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Comprehensive Mobile Application Design Guide

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There are many factors to consider when designing a mobile device. We are sure that this detailed guide will save you from the headache when creating applications.

Today more than ever, people interact with their phones at critical moments. An average US user spends 5 hours a day on a mobile phone. The vast majority of this time is spent on applications and websites.

The difference between a good and a bad application usually lies in the quality of user experience (UX). Good UX is what distinguishes successful applications from failed ones. Today, mobile users expect a lot from the application: fast download times, ease of use and the pleasure of interacting. If you want your application to be successful, you should consider UX not just a secondary aspect of design, but an important component of product strategy.

There are many things to consider when developing mobile applications. In this article, I have summarized many practical recommendations that you can apply to your design.

Minimize cognitive load

Cognitive load refers to the amount of mental ability required to use the application. The human brain has the limited processing power, and when an application provides too much information at the same time, it can overwhelm the user and cause him to abandon this task.

Putting in order

Getting rid of the clutter is one of the main recommendations of the article “ 10 Do’s and Don’ts of Mobile UX Design ”. Clutter is one of the worst enemies of good design. Cluttering the interface, you overload users with too much information: each added button, image, and icon complicate the screen.

The mess on the PC is terrible, but on the mobile device it is much worse (simply because we do not have as much screen space as on PCs and laptops). In mobile design, it is important to get rid of everything that is not absolutely necessary, because reducing clutter will improve understanding. Functional minimalism technique   can help you solve the problem of cluttered user interface:

  • Reduce content to a minimum (only provide the user with what they need to know).
  • Keep a minimum of interface elements. With a simple design, the user is easier to interact with the product.
  • Use the progressive disclosure method to show more options.

Simplify tasks

Look in the design for anything that requires user effort (it can be data entry, decision making, etc.), and look for alternative ways. For example, in some cases, you can reuse previously entered data instead of asking the user to re-enter it or use existing information to set a smart default value.

Break tasks into small pieces

If the task contains many steps and actions required from the user, it is better to divide it into several subtasks. This principle is extremely important in mobile design because you do not want to create too much complexity for the user at a time. A good example is a step-by-step process of placing an order in an e-commerce application when a designer breaks down the complex task of placing an order into pieces, each of which requires user action.

Blocking can also help combine two different actions (for example, viewing, and buying). When a script is presented as a series of steps that are logically related to each other, it may be easier for the user to complete it.

Use familiar screens

Familiar screens are screens that users see in many applications. Screens such as Getting Started, What’s New, and Search Results have become de facto standards for mobile applications. They do not require additional explanation, because users are already familiar with them. This allows users to use previous experience with the application without the need for training.

For more information about familiar screens. Read the article “ 11 screens you’ll find in many of the most successful mobile apps .”

Minimize user input

Typing on a small mobile screen is not the most convenient activity. In fact, it is often error-prone. And the most common cause of user input is filling out a form. Here are some practical suggestions for simplifying this process:

  • Make forms as short as possible by removing unnecessary fields. The application should only ask the user for the minimum amount of information.
  • Provide input masks. Field masks are a method that helps users format entered text. The mask appears when the user focuses on the field, and automatically formats the text as the field fills, helping users focus on the necessary data and more easily notice errors.
  • Use smart features like autocomplete. For example, filling out an address field is often the most problematic part of any registration form. Using tools such as the Place Autocomplete Address Form (which uses both a geographic location and pre-populating an address to provide accurate offers based on the user’s exact location) allows users to enter their address with fewer keystrokes than with a regular input field.
  • Dynamic check of the field value. It is sad when after sending data you have to return and correct errors. If possible, check the field values ​​immediately after entering data so that users can fix them instantly.
  • Customize the keyboard for the request type. When prompting for a phone number, display the numeric keypad and add the @ button when prompting for an email address. Make sure that this function is implemented sequentially throughout the application, and not just for certain forms.

Anticipate user needs

Proactively look for steps in the user’s journey, where he may need help. For example, the screenshot below shows the part where users need to provide specific information.

Use visual weight to emphasize the importance.

The most important element on the screen should have the greatest visual weight. Adding more weight to an element is possible by changing the weight, size, and color of the font.

Avoid jargon

Clear communication should always be a top priority in any mobile application. Use what you know about your target audience to determine if certain words or phrases are appropriate.

Make design consistent

Consistency is a fundamental design principle. It eliminates confusion. Maintaining a consistent overall look throughout the application is essential. For a mobile application, the sequence means the following:

  • Visual
    Consistency Fonts, buttons, and labels must be consistent throughout the application.
  • Functional sequence
    Interactive elements should work the same in all parts of your application.
  • External coherence of
    the design should be consistent for several products. Thus, the user can apply previously acquired knowledge when using another product.

Here are some practical guidelines for creating a consistent design:

  • Follow platform standards.
    Each mobile OS has standard interface design guidelines:  Apple’s Human Interface Guidelines and  Google’s Material Design Guidelines. When designing for native platforms, follow OS design guidelines to ensure maximum quality. The reason why it is important to follow design guidelines is simple: users get familiar with the interaction patterns of each OS, and anything that contradicts the guidelines causes problems.
  • Do not mimic interface elements from other platforms.
    When creating an application for Android or iOS, do not transfer interface elements from other platforms. Icons, functional elements (input fields, checkboxes, radio buttons) and fonts should look natural. Make the most of native components so people trust your application.
  • Make sure the mobile app matches the website.
    This is an example of external consistency. If you have a web service and a mobile application, make sure that they both have similar characteristics. This will allow users to make seamless transitions between the mobile application and the mobile site. Design mismatch (such as a different navigation chart or a different color scheme) can lead to confusion.

Give the user control

Make interactive elements familiar and predictable

Predictability is a fundamental principle of UX design. When everything works as users predict, they feel a strong sense of control. Unlike a PC, where users can use hover effects to see if an item is interactive or not, on a mobile phone, users can only check interactivity by clicking on an item. That’s why it’s important to think about how the design of buttons and other interactive elements conveys accessibility. How do users understand that an item is a button? The form should follow the function: the appearance of the object tells users how to use it. Visual elements that look like buttons but are not pressed will easily confuse users.

Back button “should work correctly

An improperly created back button can cause many problems for users. Avoid situations where pressing the back button in a multi-step process returns users back to the initial screen.

Good design makes it easy for users to return and make corrections. When users know that they can once again look at the data they provide or the selected parameters, this allows them to easily act.

Informative error messages

Humans tend to make mistakes. Mistakes occur when people interact with applications. Sometimes they happen due to the fault of the user. Sometimes they happen due to an application crash. Regardless of the cause of the error, how it is handled has a huge impact on UX. Poor error handling combined with useless error messages can frustrate users and cause users to leave your application. Take the error status screen from Spotify as an example. It does not help users understand the context or find the answer to the question: “What can I do about it?”

Do not think that users are tech-savvy enough to understand the cause of the error on their own. Always tell people what is wrong in plain language. Each error message should inform users:

  • what went wrong and maybe why
  • what next step should the user take to correct the error?

For more information about error handling, read the article, “ How to Design Error Conditions for Mobile Applications .”

Design an accessible interface

The affordable design allows users with different capabilities to successfully use products. Think about how users with vision loss, hearing loss, and other impairments can interact with your application.

Consider color blindness

4.5% of the world’s population is color blind (1 in 12 men and 1 in 200 women), 4% are visually impaired (1 in 30 people) and 0.6% are blind (1 in 188 people). It is easy to forget that we design for this group of users because most designers do not encounter such problems.

Let me give you a simple example. Messages about successes and errors in mobile forms are often colored in green and red, respectively. But red and green are the colors most prone to color vision deficiency (these colors are difficult to distinguish for people with deuteranopia or protanopia). Most likely, you saw the following error message when filling out the form: “Fields marked in red are required”? Although this may not seem very important, this error message combined with the form in the example below can be extremely disappointing for people with color vision deficiencies.

As indicated in the W3C guidelines, the color should not be used as the only visual means of conveying information, indicating an action, requesting a response, or distinguishing between a visual element. It is important to use other visual indicators to make sure that users can interact with the interface.

Make Animations Disabled

Users who suffer from motion sickness often turn off animation effects in the OS settings. If the option to reduce movement is enabled in the accessibility settings, your application should minimize or eliminate animations.

Make navigation easy

Helping users navigate should be a priority for any application. All interesting features and attractive content do not matter if people cannot find them. In addition, if it takes too much time or effort to understand how to navigate your product, most likely you will simply lose users. Users should be able to explore the application intuitively and perform all the basic tasks without any explanation.

Use standard navigation components

It’s better to use standard navigation patterns such as a tab bar  (for iOS) and a navigation box (for Android). Most users are familiar with both navigation patterns and intuitively know how to use your application.

For more information on navigation patterns, see the article “ Basic Patterns of Mobile Navigation: Pros and Cons ”.

Prioritize navigation options

Prioritize your navigation based on how users interact with your application. Assign different priority levels (high, medium, low) for common user tasks. Highlight high-priority, frequent-use destinations, and destinations in the interface. Use these paths to determine your navigation. Organize your information structure in such a way that it requires a minimum number of taps, swipes, and screens.

Do not mix navigation patterns

When you select the main navigation pattern for your application, use it sequentially. There should not be a situation in which part of your application has a tab bar and the other part has a side box.

Make navigation noticeable

As Jacob Nielsen says, recognizing something is easier than remembering. Minimize the load on the user’s memory by making actions and parameters visible. Navigation should always be available, and not only when we believe that the user needs it.

Report your current location

The inability to indicate your current location is a very common problem in many mobile app menus. “Where am I?” It is one of the fundamental questions that users must answer in order to successfully navigate. At any time, people should know where they are in your application.

Use functional animations to clarify navigation transitions

The animation is the best tool for describing transitions between states. It helps users understand the state change in the page layout that caused the change and how to re-initiate the change if necessary.

Be careful using gestures in the interface

Using gestures in an interactive design can be tempting. But in most cases, it is better to avoid this temptation. When gestures are used as the primary navigation option, they can cause a terrible UX. Why? Because gestures are hidden controls.

As  Thomas Jus notes in his article “Beyond the Button: Using a Gesture-Driven Interface”, the biggest drawback of using gestures in an interface is the learning curve. Whenever a visible control is replaced by a gesture, the learning curve of the application increases. This is because gestures are harder to detect – they are always hidden, and people must be able to identify these parameters in order to use them. This is why it is important to use only generally accepted gestures (the ones that users expect to find in your application).

When it comes to using gestures in an interface, follow a few simple rules:

  • Use standard gestures.
    By “standard” I mean gestures that are most natural for the application of your category. People are familiar with standard gestures, so no extra effort is required to find and remember them.
  • Offer gestures as a compliment, not a substitute for visual navigation options.
    Gestures can work as hotkeys for navigation, but not as a complete replacement for visual menus. Thus, it always offers a simple, intuitive way to navigate, even if it means a few extra steps.

For more information about using gestures in the user interface, read the article “ Gestures in applications and mobile UX ”.

Focus on the first experience.

The first experience can destroy the mobile application. You have only one chance to create a first impression. And if you fail, there is a good chance that users will no longer launch your application. (Localytics research shows that 24% of users never return to the application after the first use).

Avoid Mandatory Login

Mandatory registration before using the application creates a wall in front of the user (sign-in wall). This is a common problem for users and one of the reasons they refuse to use the application. The number of users who refuse the registration process is especially important for applications with low brand recognition or those in which the value proposition is unclear.

As a rule, ask users to register if necessary (for example, if the main functions of your application are available only after registration is completed). And even in this case, it is better to postpone registration for as long as possible – give users the opportunity to work a little in the application, and only then carefully remind them of the need to register. This will give users a taste of the experience, and they will be more prone to it.

Design a good learning experience for new users

In the context of mobile UX, providing an excellent learning experience is the basis for user retention. The purpose of the training is to show the value that your application provides.

Among the many learning strategies for new users, contextual learning is particularly effective. Contextual learning means that instructions are provided only when the user needs them. Duolingo is a great example. This app combines an interactive tour with progressive disclosure to show users how the app works. Users are prompted to start and take a quick test in their chosen language. It makes learning fun.

Another thing that can be very useful during registration is an empty state. An empty state is the default status screen that requires users to go through one or more steps to fill it with data. Besides informing the user about what content to expect on the page, an empty state can also teach people how to use the application. Even if the registration process consists of one step, management will convince users that they are doing the right thing.

For more information about training new users, we recommend reading the article “ The role of empty states in user training ”.

Do not ask for configuration information in advance

The mandatory configuration step causes problems and may lead to the abandonment of the use of the application. When users launch the application, they expect it to work. Thus, develop your application for most users, and let those who want to have a different configuration at any time be able to change the settings to suit their needs.

Tip: try to determine what you need from the system. If you need information about a user, device or environment, if possible, contact the system, not the user.

Avoid asking permission from the start

Avoid the situation in which the first thing the user sees when starting the application is a dialog box asking for permission. As with the obligatory login to the account or at the pre-configuration stage, a request for permission at startup should be executed only when it is necessary for the main function of your application. This request will not bother users if it is obvious that your application depends on this permission (for example, it is clear why the photo editor is requesting access to photos).

But in any other case, ask for permission in context. Users are more likely to grant permission if asked during the execution of the task.


  • Just ask for what your application clearly needs.
    Do not ask for all possible permissions. It would be suspicious if the application requested something that it does not need. For example, an alarm clock requesting permission to access your contact list may raise suspicions.
  • Explain why your application needs information if this is not obvious.
    Sometimes you need to provide more context for your request. For this reason, you can create a custom warning to request permission.

Make your app fast and responsive

Boot time is extremely important for UX. As technology advances, we become more impatient, and today 47% of users expect a page to load in 2 seconds or less.

If loading the page takes longer, visitors may be upset and leave. That’s why speed should be a priority when creating a mobile application. But no matter how fast you make the application, some things take time to process. Slow response may be caused by a poor internet connection or the operation may take a long time. But even if you cannot shorten the waiting time, at least try to make it more enjoyable.

Focus on loading content in a visible area of ​​the screen

Download enough content to fill the screen when you open the page. Content available during scrolling should continue to load in the background. The advantage of this approach is that users will be busy reading the original content and, in some cases, not even notice that the content is still loading.

Make it clear when the download is finished

A blank or static screen that users see when they download content may give the impression that your application is frozen, which leads to confusion and frustration, and people may leave your application. At a minimum, show a loading spinner that will make it clear that something is happening. For a longer wait time (more than 10 seconds), it is important to display a progress bar so that the user can evaluate how long he will wait.

For more information on download indicators, read the article “ Best Examples of Animated Progress Indicators ”.

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Offer visual distraction

If the application gives users something interesting while waiting, users will pay less attention to the wait itself. So that people do not get bored while waiting for something, invite them to distract. A beautifully animated standby indicator can hold users ’attention while they wait.

Tip: Remember longevity. Even good animations can be annoying when overused. When creating an animation, ask yourself: “Will the animation be annoying during the hundredth use or is it universal and unobtrusive?”

Frame Screens (Skeleton Screens)

Wireframe screens (i.e., temporary information containers) are essentially an empty version of a page into which information is gradually loaded.

A-frame screen will appear the moment your application starts loading data, giving users the impression that your application is fast and responsive. Unlike the loading indicator, which simply reports that something is happening, the frame screen focuses on real progress.

Mobile Content Optimization

Content plays a significant role in the design. In most cases, the main reason people use the application is its content. But it’s not enough just to have clear, well-designed content. Content should be easy to digest.

Make text readable and legible

When we think about content, in most cases we mean typography. As Oliver Reichenstein says in his essay “ Web Design is 95% Typography ”:

“Optimization of typography is readability, accessibility, usability (!), The overall graphic balance.”

The key to mobile typography is readability and legibility. If users cannot read your content, it makes no sense to offer it.

First, some practical recommendations on readability:

  • Font size
    Generally, anything smaller than 16 pixels (or 11 dots) is difficult to read on any screen.
  • Font Family
    Most users prefer a clear, easy-to-read font. A proven option is to use the default system font (Apple iOS uses the San Francisco font; Google Android uses  Roboto ).
  • Contrast
    Light text (such as light gray) may look aesthetically pleasing, but it will be difficult for users to read it, especially against a light background. Make sure there is a lot of contrast between the font and the background for readability. The  WC3 Web Content Access Guide provides guidelines for contrast ratios for images and text.

And now a few readability recommendations:

  • Avoid text written in capital letters only.
    All capitalized text is suitable for contexts that do not require careful reading (such as abbreviations and logos) but avoid it when your message requires intensive reading.
  • Limit the length of the text lines.
    A good rule of thumb is to use between 30 and 40 characters per line for mobile devices.
  • Do not squeeze the stitches.
    Adding space between the text helps the user to read and creates the feeling that there is not much information to perceive.

HD image quality and correct aspect ratio

The growing number of devices with high-resolution screens sets the bar for image quality. Images should not be displayed in pixels on high-resolution screens.

Images should always be displayed in the correct aspect ratio so that they do not appear distorted. Images that are too stretched in width or length to fit in space will look unattractive and inappropriate.

The last problem that many mobile designers are faced with is optimizing UX for the iPhone X. Designing for the iPhone X requires a different artboard size than any other iPhone (you will need images with a resolution of 375 x 812 pixels at a magnification factor of 3x).

Portrait-optimized video content

Video is quickly becoming the standard method of consuming content for many users. According to YouTube, video consumption from mobile devices is growing at 100% every year. By 2020, more than 75% of global mobile data traffic will be video content. This means that it is important to optimize video content for portrait mode.

According to ScientiaMobile, 94% of users use their mobile devices in portrait mode. If your application provides video content, it should be optimized so that users can view it in portrait mode.

Design for touch screens

The development goal for the touch screen is to reduce the number of incorrect data entries and make interaction with the application more convenient.

Design for the fingers, not the cursor

When you develop interactive elements in the mobile interface, it is very important to make the goals large enough so that users can easily touch them. Erroneous clicks often happen due to small touch controls.

When designing a touch target, you can rely on the MIT Touch Lab study  (PDF) to choose the right size for interactive elements. This study showed that the average size of the fingertips is from 10 to 14 mm, and the tips of the fingers are from 8 to 10 mm, which makes 10 by 10 mm a good minimum size for the touch target.

Not only the size of the target is important, but also the correct distance between the goals. If several sensory targets are next to each other (for example, the “Agree” and “Disagree” buttons), make sure that there is enough space between them.

Consider the area of ​​the thumb

Designing for the thumbs means not only making the goals big enough but also considering how we hold our devices. Many users hold their phones with one hand. The only part of the screen is easy to reach with your thumb. This area is called the natural thumb zone. Other areas require a stretch of the fingers or even a change of grip to get to them. Below you can see what the safe zone looks like on a modern mobile device.

The larger the display, the larger the screen is less accessible.

When designing for mobile devices, consider all areas:

  • The green zone is the best place for navigation options or frequent interactive actions (for example, call to action buttons).
  • The red zone is the best place for potentially dangerous options (for example, “Delete” or “Erase”). Users are less likely to accidentally activate this option.

Interaction feedback

In the physical world, objects react to our interactions. People expect the same level of responsiveness from digital interface controls. You will need to provide instant feedback on every user interaction. If your application does not provide feedback, the user will think about whether it hangs. The feedback can be visual (highlighting a pressed button) or tactile (vibration of the device).

Make the digital experience human

UX is not just about usability. It mainly concerns the senses. And when we think about what makes us feel great, we often think about well-designed designs.

Personalized experience

Personalization is one of the most important aspects of mobile apps today. This is an opportunity to contact users and provide the information they need in a way that seems authentic.

There are countless ways to enhance mobile UX with personalization. You can offer personalized content depending on the user’s location, search history, and past purchases. For example, if your users prefer to purchase certain product groups every month, the application can track this and offer them special offers for these products.

The Starbucks mobile app is a great example of this. The application uses the information provided by users (for example, the type of coffee they usually order) to create special offers.

Amazing animation

Unlike functional animations, which are used to enhance the clarity of an interface, delightful animations are used to make an interface feel human. This type of animation makes it clear that the people who created the application care about their users.

Optimize Push Notifications

Annoying notifications are the number 1 reason people uninstall mobile apps (71% of respondents say).

Do not send push notifications just because you can. Each notice must be valuable and timely.

Valuable notifications

When a user starts using your application, he will not mind receiving notifications if the value received is more than the negative that the notification distracted him. Almost 50% of users are grateful for the notifications that interest them. Personalizing content for inspiration and admiration is crucial. Netflix is ​​a great example of a company that “adds value.” He carefully uses data browsing to present recommendations that look individual.

Do not send many notifications in a short period of time

Too many notifications delivered in a short period of time can lead to a situation known as an oversupply of notifications when the user cannot process the information and simply skips it. Limit the total number of notifications by combining different messages.

Choose the right time for notifications

It is important not only what you say, but also when you say it. Do not send push notifications during strange hours (for example, in the middle of the night). The best time for push notifications is peak hours on mobile devices: from 18:00 to 22:00.

Browse other messaging delivery channels

Push notifications are not the only way to deliver a message. Use email, in-app notifications, and newsletters to notify users of important events according to the level of urgency and the type of content you want to share.

Mobile Optimization

Design for interruptions

We live in a world of interruptions. Something is constantly trying to distract us and direct our attention to another place. Not to mention that many mobile sessions take place when users are on the go. For example, users can use your application while waiting for a train. Such sessions can be interrupted at any time. Users will be disappointed if the application forgets their current progress as soon as they close it.

In the event of a session interruption, your application should save the current state (context) and allow users to continue working from where they left off. This will make it easier for users to re-interact with the application when they return to it after a break.

Take advantage of device features

Mobile devices have many sensors (camera, location tracking, accelerometer) that can be used to improve UX. Here are just a few features you can use to do this:

  • Camera
    You can simplify data entry operations with the camera. For example, you can use a digital camera to automatically read credit card numbers.
  • Awareness about the location

Applications can use device location data to provide content related to a user’s location or to simplify certain operations. For example, if you are designing a food delivery application, instead of asking the user to provide a delivery address, you can automatically determine his current location and ask him to confirm that he wants to receive the delivery to this place.

  • Biometric authentication
    You can minimize the number of steps required to enter the application using features such as fingerprint login or face identification.

Tip: Practical recommendations for using Apple Face ID can be found in our article “ Designing apps for the iPhone X: what every UX designer needs to know about the latest Apple device .”

Strive to create a multi-channel experience.

Do not think that your mobile application is isolated. When it comes to creating custom travel, the ultimate goal is to create an inextricable experience on all devices. Users should be able to switch to another environment and continue the journey.

According to Appticles,  37% of users search for products on mobile devices but switch to desktop computers to make a purchase. Thus, if you are designing an e-commerce application, mobile users should be able to switch to a PC or laptop in order to continue the journey. Synchronizing user progress between devices is a key priority for creating an inextricable experience. This makes users feel their workflow is continuous.

Adapt mobile design to emerging markets

According to Google, a billion new online users are expected in the next couple of years. And the vast majority will come from emerging markets (or so-called mobile-oriented countries such as India, Indonesia, Brazil, and Nigeria). They will access the Internet through a mobile phone. These users will have experience and expectations different from those who live in the US and Europe.

If you want to become global, it is important to consider their experience.

Bad internet connection

In the US and Europe, users are accustomed to the ability to universally connect to the network. But so, of course, not all over the world. Products in emerging markets must be able to work with a slow or intermittent Internet connection. Depending on the location of the person, the network can switch from Wi-Fi to 3G, to 2G or even an abyss, and your product should take this into account.

If you plan to design for such a market, consider the following:

  • Make sure your product works when it’s not connected to the Internet at all. Allow data caching.
  • Optimize your product for fast downloads. Minimize page size by minimizing images and other weighty content, and reduce the size of this content.

YouTube Go is an excellent example of a mobile app that is designed with Internet restrictions in mind. The application was designed to work offline (this means that it can be used even if it is not connected to the Internet). The app allows users to preview the video and select the file size before saving it offline so that it can be viewed later. It also has an excellent feature that allows users to easily share videos with friends and family without using any data.

Google News & Weather is another great example of an app that takes into account a poor Internet connection. The application has a function “Lite mode” for people connected to a network with low bandwidth. When this mode is activated, it leaves only the main content so that the application loads faster. According to Google, this mode uses less than a third of the usual data, and it is automatically activated when the application detects a slow network.

Limited data

In approximately 95% of emerging markets, people rely almost entirely on expensive prepaid mobile data. People buy a fixed amount of data, and many can only afford about 250 MB of data per month.

These users value transparency when it comes to understanding the amount of data consumed. They also appreciate the ability to control whether a product is downloaded via Wi-Fi or mobile Internet.

Below you can see another example from YouTube Go. After selecting a video, users can select the video quality. The application allows them to know in advance how much data they will spend before performing an action.

Limited device features

Smartphones in mobile-oriented countries are significantly different from the popular Google Pixel and iPhone models in the US. Most devices in emerging markets cost less than $ 100 and may come with limited memory and processing capabilities. Make sure that the product you are designing works with older, inexpensive devices and software.

Local aesthetics

The minimalist design that is popular in the western world today may seem too nude for other cultures. If you want your product to be successful in emerging markets, pay attention to cultural aesthetics. You can find inspiration in regional products or hire local designers who are familiar with user preferences. Design tailored to local aesthetics will make your product more attractive.

Regional features

When Google adopted Google Maps for India, it took into account that India is the largest two-wheeled vehicle market in the world, and millions of motorcyclists and scooters have different needs than car drivers. He released two-wheel mode in his application. In this mode, travel routes are displayed using the shortest paths that are not available for cars and trucks.

Testing and feedback

All the principles that you just read can help you create a better interface for mobile devices, but they will not replace the research and testing needs of users. You still need to test your solution with real users in order to understand which parts of the interface need improvement.


Encourage user feedback whenever possible. To collect valuable feedback, you need users to easily leave it. Thus, embedding the feedback mechanism directly into your product. It can be just a form marked “Leave feedback.” Just make sure that it works without problems for your users.

Design is an endless process

It is fair to say that design is a process of continuous improvement. We, product designers, use analytics and user reviews to constantly improve the experience.

Useful tools and resources for designers

Color contrast checker

It’s amazing how many mobile apps fail the AA test. Do not be one of them! It is important to check the availability of color contrast. Use the WebAIM Color Contrast Checker to check the contrast of color combinations.

Interface Kits for Adobe XD

A well-designed interface will make your application great. It’s great when you can create an interface, not from scratch, but using such a solid foundation as a set of interface elements (UI kit). Adobe XD has five sets of interface elements that you can download absolutely free. These kits will enhance your creativity and help create visually interesting interface designs.


Great design is the perfect combination of beauty and functionality, and this is exactly what you should strive for when creating an application. But do not try on the first attempt to create the perfect application. It’s almost impossible. Instead, treat your application as an ever-evolving project and use test session data and user reviews to constantly improve your user experience.


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