other analytical metrics to assess UX performance. Quantitative methods add credibility and authenticity to your research.

Note that it’s advisable to combine qualitative and quantitative methods when measuring UX design success.

NS804 – Streamlining Your UX Design Process

Superior UX design is about making your product (website or mobile app) predictable, adaptable, and easy to use. It’s about offering a design that doesn’t confuse users when they initiate their intended actions. Working towards a superior UX design drives traffic, revenues, and appreciation for your business. The goal of any UX design process is to make every moment of the user-interaction memorable and reminiscing. Far and above, your UX design and overall presentation are the salient ambassadors of your digital brand.

Contact NS804 for inquiries about UX design solutions.