UI designers are constantly rushing to keep up with the way user interaction habits are evolving. This rush has made the allure of employing the same interaction design techniques across different mediums difficult to resist, but the truth is that keeping interaction patterns and designs tailored to specific mediums is crucial. One thing that tends to happen when designers speed through their processes is assumption making — especially with mobile apps.
COMMON PITFALLS TO AVOID WHEN DESIGNING FOR MOBILE APP UI
1. AUTOMATICALLY REQUIRING USERS TO CREATE ACCOUNTS
While it's always helpful to gather data, the truth is that users don’t always need to create an account. Depending on the services provided by the app, they might not want to — especially before they are certain that it will be useful. Think about the equal exchange required for users to fill out a form under inbound marketing methodology. It has to be worth it.
If users don’t create an account, their data can be stored locally and later transferred to an account if and when they decide to create one. Creating the option for users to access the app as guests or trial users can also be a great way to allow them to experience its value for themselves before signing up.
3. RELYING TOO HEAVILY ON COMMON PRACTICES
All interaction patterns should be designed to fit your unique application, no matter how standard. This holds true for form fields, menus, everything.
Keeping things custom-tailored will allow you to perfect every feature of your app as well as give you an opportunity to integrate your branding into more subtle features of the user experience.
3. REQUIRING NEW USERS TO SWIPE THROUGH A TUTORIAL
Tutorials can be helpful, but allowing users to experience the value of your app by actually using it is key to getting them to stay loyal. Think about apps you’ve downloaded in the past – how helpful did it feel to swipe through instructions? Most likely, not very.
If you do believe this type of onboarding is necessary for your app, remember to keep the tutorial as concise as possible and allow users to come back to it through a help menu after using your app for a while.
4. RELYING ON THE DEFAULT “ALLOW NOTIFICATIONS” DIALOG
This dialog can come in handy, but it doesn’t provide users with enough information about why the app needs the permissions it does. Building your own “allow notifications” dialog into your app will allow you to tell users why your notifications are important and let them know that you won’t be overloading them with spam. You can show the default dialog after users select “allow.”
In the end, UI/UX design falls right in line with most other digital trades — it will continue to be held to the rising standards of users who are interested in doing things for themselves and being educated when they need to.
This list is just the tip of the iceberg, but the underlying message is what really counts. Be thoughtful about your designs, keep your ideal users in mind, and provide them with the features they want in the specific ways they want them. You won’t be sorry!