An effective mobile application design covers many areas: it should be aesthetically consistent with your brand, should follow the best design practices depending on the platform and the devices being designed for, and from the UX viewpoint, it needs to provide your users an intuitive, seamless experience.
At Seasia, one of the best mobile app development companies in India, the end user is the focus of the design decisions. We have a cohesive design process, interconnected with the product definition and discovery, which lets us gather important information about the users, their journey, the pain points addressed by the application, and how to approach the UI-UX in a way that is driven by all these considerations. This allows us not only to consider the utility of the app, but also the usability, even before the development starts.
Start with the User:
One of the biggest challenges that companies face while launching an app is User Abandonment. This happens for a myriad of reasons, but the poor user experience is often caught as the culprit. This is commonly the result of not putting the user at the center of the design decisions.
In a user-centered design, you need to focus on creating a product that addresses the needs and pain points of the users. This means knowing who they are, and what steps need to be taken for them to achieve certain goals or solve their pain.
We, at Seasia, address these concerns during the product discovery itself through the creation of user personas and user journey maps, which is why designers are intensely involved in this process.
Creating User Personas
User personas answer the basic questions about the user: Who, What, When and Where.
Who is the user?
What are the goals of the user for using your product?
Where does the user use the product?
When does the user use the product?
User personas help you in understanding the demography of the end user and gather important behavioral information and insights that will guide the product decisions, including the UI-UX decisions. The designers at Seasia conduct additional investigation after the creation of user personas to fetch more details related to design considerations, which we will discuss in detail below.
Customer Journey Mapping
User journey mapping builds user personas. For each user persona, we map the story ending and all the actions that are needed for the user to get to that point.
From the design perspective, the user journey mapping provides the foundation of the UX in terms of the structure and the user flow. By understanding the actions necessary to get the user from point A to B, we begin to think about optimizing this journey.
Brand Research & Additional User Research
By building the product discovery session, journey mapping and user personas, our designers conduct supplementary user and brand research. We gaze into the existing brand properties to gain an understanding of the right personality, look, tone and feel of the application. We also take a profounder dive into the end users to fetch more information about them and make realistic design decisions. This sets the tone and permits us to comprehend which design elements to place first.
For instance: if we find that a majority of the user demography is 50 years and more, we will avoid certain design elements like thin lines, smaller text and the like.
Prototyping & Conceptualization
We then start with the prototyping and the conceptualization, which centers on the UX of the application. It concludes how the design will flow from one screen to another, how the users will navigate forward and back and more. Usually, the series of the actions that the users need to take is complex, predominantly in large apps with many features. The purpose is to streamline and simplify the user journey from one point to another, so that the user can get exactly where they want, with the least amount of effort.
Research & UI (User Interface)
The User Interface focuses on the style, polish and refinement of the app: things like fonts, color palettes, spacing of the elements, icons, choosing between flat designs and skeuomorphism and more. During this stage, we again carry out some brand research to determine what fits the most for the brand personality and tone.
Uninterrupted Testing & Refinement
This isn’t a step within the process, as we incessantly test, iterate and refine throughout. During the designing process, we test on different devices and different platforms, and have a variety of people conducting user testing. This lets us discover if our assumptions about elements and design decisions need to be reconsidered.
Development & Refinement
Designers work with developers to break the UI into pieces that can then be developed. Again, the iteration and refinement is a large part of this process, so we can create the best user experience and the most technically sound product. The purpose of this cohesive process is to permit us to maintain this flexibility and be adaptable to the changes without disturbing the velocity.
Taking an integrated, user-centric design approach helps ensure that
a) The product is being built especially for your users.
b) We remain adaptable to the changes in the objectives or the project goals.
Eventually, this approach promotes the development of usable, useful products that add value to the users and make their lives a lot easier.