Whilst nobody is going to buy your app simply because it looks nice, having a pleasing, easy-to-use interface will keep bringing users back, and give you an extra edge over the competition.
Let's take a look at a few of the strategies we use at Studio Graphene to craft an engaging user experience.
Stay on brand
This one might seem obvious, but we're often amazed at how the look and feel of apps can diverge from the rest of a company's branding.
Colours, textures, sound, iconography, messaging - do all these things match the expectations set by the rest of your brand?
Don't make me think
This classic aphorism was coined by Steve Krug in his book of the same name, and the sentiment continues to be a staple of modern UX design. 'Don't make me think' means just that
This principle is founded on the idea that every user has a specific goal in mind when coming to your platform. If you force a user to think, you're placing barriers between them and their goal, causing real frustration.
Your job as a UX designer (yup, that's you!) is to create a seamless experience. Users should be on autopilot all the way through your app.
Less really is more
Overcrowding your user with information and options can create a confused, distracting experience that could limit conversion potential. Direct your user decisively in the direction you want them to go, whilst still providing easy access to further navigation options.
Get me one step closer
As a user, every action I'm prompted to take on your platform should get me one step closer to my goal. This is important to remember, as it can be easy to fall into the trap of creating functions that serve only yourself. This can be tiresome for the user and makes them increasingly likely to abandon your platform.
Forms, searches, signups, and social sharing functions are all elements that often violate this rule. Think carefully about how each element is working to benefit the user. If you can't think of a practical use for it, lose it.
Try to merge similar functions and options
Lists and repetition are perpetual thorns in the side of internet users. We need to get to what we need fast, and have neither the time nor the inclination to search through reams of menus and buttons looking for what we need.
Wherever possible, always look to merge, reduce, categorise and streamline the options you present to users. Try to make a straight line of clicks from me to my goal, with as few distractions as possible.
Make it scannable
Internet users generally don't read web pages in full, but scan them in an F-shape for the information they need. It's your job as a UX designer to facilitate this efficient process by organising your content accordingly. Try to create smart visual hierarchies that organise information according to its value for the reader. Try not to interrupt the eyeline with large images or objects.
Don't forget about support
Some of my favourite platforms are the best of the bunch for one simple reason; when I inevitably run across something that doesn't work, it's easy to find a solution. This could be because the customer service is efficient and courteous, because they have a thriving support community, or simply because their documentation is comprehensive and well-written. However you do it, make sure that help is always at hand for your customers.
That about wraps it up. If you're interested in creating a great user experience for your app, talk to us here at Studio Graphene and we'll put our designers on the case.
Thanks for reading!