Spending time and money developing, launching and promoting an app that simply does not work is an effort in futility: it yields no results.
Before you release that app, ensure that you carry out both UX and User Interface tests to ensure that the app is efficient, enjoyable and easy to navigate and most importantly, usable.
Usability is a vital part of mobile design because it determines the fate of your app in the hands of the user. A usable app must have a simple user interface. It should be devoid of errors and must be such that anyone can easily use to achieve their goals.
If your app passes the usability test, you will have a lot of returning users. Otherwise, it will be deleted. People tend to place less emphasis on usability. They mostly concentrate on its features and value offering. Although these are very important, app usability should not be overlooked. A useful, valuable and an aesthetically pleasing app will be abandoned or even deleted if it is difficult to use. Below are a few ways you can tackle the usability problems of mobile apps:
- Ensure App usability across all platforms and devices
Compatibility is very important in mobile design. Your app may be great in every aspect, but if it is not compatible with the software and operating system of the user’s mobile device, they will be forced to uninstall it.
An app created for the Android market and launched on the iOS app store will simply not work. These OS have different programming languages, design and user interface. You will have to create Android and iOS apps in their respective native environments.
Your app should be designed in such a way that it works seamlessly on different mobile devices irrespective of the screen size.
- Put your best foot forward: Catch them early enough
Most people check out apps almost immediately they download them. They do this to find out whether the app is worth having or not. Hence, you need to show them how useful your app is from the moment they download and log in. People will only return to your app if they discover its value during the onboarding process. There are so many mobile app options to choose from, and users are increasingly becoming impatient. Failure to convince them to keep your app within the first few days of installing may result in its abandonment. If the onboarding experience was great, they would surely return.
- Simple Navigation
The maximum amount of time any user should spend during registration is 2 minutes. The user should be done with signing up for your app under 1 minute. There is no need requesting for too much data or re-directing them to other pages during registration. To make the process easier and faster, you can include the option of them signing up on your app with their social media details.
Sometimes, as a result of too many disjointed features, users spend too much time on the app looking for one thing or another. Some of them even get lost and cannot retrace their steps. It is your responsibility to guide your users, through how the app works. You should make tutorial videos and slides to further enlighten the users on how best to use your app.
- Clear & Concise Content
Instead of tailoring content for mobile devices, some organizations hire web designers who copy content directly from websites and add to their apps.
There is no user experience, nor user interfaces without content. As important as content is, too much of it is not good because it can be misleading. You only need content that can help your users accomplish their goals. Your content must be in line with your app’s goals. If your app is for transportation, adding content that does not relate with transportation is inappropriate and unnecessary.
Content for mobile and the web are very dissimilar considering the sizes of the devices. Studies have shown that people use mobile apps more on the go: while on a train, at the airport waiting to board, in class waiting for the next lecture and so on. Let your app content be clear and straight to the point so that users can easily consume it on the go!
- The fewer, the better
In mobile design, speed is essential and less is always more. Users love when they can handle executive tasks as quickly as possible. Hence, they prefer few steps, data input fields, buttons, and pages.
Your goal should be for users to perform tasks with as little effort as possible. Having to fill a lengthy form on a small screen can be frustrating. It is even worse if the app restarts and they have to start filling the form all over again. Some users would give up at this point. To avert this, include the ‘auto-save’ and ‘auto-fill’ feature on your app so that the inputted data is saved.
- Reduce Scrolling
When designing content for mobile apps, you must consider the screen of the various mobile devices. You must ensure you’re your content is a good fit for the screen of your user’s device. Scrolling up and down the page to access information may be unavoidable but try as much as possible to avoid a situation whereby he or she has to scroll sideways.
Attention should be given to the font size and line spacing of your content as these also affect the usability of your app.
- Consider Landscape and Portrait Orientation
Have you noticed that some apps are only designed to accommodate portrait orientation? Users cannot enjoy watching a video for instance, on portrait. Your mobile app should be optimized for both portrait and landscape orientation for better usability and user experience.
For most mobile app development companies, the importance of app testing in fixing usability issues cannot be overemphasized. Alpha and Beta testing are a great way to start. You should also carry out A/B testing to find out what the users think about the different variations of designs or layout of your app. There is a direct relationship between usability, user experience, and app success. The success or otherwise of your applies in the perception your users have of it. This perception is directly influenced by its usability. The only way to validate user perception is through feedback from A/B tests. App testing eliminates assumptions as well as trial and error.
Usability is worthy of consideration because it drives traffic to your app or web page, converts users into loyal customers, and ultimately generates revenue.