Mobile App UX Design Principles: 15 Rules for Creating Apps that Stick

The requirements for a comfortable mobile experience change every day. Face and fingerprint scanning is transforming the way users access their phones and make online purchases. The size and dimensions of the latest Samsung Galaxy dictates how people manage information on a screen. And the advancements in voice assistant technology may soon eliminate typing altogether. This is a truly transformative age to live in — the age where users’ desires are transforming technology and technology is transforming users’ expectations.

Google, one of the main UX trendsetters along with Apple, describes the main UX principles for mobile apps in these four stages:

  1. Adopt — principles aimed at directing a user’s initial experience with a product, creating positive onboarding and effortless learning
  2. Use — focusing on a user’s goals and expectations, providing error-free and effective task completion every time
  3. Transact — converting seamlessly and securely, implementing one-click payments
  4. Return — engaging a user and staying relevant in a user’s everyday life

Our user experience experts share their mobile app design principles, which follow Google’s logic.

Adopt: One Chance to Make the First Impression

1. Fast and practical splash screens

You can watch or skip Dumpster’s simple intro

2. Simple registration

Py allows you to access its free lessons but you must register to save progress

3. Successful training

4. Unintrusive permissions

Photo-editing app VSCO requires camera access only when users choose to use an internal camera. However, they can still upload and edit pictures without additional permissions. When a person is already engaged with an app, she feels more comfortable giving permissions. Remember: If the access was denied and an app can’t properly perform, you should explain why and how a user can enable permissions on a device.

JotterPad gives a heads-up before directly asking for permission but doesn’t explain why it needs it

Use: Completing Tasks and Meeting Expectations

5. Addressing a user’s goals

Outlook’s mobile version has far fewer bells and whistles than its desktop version

6. Unique mobile possibilities

7. Designing for fingers, not cursors

Common ways people hold their phones matters

8. Seamless transition between platforms

9. Positive offboarding

Transact: Secure and Convenient Payments

10. To-the-point payments

Hotel Tonight employs straightforward, one-click booking

11. Emphasis on security

According to Appticles, 37 percent of users do research on mobile but switch to desktop to complete a purchase. To keep this process secure but make it less tiresome on mobile, use step-by-step navigation, affirmations, and eliminate errors with card scanning via camera. Digital content, clothing, and tickets are among the top types of purchases people make on their smartphones compared to the desktop.

12. Immediate feedback

Return: Becoming a Part of a User’s Routine

13. Relevant notifications

14. Narrow-focused widgets

15. Personalization

Habitica allows users to customize the calendar and even the audio theme

Final Word

People are getting used to high quality apps with polished design and usability principles in place. In a mobile-first world, to create an app means to go farther than competitors — not only in a number of unique features, but also in an effort to linger on a user’s device longer. To do that, you must know your audience’s expectations and everyday struggles if you expect to deliver a relevant and personalized experience.

Originally published at AltexSoft’s blog: “Mobile App UX Design Principles: 15 Rules for Creating Apps that Stick

Being a Technology & Solution Consulting company, AltexSoft co-builds technology products to help companies accelerate growth.