One of the most important things you should remember when designing a mobile app is to make it functional and intuitive. Even if you’ve got a great idea for an app, if its navigation is faulty, people won’t be able to appreciate its value – and the app won’t become popular. Needles to say, great app user experience is a key to your app’s survival on the market. Here are 5 essential elements that will help you improve your mobile app navigation and build a smooth user experience.
If you want to include several different features in your app, you don’t necessarily have to use separate screens to deliver all the key information. Use slider design pattern to help users easily choose between one feature and another. This will help you create a seamless and intuitive transition between these different options, available to users with a mere swipe of a finger.
2. CONTENT-BASED NAVIGATION
The central idea behind intuitive app user experience is to make the flow of your app content as fluid as possible. Content-based navigation is a design pattern that offers a strategy for creating seamless transitions between the overview state and detailed states. A good example of this is Tinder where users can easily switch between two states on a users profile – the main overview and detailed view.
3. SIDEBARS AND SLIDEOUTS
Let’s get one thing clear – mobile phones have relatively small screens and this means that one of the most serious challenges for app designers is to fit lots of information on a small UI. To avoid clutter and chaos, use drawers, slideouts and sidebars. They all help users to navigate between different parts of the app that are tucked away to maintain a clean layout. Collapsible menus or buttons that slide out are just great for helping users interact with key information by selecting sections they’d like to focus on.
Notifications which pop up when users are using the app are helpful to create more engaging interactions. Sometimes users might want to see relevant information without losing their current location on the interface. This is where popover design comes in to help solve this problem.
You can use popovers when users get to a specific point in the app to show them information or actions associated with this place. Popovers are also useful when you’d like to show users customization options or educate them about what’s happening next. Make sure that popovers don’t interrupt the experience and users can easily return to what they were originally doing by swiping or tapping the screen.
5. WALKTHROUGHS AND TUTORIALS
Sometimes, in order to make your app useful, you need to add some complex functionalities, lots of content or different types of tools. One way to make sure that users won’t face a steep learning curve is to provide them with a clear walkthrough or tutorial to demonstrate all functions and features.
You can highlight important section of the UI with coach marks to explain what they do or show users a slideshow where you walk them through a typical user experience. This helps not only to reduce the complexity of your app, but also to collect information from the user so you can better integrate the sign-up or registration experience into your interface.
It doesn’t matter what kind of app you’re designing – you need to make sure that users can easily and efficiently navigate between different features. That’s why it’s in your interest to use these design elements – bad app navigation can easily become a deal-breaker that determines the fate of your app.
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