Tag Archive for: mobile ux

UX Vs. UI: The Differences Explained

All appreneurs and app developers need to know what UX Vs. UI differences mean in detail. And that’s because it’s easy to confuse these two terminologies since they seem so similar. But they’re not, and it’s common to unintentionally misrepresent these two terminologies when explaining them to the ordinary layperson. 

Obviously, as a professional developer, you would never want to do that, so it’s best to have a clear understanding. Below, we’ll briefly delve deeper into the matter and demystify all elements surrounding UX Vs. UI key differences.

What Exactly Is The User Experience (UX)?

Just as the term suggests, the user experience focuses on how the end-user interacts with a company, including its products and services. And yes, this means all aspects thereof. And not just the range of features or whether a product or service is satisfactory, but where it surpasses expectations.

So, the user experience and UX design also focus on delivering a high-quality experience. And that means that a company must excel in multiple disciplines to pull it off successfully. 

A company may need to have staff on hand or outsource for the following: engineering, graphic design, industrial design, interface design, and marketing, to name a few. And then seamlessly merge all these disciplines so that they naturally fit into the company’s business processes and brand image.

What Is The User Interface (UI)?

Most desktop, mobile, and web apps have some form of UI that makes it possible for users to interact with these applications. Every good UI will have easy-to-understand and attractive visual cues consisting of drop-down lists, buttons, icons, images, text, and even 3D objects that await user input. 

And once the user initiates an input action, the UI will provide the relevant feedback. This may result in executing a task, changing a page, or giving an auditory response. 

Usually, the most common input devices include the mouse, keyboard, and touchscreen. And the most common output devices include the monitor and speakers.

UX Vs. UI: What Are The Main Differences?

We’ve briefly explained what defines the user experience and the user interface. But here are the most significant differences between UX and UI: 

  • UX focuses primarily on the entire project, from concept to development and deployment. On the other hand, UI mainly focuses on the design of the app.
  • UX usually includes market research and pinpointing the needs of users. But with UI, it’s more about the design of all visual components and how they impact the user experience. 
  • UX is about ensuring that the app meets its objectives and provides the necessary functionality. And UI centers around the quality of user interaction with the app.

The Bottom Line

Understanding how UI Vs. UX differences can impact a project is essential. Especially, if you need to communicate these differences to clients, staff, and stakeholders clearly and concisely. So bookmark this article and refer to it anytime you need a refresher. Contact NS804 to learn how we’ll help you create apps with outstanding UX/UI that will awe your users!

Why Emotional Design Is A Game Changer For App Developers

Implementing emotional design for your upcoming project can have a far-reaching impact. It can take your project down a path that will set it apart from competing apps. Instead of following the same trends as others, emotional design allows you to create an app that will leave users with a long-lasting positive perception. Below, we unveil what this concept encompasses and how you should apply it.

1. Focus On The User Experience 

As an appreneur, you’re looking at ways to make your app appealing and sticky. And there are several ways to go about this, one of which is focusing on the user experience (UX). But to get this right, you’ll need to grasp what problem you’re trying to solve. 

For example, you could be developing a filter app that automatically touches up users’ selfies. And your target audience consists predominantly of young women who want to snap the most amazing photos of themselves. Furthermore, these women don’t care about the technicalities involved in fixing their selfies and are looking for a quick and easy solution. So, your app’s user interface (UI) should be clean and streamlined while being devoid of any complex features.

But, likely, your closest competitors are also treading a similar path. So what should you do to make your app stand out? Well, many developers are capable of delivering apps, which are slick and minimalistic. Yet, it’s all too easy to follow these common design trends set by popular apps in the marketplace. And thus, you’ll end up in a situation where you’re following the herd instead of being a trailblazer.

Sticking to tried and tested design principles may make sense. After all, your users have become accustomed to navigating apps in a certain way. They also have certain expectations in how an app should look and function, which you can’t ignore. However, having a better understanding of design fundamentals can help you take your app to the next level.

2. Enter Emotional Design

App developers not only need to understand their tools and when to use these, but they also need to broaden their horizons. They need to study human behavior and how people interact with everyday items. Objects such as a doorknob, foldable chair, or a hairdryer and how people engage with these offer many valuable clues into human behavior. Moreover, it’s people’s response to using these common everyday items that app developers need to observe closely.

But why is this so important? Primarily because people usually have an emotional response to their experiences. And these may be positive or negative, and people will inevitably associate their experiences with the respective objects and brands. And while app developers don’t make everyday items, this doesn’t mean that people don’t respond similarly to apps. Therefore, it’s crucial to pay close attention to the app user interface to engage and retain your audience.

And if you manage to drive a strong and positive emotional response in users, then you’re onto a winner. Fortunately, the concept of emotional design can aid you in optimizing the interactions users will have with your upcoming app.

3. Understanding The Three Levels Of Emotional Design

Emotional design is a concept detailed in a book written by Donald Norman. Published in 2003, In Emotional Design: Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things, delves into how people interact with everyday items. The author reveals how all items have distinct personalities, even if that wasn’t the original intent of the designers of these items. And the same applies to digital creations such as websites and applications. 

Furthermore, the author reveals the three cognitive levels that designers will need to engage users. These include visceral, behavioral, and reflective, which can evoke positive responses in users if implemented correctly. And while it’s possible to use these three cognitive levels individually, they’re more powerful when used together.

4. Visceral Design

Depending on the visceral design of your app, you can jolt a positive user experience almost immediately. But what exactly is visceral design, and why is it so powerful? In a nutshell, visceral design involves all the visual cues in your app and how they affect the user. Visual elements, such as the colors, graphic design, fonts, and images, will profoundly impact your audience, even if they don’t understand why that’s occurring.

However, the savvy designer knows how to use these visual elements correctly and understands how they evoke a positive response. For example, bright colors and appealing graphic design often make users feel happy. On the flip side, a more subdued color palette and utilitarian design evoke a more serious tone.

5. Behavioral Design 

Unlike visceral design, behavioral design encompasses the value people derive from actually using the product. It encompasses all product functionality, performance, effectiveness, and expected behaviors from users when they complete certain tasks.

It’s possible to deliver a positive user experience if a user’s actions seem enjoyable and rewarding. That’s why your app must be fluid and responsive and make users feel empowered. And this experience needs to be consistent, even after updating your app, to build and retain trust. Moreover, ensure that users can achieve their desired goals with as few steps as possible.

6. Reflective Design

Lastly, we have reflective design, which focuses on users’ feelings after they use your app. Users consciously evaluate your app and try to ascertain all the pros and cons it offers them. And good reflective design will make users think about the app hours after they’ve stopped using it.

But how does one implement good reflective design? By utilizing gamification features that allow users to unlock achievements and attain badges. And while that’s a good starting point, you can further boost engagement and retain users by implementing social features. So make it possible for users to invite friends and share their achievements and experiences with others.

7. Methods To Boost Positive Emotional Responses 

Never lose sight that your audience consists of human beings with real feelings. And no matter how well your app solves a problem, you still want to evoke positive emotional responses in your users. Not only will this make your app more appealing, but more memorable too.

If appropriate, don’t shy away from using humorous elements in your app to make it more enjoyable. Add an Easter egg, which will surprise users since it’s something they didn’t expect. And if you have a knack for writing, add a few interesting story elements that will take your users on a journey. You can further enhance these elements with the inclusion of animations, illustrations, and special effects.

The user interface is yet another area that offers the savvy designer many opportunities to excite users. So add subtle or not-so-subtle cues in your app’s interface, which help improve its usability. And ensure that the design language that you’re using speaks to your target audience. Don’t use a bright and bold style if you’re targeting business users.

In Conclusion

Understanding how emotional design impacts users and how they perceive your app in the long term will only benefit your development efforts. And knowing when and how to implement the three cognitive levels will transform your app into an enjoyable and memorable experience. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you create phenomenal apps.

10 Features To Include In App Updates To Boost Growth

Every appreneur should be utilizing app updates to keep their applications relevant. Users quickly lose interest in apps that aren’t maintained, and there are many good reasons for this.

For one, it shows that the developer no longer cares about their app by allowing it to languish. Secondly, an app that hasn’t been updated in a long time is a potential security risk. And thirdly, the app no longer evolves with users’ needs, which leads to its irrelevancy. So, if you care about app usage growth, include these 10 features in your upcoming updates.

1. How to Use Ads To Increase App Usage Growth

Mobile ads are a powerful tool in the arsenal of an appreneur if implemented correctly. Very likely, your audience isn’t particularly fond of ads, as these often negatively impact the end-user experience. Moreover, there’s always a risk that you’ll lose users if your ads annoy them. And with 25 percent of mobile apps abandoned after being used once, you should take extra care with ads.

Focus on app usage growth by incentivizing your audience when delivering ads, which are relevant to them. For example, if you’ve released a mobile game, ensure that your ads don’t ruin flow by appearing at short intervals. It’s better to space your ads out and then reward users with additional in-game coins or experience points (XP) to help them progress. With such a strategy, users will watch more ads and engage more with your app.

2. Why Users Want App Updates To Offer Offline Access

Your latest productivity app may boast powerful features that rely on a cloud backend. And you may have heavily invested in this backend architecture to make your app function as efficiently as possible. However, it would be shortsighted if users can only make the most of your app if they need to be constantly online.

Keep in mind that many of your users have limited bandwidth and can’t always be online or be in an area with poor connectivity. Furthermore, many users will appreciate having the ability to get work done while being offline. Consider those traveling by plane that may not have the opportunity to go online for several hours. 

3. How To Make The UI More User-Friendly

When you roll out app updates, ensure that you’re regularly improving your app’s user interface (UI). Always look at ways to simplify the interface with a clean look that makes it easy for users to navigate. Then, keep all UI elements and typography consistent throughout the app. And implement colors and textures strategically to facilitate smooth navigation and highlight important features. Finally, make it easy for users to adjust settings and revert to default settings as quickly as possible.

4. Why App Updates Should Include More Security Features

With the deluge of data breaches happening lately, users have become increasingly concerned about app security. That’s why it’s vital to keep all your applications maintained by regularly rolling out app updates with patches and security features. Always stay current on the latest vulnerabilities affecting mobile platforms and devices, and respond quickly with fixes. Moreover, listen to user feedback and analyze crash reports to detect any app instability or peculiar behavior.

5. How To Boost App Usage Growth With Built-In Save Features

Having robust save features is essential for all modern apps, so never skimp on this. Ensure that all your apps can easily save manually and that users can quickly locate the ‘save’ button. Better yet, implement autosave functionality, as it’s common for users to forget to save. Also, allow users to save on the cloud, which is especially handy for those using multiple devices.

Implementing these powerful built-in save features will make your app indispensable to users. Moreover, they facilitate loyalty to your app and drive further app usage growth. And within an enterprise environment, these save features will solidify your app’s reputation as a professional package.

6. Why App Updates Need To Focus On New OS Features

Platform holders such as Apple and Google want developers to utilize the latest OS features. After all, taking advantage of these features helps enhance security, improves the user experience (UX), and unlocks additional power and features available in newer devices. More importantly, this stance from the platform holders entices developers to maintain their apps.

So, when developers ask themselves what app updates are supposed to accomplish, they should consider new OS features. And, also consider which updates they need to roll out and how often.

7. How To Choose App Update Ideas From Reviews

One of the benefits of nurturing a growing user base is that users will often leave reviews about your app. You’ll receive positive and negative feedback, and both are equally valuable. And sometimes, users may even give you new ideas that you can implement for upcoming app updates.

For example, you may have released an app that helps users quickly compile to-do lists. But these lists are exclusively text-based, and users are now clamoring for the ability to add emojis and images. So, this presents you with the golden opportunity to add these features in the next update.

8. Why You Should Look At New Competitor Features

Users are always trying out new apps and making comparisons with those they use regularly. If a new app comes with powerful features that aren’t available in existing solutions, users will inevitably make the switch to the newer app. Therefore, you should always be eyeing the competition to see if they’re implementing features that excite users. And if this is happening, then you should respond by rolling out equivalent features immediately.

9. How To Increase App Usage Growth By Adding More Personalization Settings

You could be deliberating whether to update an existing app or create an entirely new app. And it’s easy to run into this dilemma, especially when an app isn’t performing well. However, it may still have plenty of life left after receiving a visual facelift and additional personalization settings.

Many users love personalizing their apps so that they fit in with their tastes and personalities. So make it easy for them to change colors, textures, and typography. And give users total control over how notifications should appear, as some users find pop-up notifications annoying. 

10. Why Include A Guest Account In App Updates

You may want users to sign up when using your app for the first time, but this isn’t always a good idea. Most users don’t want to provide their email and other personal details if they’re unsure that they’ll use your app long-term. Moreover, they’ll likely uninstall your app if a login screen is the first thing they see after running it.

A better strategy is to allow users to test out your app before asking them to sign up. So, provide users with a guest account in your next update. Offering them a ‘no strings attached’ option will drive up app usage growth if your app lives up to expectations.

In Conclusion

App updates can be powerful when rolled out correctly. It’s always important to release meaningful updates, which patch up security vulnerabilities, improve usability, and introduce features requested by users, to name a few. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you develop and maintain amazing apps.

Mobile UX Best Practices for User Retention

Best Practices to Maximize User Retention

Businesses operate through people. In other words, employees, customers, organizational leaders, and even industry thought-leaders. The list goes on and on, but nonetheless, businesses rely on the people they serve. For mobile app developers, the most important type of person is, arguably, the end-user. Hence why user retention is sort of the ‘holy grail’ when it comes to mobile app development.

User retention is critical for mobile app developers because it is the metric that defines the total average userbase of the mobile app. User acquisition is another important metric for mobile app developers to track, but a higher acquisition rate does not always equate to a similar retention rate.

In the app store, user acquisition strategies are what will attract new first-time users. However, user retention strategies are what will keep those users returning to your mobile app time and time again.

Retention Strategies

Whether designing enterprise mobile apps, or consumer-facing mobile apps, retention strategies are crucial to keeping gained users happy. Retention tactics will vary slightly depending on some app-specific data. For instance, financial tracking and personal budgeting apps will have a drastically different user retention strategy than say, a dating app.

User Control

User control is one of the current trends in user experience that improves retention rates. Allowing the end-user more direct access and customization over the user experience is a good way to ensure that people are enjoying their time on the app. Developing a mobile app that allows users to customize their individual experience almost guarantees a positive user experience. In turn, this boosts user retention rates.

Additionally, allowing users to choose which, if any, notifications the mobile app delivers to their home screen has been shown to greatly reduce mobile-app deletions. More than ever before, users and consumers are prone to protect their privacy. Limiting the access of a mobile app can provide the level of trust consumers are looking for.

Swift Onboarding

Another pillar of strong mobile app UX is a swift onboarding process. Bringing new users into the world of the mobile app in an efficient and quick manner is a good way to immerse users in the actual application itself. Rather than spending valuable time forcing users to click through another set of screens, that time can be better allocated. Instead, new users can jump right into the heart of your mobile app.

A swift onboarding process also improves in-app efficiency and shows users respect for their already busy schedules. In turn, contributing to the comprehensive user experience.

Mobile App UX and User Retention

Retaining mobile app users is a difficult task in an era that offers consumers so many solutions to a single problem. Prioritizing the development of strong user experience is sure to mitigate fickle users prone to jumping ship, and improve your mobile app user retention rates.

For more information on how to build a successful user retention strategy visit NS804. NS804 is the premier source for everything mobile app development, from UX to back-end development, and even marketing. Visit NS804 today and start realizing your mobile app of tomorrow.