How to Prioritize Usability in Design

Thursday October 20th, 2016

Being a mobile app developer, you must have a burning desire to develop an app that is sleek and uses the latest cutting-edge technology. And, by doing so, you may even create the initial euphoria around the launch of the app and get plenty of installs in the first week. There may even be some great things written about your app and the innovative technology it adopts.

But, will such news guarantee that the users will continue to download your app, even after the euphoria has died down? Will the new technology be enough reason for your existing users to not abandon your app?

One thing is sure, you cannot only rely on technology, just because it makes your app cool and trendy!

Your ultimate goal should be to ensure that the mobile app is not uninstalled from the smart devices of your users after a couple of months, even amidst the challenges of space and time constraints. For this purpose, your app has to offer a highly valuable solution to the users and bridge an existing gap in the market. If you do not do so, it is highly likely that the majority of the users will abandon the app as soon as they come across another app with newer technology.

To achieve this goal, it helps to focus most of your attention on the users and why they would use your app on a long-term basis! It is vital to adopt user-centric thinking before you design your app. The user requirements of your app should determine the technology to be used and not the other way round. Hence, it is of paramount importance that you prioritize usability in your app’s design.

Let us take an in-depth look at the various ways in which you can follow end-user focused principles during the mobile app design phase.

Allow User Requirements to Drive the User Interface

5729950442_ba73834059_o (1)Many app developers tend to list a plethora of features that they would like to add to their app just because they seem exciting. But, many of those features may not be used by the end-users. So, you need to start thinking from the user’s perspective, before designing the user interface (UI).

You need to understand the different types of your target audience. Let us consider the following example: You have created a mobile app focused on offering unique gift experience vouchers for different occasions. Some users will use your app with a clear-cut need, i.e., to buy a spa voucher for a couple on their wedding anniversary. To help such active users, your app needs to have an appropriate search functionality so that they can instantly find what they are looking for.

At the same time, some curious users will use your app with the aim of finding a good gift option for someone’s wedding anniversary or birthday party. Such users do not have a fixed idea in mind. Hence, your app should also offer top selling vouchers to them under a “recommended category” so that they can view various alternative gift experience vouchers that your app offers which will ultimately help them decide and pick one.

There may even be a third category of users (the passive ones) who land on your app without any need and who just want to navigate through it.

It is important that your app offers easy navigation and a user-friendly interface for all categories of users, especially for the passive ones, so that they feel the need to buy a voucher from your app.

Identify All Possible Situations for the App to Be Useful

Your app may be designed to solve one or two problem areas for your target audience, but there may be several other situations in which your app can be useful to your users. So, you need to promote your app and run marketing campaigns to target all such situations.

For example, some users may not come to your app to buy gift options for others, but to purchase a good experience voucher for their own usage during a long weekend or a public holiday. You can thus use such holidays to run targeted ad campaigns for potential users on social media, Google, and so on.

But, in order to achieve this marketing objective, your user experience (UX) has to be designed in such a way that it keeps the audience glued to your app and makes them want to navigate through the app more. This is why you need to think about all the potential circumstances in which your app can prove useful to your audience.

Continuously Enhance the App’s UX

Each one of us has to continuously upgrade ourselves in order to succeed in life. The same principle holds true for the app that you have developed. You cannot sit back after the app has gone live and expect it to do wonders on a long-term basis.

There is a great need to continuously make improvements to the UX, which can go a long way in making the app more useful and relevant for your audience. These ongoing UX enhancements can help you achieve increased retention for your mobile app.

Do you have any questions? Let us know in the comments section below.

Do you have any questions? Let us know in the comments section below.

Do you have any questions? Let us know in the comments section below.