With the art of app designing taking a more aesthetic approach, designing the UI in a way users will perceive as something simple and satisfying has become more significant than anything. Today, building a minimal UI has not only become vitally important but necessary to engage an ever-growing audience. The skeuomorphic way had its share of days when people loved to see lots of elements and a play of different designs encapsulating a variety of information. Now the scenario has changed. As you already have several million established apps, it’s important to make the path to your minimalistic mobile UI clear and simple for the users. The only basis that user’s judge your app is by gauging the minimalistic app design which provides a clear, informative and straightforward prism for them. You only need to figure out two important things before you head on to inculcate minimalism in mobile apps. First is form. Second is function. If you nail this part, your app design will have a minimalist mobile UI.
When we talk about minimalist mobile UI or minimalist apps, we have to understand the essential aspects that form the underlying foundation of minimalistic app design. It’s vital that you use relevant information and ultra-important that you use bare minimum graphics elements. If you bombard it with information and clutter it with too many elements, your app will more likely be perceived as desperate rather than an aesthetic, and a minimalistic app design.
What are those minimalist UI design principles that result in a minimalist app? Let’s walk through them.
Color is the apex
You have to maintain a color scheme that represents your brand or business and stands as a symbol for it. You cannot have a blue color scheme today and change the color scheme to yellow tomorrow. Colors leave a subconscious effect, making a user connect to a UI, and it works. It is precisely why different users choose different apps as per their preference. You have to select a minimalistic color scheme for your minimalistic app design and provide a common plug point for both your brand and users to achieve higher UX. You can use Simplistic color schemes like Monochromatic color schemes or Analogous color schemes for minimalism in mobile apps. You can also use a specific and vibrant color to emphasize some vital information or primary elements in the app.
Typography for connection
Chaos is not a ladder, my friend. When you sit down to figure out how to epitomize the art of minimalism in mobile apps, you will have to decide one typeface for your communication. Period! If you use different fonts for different sections of communication, the chaos ladder will fall on you and wreak havoc on your minimalistic app design. To get more understanding on this, you can go through different mobile UI design examples which used single typeface and communicated better than those chose to have different fonts inside the app. Choose one standard typeface according to iOS or Android. Stress on important information with better use of typography.
A play of whitespace and shadows
According to Medium, use of white space where you don’t place any content is considered to be the backbone of minimalistic app designs. And this is a worldwide accepted practice of minimalism in mobile apps these days. You can use vertical and horizontal lines, placing them with enough whitespace in between so that you give visual clarity. You can also use elevation and shadows to make some information or element evident. It is no doubt that there is no perfect minimalist mobile UI design out there. But eventually, you can hit the right node if you keep it simple and effective.
Icons work like a miracle
You can have the most simple icon in your minimalistic app design and yet achieve seamless interaction and perfect deliverance of communication. But don’t get it wrong. We are not asking you to draw stick figures. You can have an ideal icon that helps the user in navigation without the icon being overly graphic which makes it very complex. A user runs his eyes throughout the interface within a fraction of seconds. It is essential for you to harvest this attention using effective icons for primary functions. You can use both solid and hollow icons for incorporating minimalism in mobile app.
Finding minimal UI design inspiration has become easy today. As developers and UI designers both invest efforts in perceiving app designing from psychoanalytic and scientific behavioral standpoints, you get substantial information on user behavior. And this has lead to the art of minimalism in mobile apps being no rocket science today. It’s just emphasizing on relevant, valuable information and designing accordingly. Some of the many minimalist app design inspiration includes apps like
Minimalist Habit by Hasan Yavaş
Forest App by Shaokin Pi and Amy Jeng
Tenant Management by Johny Vino
All these apps have minimalist mobile UI. They tend to be perfect mobile UI design examples who inculcated minimalism in mobile apps, and their popularity is proof of creating a successful minimalistic app design. As we have elucidated above, skeuomorphic mobile UI design examples like Paper iPad App, Timer App, National Geographic National Parks App, and many others seem to have worked in the past. But today, we only see minimalism in mobile apps as the underlying aesthetic philosophy that defines a successful UI design with notably higher UX.
With the onset of mobile applications and nemesis of websites, one thing has become evident. It’s the age of mobile apps! Right from the moment an individual tries to wake up by snoozing the alarm again and again to sleeping with ambient music besides his bed, mobile apps does it all. The whole spectrum of user experience has jumped from flat screens to vertical displays. Catching the whiff of the shift today has become easy, as new and efficient techniques of mobile app designing rise each day. Today, 2018, in the digital era, the user experience is a lotto. Faster loading rates, easy user interface, and a delightful experience are the quintessential pillars to achieve the best user experience. And all that boils down to your mobile app design.
Why Mobile App Design?
Impacting the consumer right at their fingertips is not an easy job. The success of your business lies a click away from reaching millions. So how important is it for you to design that click? Most important! Certain aesthetics make up mobile app designing an artistic and thoughtful process. We have come across best practices to enhance your mobile app design and amplify the success rate of your business.
Curtail Cognitive Load
Let’s be clear on one thing. If your mobile app has a loitering behavior, it’s doomed already. Your mobile app should have almost zero friction while loading data and jumping between sections of your mobile app. You always to consider the fact that the end consumers have a lot of other options, literally in their fingertips if your mobile app conks off. Having a brilliant mobile app design with lesser load time is imperative!
Inculcate better user interface flow
You might have several mobile app designing ideas, but none of them will work if you make the app journey difficult for the consumers. It is undoubtedly the best practice to enhance new users to arrive at your app and existing users to be hooked on to it. Remove junk and unintelligent options from your app. The design should keep the flow of interface with better options and steps that favors the consumer to reach his goal faster.
If you keep your location on, Ola cabs detect your pick-up location without the need of you putting it manually.
Amazon keeps more than one delivery address saved in your account for you to switch between delivery locations instantly.
Your mobile app full of unwanted procedures and fewer shortcuts to the next step is like walking in a town full of debris. It leaves the consumer journey slow and exasperating. Avoid that!
Clever and better UI design
The math is simple. You give them a delightful experience, and they give you their loyalty. Following basic mobile app designing guidelines is first. Delighting with an intelligent mobile app design is next! A well thought and developed mobile app with better UX is always going to win. Get empathetic with users. Pouring in a lot of steps and actions for the user side will create unwanted complexity ultimately leading to confusion, which then results in uninstallation or deletion. During the development cycle, designers and developers should learn from both apps that have seen failure and success. Ensuring the flow and pace of the UX is critical. Considering thumb behaviors and finger tap controls will get your app the momentum it wants. The payment procedure of an e-commerce app are thoughtful and have chunked down multiple steps to just 3-4 simple steps.
Minimal, yet better content
Always avoid a swarm of content. We get it. You have multiple things to sell and offer. But this should never see the compound of an overwhelming amount of content. Minimal and thoughtful content is always appreciated. Apart from other essential mobile app design tools, placing smart content in mobile app design process leads the customer without hassle. Also, keep the content quality premium that not only runs with the other procedures and steps but also elevates it. In the end, a nice Thank You note always wins the game.
Look out for user feedback
One always comes across mobile apps asking for ratings and feedback. It is vital! Users always have suggestions on how to better the app because they are the ones using it. You might have expertise on what will please UX more, but you will miss those infinitesimal things that could be the breakthrough for your mobile app. These responses and criticisms serve as your mobile app design inspiration to enhance your app at every stage of UX.
Decluttering the app at every stage
An app contains a lot of information. Right from every written word to icons in the app, everything is information. Exactly why it needs to be minimal and allow users to breathe. Without that, UX is almost dead. Developers need to continually refuel the app with relevant information and updates which is required. It’s true that a brand can manage a lot inside an app with their resources. But it’s different on the other side. In the first stage itself, you should not clutter your apps with a tsunami of icons and information which leads to perplexity. And at every stage of app development and upgrade, as a designer and developer, you should consider infusing fresh feedbacks and declutter outdated information ultimately leading you to new mobile app designing ideas.
Without a good UX, your app won’t survive. More visible and pleasing your mobile app is, more the chances of you winning the loyal side of UX. It is one of the most significant and fundamental mobile app design guidelines you will ever come across. Mobile app designing in itself is an art that a lot of brands forget. They should put in constant efforts and practices to up their game in today’s massive traffic of mobile applications. Just go and win the best mobile app design 2018 already!
In recent years we have seen that a number of apps have registered a seat in the Apple’s App Store and Google Play Store. But even after such registration, it is not that all the apps gain popularity. The root cause of it is the design practice followed by developers. Well, designing for a desktop and for a mobile device is a completely different story. And this is especially more important when it comes to native apps. Good and bad apps are usually differentiated by the quality of user experience (UX) that they provide. In the fast-paced modern era, it is obvious that users expect an app to be fast and easy to use with some delight during the interaction, but it often happens that to make a mind-boggling experience, developers mistake in making the app more complex with reduced speed.
At Parangat, we believe “Power in Simplicity”. Let’s quickly catch up some of the app design best practices as recommended by our highly skilled eminent developers.
Understand the difference between desktop and mobile apps
At the very beginning, it should be clear to the developer that he/she is going to develop a mobile app which will have a completely different user interface than that of a desktop. It should be very clear to the developer how the iOS and Android interface looks like. Mobile apps are mostly used on the go (where desktop apps are generally made with the intent that users will spend more time than on a mobile app). So, this should be kept in mind that the user will spend a limited amount of time on it.
Minimize the cognitive load
As the processing power of the human brain is limited, so if an app provides excessive information all at once, then it can overwhelm the user which may ultimately lead to the user abandoning the task. So, here minimizing the cognitive load will minimize the amount of brain power required to use the app.
Avoid the clutter
Clutter is the biggest threat to all the hard work a developer does on an app. Cluttering overloads a user with too much information. It is terrible for a desktop, but it can be incorrigible for mobile devices. It is always a good practice to remove unnecessary things in mobile design to improve comprehension. It is a good idea to use progressive disclosure technique to show more options while keeping content and interface elements to a minimum.
Ask for permissions when required
It generally annoys a user if an app requests for all permissions at the first launch. An app should request for permission at launch only when it is required for the app’s core function, other than that it should ask for permissions only when required. Also, the app shouldn’t ask for unnecessary permission which is beyond its scope. For example, an alarm clock app asking for permission to access the call history would be irrelevant and hence be suspicious.
Minimize user input
This can be useful mostly when a user is filling out a form. Typing long texts on small mobile screens is not a comfortable experience. So, a form should contain only those fields that are absolutely necessary and some fields that can be converted to a drop-down list, e.g., Country field, should be done so. Using defaults for some fields and dynamic validation of field values can be even advantageous.
Avoid using jargons
When an app is designed it is intended for users; and if users are unable to communicate with the app, then the app stands useless. A designer should always use clear and concise language that is easily understandable to everyone.
Make navigation efficient
Navigation within the app should be very clear especially the “back” button. Often a user may click on the wrong option leading him to the wrong screen. There comes the role of the “back” button to take him back to the original screen. Efficient navigation makes it easier to use an app.
Make touch compatible apps
The mobile interface in now mainly touch based. So, it gets vital to make targets big enough that they’re easy for users to tap on. For reference, designers can rely on the MIT Touch Lab’s study for choosing proper size for interactive elements. Other than this, it is also essential to have the right amount of space between targets so that the exact button gets clicked.
Optimize push notification
A recent study has found that annoying notifications is the main reason why people uninstall a mobile app. The notification that an app sends should be well timed and valuable.
Design for both operating systems
While designing, an app developer always has the challenge of deciding how the app behaves on both iOS and Android devices. Where Apple’s flat design style has become very hot in recent years, the Material Design led Android app UI design has also gained appreciable popularity. To start with, developers can research by studying the material design guidelines and the iOS human interface guidelines – these are a great source of information for mobile designers.
Test your design
Howsoever carefully a designer design’s an app, there is always a change of an issue creeping in. A perfectly molded app that looks great on designer’s screen may not look even half as good when tested on a real mobile device. So, testing plays a crucial role in the design process. It can happen that at this stage the app may require re-design.
Create feedback loop
Wherever possible, a designer should encourage feedback. And to collect the valuable feedback, the designer needs to make it simple for users to provide it. Different users have a different mindset. A designer has to extract out the common path to be followed to satisfy users needs.
While there can be better ways for mobile app designing, whether it be on an iOS device or an Android device, it is solely up to the developer to make his design worth for users. Today, with the growing market, people expectation is also growing. Everyone needs an app that is “simply the best” and the hunt for the best is an ongoing process. It’s true that the best app practically doesn’t exist but it’s the “strive for the best” that keeps the market moving.