UI & UX, these abbreviations stand for User Interface & User Experience respectively. In simple words, UX means, "How is the experience of the user after using the app? This experience needs to be engaging, positive lag-free, enjoyable & not boring. For an app, there is nothing as important as the UI / UX. It can either dismiss or retain a customer.
A great UI delivers a great UX. A UI that is not clear, not easy to understand, confusing, boring will definitely spoil the experience of prospective customers. UI is not a single element but a group of elements. It is the first point of contact, where a user interacts with the app. How the app responds to the user's inputs, makes up his experience.
Strategic Approaches to build a world-class App
1.Think like a user:
The first and most important strategy a UI/UX designer should use. They need to clearly identify & define their target users. Many factors such as their lifestyle, habits, goals, browsing history, problems they seek solution for, un8met needs & reasons for the same, etc, need to thoroughly analysed. An in-depth analysis of these factors will help to figure out what features, content will be useful? This strategy needs to be followed very diligently as it will provide the critical inputs around which the UI of the app is developed. Wrong decisions at this stage will damage the growth & progress of the app.
2. UI Designing:
A great UI will create great UX. UI designers should take a user-centric approach to design it. Some of the qualities of a great UI are clean, intuitive, engaging, lag-free. It involves designing different screens, virtual keyboards, selecting appropriate fonts & sizes, placement of various buttons, etc.
3.Suitable Layout & Colors:
This strategic approach relates to the designing of the appearance of the app. Layout & colors have a psychological impact on the mind of the users. A layout should be clutter-free & sorted. Unnecessary content laid in an unorganised manner results in a messy layout. The designers should select use colors to increase the appeal of the app. The colors not only make the app attractive but also help to classify the data under different sections. The selection of the colors is critical because every color has a different frequency & impact. For example- Yellow & light blue colors have a calm & soft effect on the eyes. Whereas vibrant colors like red or green are action-oriented colors that stimulate the user to take some action. Color selection can have different strategic approaches. Some companies opt to use the national color of the country in their app, whereas some use color primarily associated with the brands in their app to create uniform brand’s public image.
4.Less is more approach:
Also known as the Minimalist approach. UI / UX designers must understand the two common problems of the users of the 21st century. First, they can get distracted easily due to very short attention span & second, their minds being preoccupied with too much information. To address these problems, the app should be able to grab their attention & respond quickly. A Google report reveals that as page load time goes from 1s to 10s, the probability of bounce increases to 123%. The problem gets more critical for mobile apps as the user is on the move. The underlying principle of this approach is that the app needs to be extremely functional & quick to respond & not just good looking. If users are presented with just what they are looking for, it is sure to create a positive UX & uplift the conversion rate of the app.
There is an old saying, that the First impression is the last. The experience of the user within the first few seconds after the installation of the app is called On-boarding Experience. This strategy is very crucial for attracting first-time users & retaining them. It needs to be very well thought of. The app needs to show the user how they can get what they want from the app quickly within the first seconds. Progressive On-boarding is a very effective approach for it. This approach makes the user familiar with the steps that need to perform to complete various tasks in the app. A few of the effective strategies are Login using social channels, so no need to create a new username & password, placing tutorials, if any, at the beginning to make navigation through the app easy, adding a status indicator, animation, etc.
6.High degree of Personalisation:
The customer is the king. To make the customer feel like one, the app needs to deliver a "Made for me only" experience. The app should offer products, solutions or information that is specifically made according to his personal requirement, behaviour, preference or need. Factors such as customer profile, browsing history, previous purchases, shopping cart, etc. are thoroughly scrutinised using the tools like Artificial Intelligence (AI) & big data analytics to identify the user's consumption pattern, purchase intervals so that various personalisation options can be offered to them. Relevant product recommendations at the right time can facilitate faster sales, up-selling & cross-selling. Thereby, uplifting the feel-good factor of the user.
This strategic approach should be adopted by the developers to keep the app relevant in the future. The development of an app involves big financial expenditure. Moreover, the digital landscape is constantly changing. The app needs to stay relevant over a period of time. So constant monitoring of the UI / UX is necessary to refine & update the app over time to optimize the experience of the user. The designer should take the following strategic approaches to make the apps future-ready:-
a. Learn & Update:
The app developers need to always learn from the leaders or the big players. There are two major mobile operating systems: Apple's iOS & Google's Android. They get major updates that change their functionality & user interface. The apps perform on these operating systems. So, the developer needs to closely monitor, review & learn about the changes made to these platforms to update their apps to perform seamlessly.
The apps are tested before launch during the development stage & after the launch to keep them relevant. It is a never-ending process. After the app is launched, the feedback of the users must be taken seriously to update the app to suit the user.
In the 21st century, an average user accesses up to three devices every day. A world-class app needs to work on different digital platforms like browser & mobile app. The app should be capable of sharing the data with the other platforms.
An app can be world-class when it is fast & lag-free. The app cannot afford to make the user wait. It needs to be free from heavy graphics & content so that its loading & response time.
In today's time, the companies cannot afford to have an app that has boring UI & delivers a negative user experience. The user will never give an app a second chance if he is not impressed with it at the first. The sales, revenue, growth & sustainability of the company are all at stake. UI / UX is very important because it establishes a direct connection between the company & users. The above strategic approaches will put the developers on the right path to create a world-class UI / UX so that the user can have a wow experience.