At the center of mobile app design is the fun, challenge, and excitement that comes with creation. App developers have the chance to construct an innovative app that enhances the brand and benefits an app user. Lost in the excitement and possibility of mobile app design, however, are the key elements needed to design a winning app. When these key elements are ignored — particularly in an e-commerce app — the customer loses.
While it may seem preferable to simply take advantage of a mobile website, know that users are trending away from shopping via mobile websites. Research shows that 85 percent of consumers now favor a mobile app over a mobile website. Why? The most common reasons cited are that a mobile app provides:
- More convenience
- Enhanced speed and response times
- Easier browsing
Simply put, you need a mobile app, but you also need an app that provides the tools and features your customers will demand. Implement these five tips to ensure key design elements are fulfilled, ensuring a positive experience for your customers.
Without a functional app that is easy to use, customers will quickly find another mobile shopping solution. Make things as functional as possible from the outset of using the app. Customers need to be able to register and start browsing the app as seamlessly as possible. Long signup pages, lengthy checkout processes and cluttered interfaces place needless barriers between your products and the customers.
On a website, your business has the option of creating large menus capable of listing the vast bulk of your online product categories. But, with the smaller screen real estate of a mobile app, this general rule flies out the window. The small screen is not a negative, however. It provides you the opportunity to focus and simplify the user’s discovery process by designing condensed menus that list your most appealing products and product categories in innovative ways.
The simple takeaway of designing with app functionality in mind is that each stage of design needs to focus on making the app browsing and buying process easier on the customer.
Go the Extra Mile With the “Small” Details
Your mobile app is designed to bring you business, so make sure the “Add to Cart” button is easy to spot, looks attractive and entices purchases. Your app should make the buying process seem like the easiest decision in the world, and an obscure path to checkout needlessly hinders this objective.
Similarly, limit the number of images to only the greatest showcase pictures of your products. For one, this casts your product in the best possible light, but it also ensures better load times and rapid responsiveness. Keeping these “small” details in mind makes for a better app, but it also leads to better sales numbers.
Treat Your App Like a Brick-and-Mortar Store
While this may sound counterproductive at first glance, businesses know that not all customers who walk through the front door are buying. They may simply be browsing. Cater to those customers by allowing users to bookmark favorite products, create wishlists and save items in their cart.
This user-friendly design choice empowers customers, giving them the feeling that buying a product is on their terms.
Get a “Thumbs-Up” for Your App
Data shows that the majority of people in the world are right-handed. Keep this in mind when developing your app. The most user-friendly app is one that places key functions and areas of the mobile app within easy reach of a user’s right hand and thumb.
This includes the all-important “Add to Cart” button and similarly important menu options. Also, take note that mobile devices are trending larger, so the sweet spot for a thumb-friendly zone will shift as device sizes shift. Take the recent trend toward larger devices into account when designing a touch-friendly app.
Keep Customers Secure
In addition to user-friendly design elements, take the steps needed to provide a secure app experience for customers. Nothing ruins a brand’s earned trust and goodwill quite like compromising the customer’s security. Take all steps needed to ensure the customer’s personal and financial information is safe when using your app.
Most importantly, don’t wait until the late stages of app development to think about security The extra money invested to create a secure app will pay off in the long run by avoiding damaging news stories and customers who never return.
By keeping these tips in mind, your brand will gain the trust of users. Even better, with proper app security, their enhanced trust leads to happier customers and repeat business.
Author bio: Drew Johnson is Co-Founder and Co-CEO of App Partner, a Brooklyn-based mobile agency. Johnson’s responsibilities include advising App Partner’s clients on their mobile strategic initiatives as well as overseeing the company’s business development efforts and day-to-day operations. To date, his company has led and supported the launch of more than 200 unique mobile applications generating tens of millions of downloads.