If you want to build your first mobile app, it’s essential to think about your product’s user experience (UX) design from the beginning. By doing so, you ensure that your app meets your users’ needs as well as their expectations, resulting in more downloads and better ratings on the App Store and Google Play.
Here are nine crucial steps for ensuring that your mobile app has a great UX design to keep users returning.
Step 1: Identify an Opportunity & Define Your Goal
Identifying an opportunity involves understanding how people use their internet devices to access information and developing your application around those habits. Identifying opportunities helps you define goals that will help guide your decisions and measure success as you move forward with creating your mobile app.
Forming app objectives helps decision-making in the areas requiring significant attention when formulating your UX design. Clearly defined goals show stakeholders the way forward, influencing them to support your project. The plans also inform clients on what experience to expect.
Aspects that aid you in formulating objectives include pain points, your app’s importance to users, app traffic, frequency of updates, app uniqueness, investigating why users prefer the app instead of the website, and more.
Use key performance indicators (KPIs) such as the number of downloads, time spent on the app, and the number of daily and monthly users to enhance your ROI.
Step 2: Market Research
Understand your target market and their needs to help you determine what features to include in your app and how to design it to appeal to your target audience. You can conduct market research through surveys, interviews, and focus groups.
Using tools like Google Forms, you can also utilize feedback forms to collect information. If possible, get direct feedback from clients by holding calls. After defining your target audience, research your competition by investigating what other apps are out there that serve the same purpose as yours.
When surveying, use the existing customer feedback to formulate open-ended questions to acquire the specific information you need. Incorporate user testing in your market research to help you learn the strategies decision-makers laid down and the challenges developers face within your business.
After getting feedback, group similar responses and pain points. Divide the highlighted areas into manageable portions to help you stay organized and tackle urgent issues first. Ensure you maintain good relationships with clients and stakeholders to receive adequate feedback.
Step 3: Assemble Your Dream Team
Assembling the right team includes finding a developer, UX designer, project manager, and sales and marketing expert who can turn your vision into reality.
An app developer works with IT experts to develop key features, specifications, and high-quality source codes that meet client requirements. A creative UX designer who understands how to create a fantastic user experience ensures your app is a cut above the rest. The UX designer ensures your app has an attractive and navigable UX design.
You will also need a sales and marketing expert who can advertise your app and get it in front of the right people. The marketing expert should be well conversant with ongoing market trends and use the proper marketing techniques to target the right audience.
A project manager overseeing everything from start to finish ensures the app consistently meets customer requirements. The project manager also guarantees the app gets developed within the set timeframe and budget.
Your team must have experience in the necessary fields, data expertise, excellent communication skills, and teamwork for a smooth app development process.
Step 4: Develop a Wireframe and Storyboard
A wireframe and storyboard for your app help you determine the overall flow and layout of the app. You will also want to consider how users will interact with your app and what type of user experience you want to provide.
A design sketch is a quick way to map out the rough ideas for your app’s layout and functionality. Spending time on this step is essential, as it will help you communicate your vision to potential developers and investors.
A user-flow diagram is a simple way to visualize how users will move through your app. This tool can help you find friction points in your app’s UX design and make adjustments before it’s too late.
You can figure out design issues with quick sketches before you even have a line of code written. Sketching allows us to work on our ideas without consequences, allowing us a lot of freedom to explore.
You’ll need wireframes for each screen, then build them in those tools. With wireframes, it’s best to focus on the layout so it doesn’t take too much time before moving on to more detailed screens later.
Step 5: Map Out User Flow
If users can flow through an interface without getting confused or experiencing hesitation, there is a greater likelihood that they will purchase the client’s product or revisit the site. User flows, such as task, wire, and user flow charts, are valuable tools for any designer.
They assist in assessing your creative design efficiency and simplicity to create an interface that provides ease of movement within your website.
In addition, flowcharts and UX design flow assist other design team members in communicating interface layouts to partners and investors. By providing a visual representation of what consumers will encounter, you can ensure an enjoyable customer experience.
Step 6: Develop a Prototype
A prototype will help you determine your app’s feasibility and give you something to show potential investors. Use tools like InVision or Marvel to create a prototype. You can also invest in hiring a professional to design a computer-aided design of your prototype. This design will be more detailed and accurate than your AI-generated prototype.
Find a company that has prototyping capability to fit your budget. Often, making a prototype can be pricey. You need to decide what features to include in your prototype and which you want to be in the final app UX design. Make sure to ask how each prototype-making company can offer guarantees of the high quality of their work before you finalize your order.
Step 7: Design Your App
Your app’s design, responsiveness, and navigability are critical to its success. So keep it simple by sticking to minimum elements and a few core functionality options. For example, if you have forms that require users to add information, keep them short and precise by eliminating irrelevant fields.
Make your app visually appealing by using colors, shapes, and images that are pleasing to the eye and easy to navigate the UX design. Be responsive by ensuring your app looks good on all screen sizes, including smartphones, tablets, desktops, and laptops. Ensure your app’s content is legible and engaging by using proper font sizes, capitalization, and spacing.
Add an online forum that allows users to share their ideas on improving the app by adding a discussion board or comments page in-app so they can engage with each other without having to leave the application.
Include videos of your work as demos are often the best way to show off apps. Create short videos showcasing different aspects of your project and upload them to YouTube or Vimeo for interested parties to watch.
Step 8: Beta Test Your App & Get Feedback
Before you launch your app, it’s crucial to test it out and get user feedback to help you catch any bugs and ensure your app is user-friendly. To perform a beta test, create a test group of users willing to try out the app and provide feedback.
Make sure to give them clear instructions on what you want them to test for and how to provide feedback. You can use surveys or interviews to gather data and talk with people about their experience using the app. After they’ve tried out the app, ask them if they encountered any problems, where they got stuck, or what confused them to find any bugs before releasing it publicly.
It would help if you also asked for feedback about their general impression of the app, such as how usable it was and whether or not they would recommend it to others.
Step 9: Start Marketing
You need to create a marketing strategy that will help you reach your target audience and convince them to download your app. Develop a unique selling proposition that your app offers that sets it apart from its competitors.
Build a compelling call-to-action button or link on the landing page of your website, directing users to the appropriate link in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. On the app store page listing, include a compelling description of your app and how it benefits the user, and include screenshots or video footage if possible.
Identify influencers interested in promoting your app via social media channels, blogs, and websites, and contact them to see if they would be willing to provide coverage.
The most successful apps usually have the most straightforward designs and functionality. Make sure your app is easy to use and navigate. Consistency in UX design and functionality will help create a better user experience.