The key to a successful mobile application is a UI that's not only polished, but easy to use. The Telerik suite of mobile solutions was built with that in mind.
A 'great user experience' is the most important aspect of digital business initiatives, yet it is one of the least understood aspects of digital transformation. While most businesses understand the strategic value of UI/UX, few understand exactly how to tackle it and how to bring it into a project.
For successful digital transformation, businesses are increasingly aware of the necessity to be more user-centric. A good user experience (UX) comes with many advantages: a competitive edge, a stronger brand—and especially happy and loyal customers. But user (or customer) experience does not stop at web or mobile interfaces. It extends to all on-and-offline touch points to create a consistent multi-channel experience.
Tech-savvy users increasingly expect digital solutions to be more like easy-to-use software applications. And while they may complain about the usability of the app, they do not always know exactly what they need. That means there is a need to develop a keener understanding of what users might want—and require—based on what solution the application is providing. Rewards go to those who get it right. Research shows that design-centric businesses that place more value on UI/UX than their peers achieve productivity gains and higher equity valuations.
Although digital transformation is not just about customer-facing functions, it’s clear that in many transformation projects, the customer experience is a key driver and catalyst. And when it comes to the world of mobile applications, user interface and customer experience determines the actual usage, adoption and eventually the success of an application.
Your app's user interface is everything that the user can see and interact with. A successful mobile application is a blend of functional solutions for the user’s everyday problems, yet easy to use. Users like simplicity but they also need an app that delivers useful value to some aspect of their life, without having to spend hours learning the functionality or usage.
So here’s what you need to think about when evaluating and developing a design pattern and user interface for your mobile app.
With mobile becoming the platform of choice for more users these days, gestures are becoming more relevant than ever. The best thing about using gestures on mobile is that they feel intuitive and responsive in the same way a real object would.
The success of a mobile app or site can be made or broken by how effectively it uses gestures and animations. Android, iOS, and other mobile platforms continue to provide an increasing variety of gestures natively that can be implemented for taking particular actions or navigating through the app. Not only does this help preserve screen real-estate by eliminating some on-screen buttons, but it also makes the experience intuitive and fun. Combine this with various animations, and you can have a field day with the ways you can implement UI design patterns in your mobile applications.
Helping users navigate should be a high priority for almost every application. After all, even the coolest feature or the most compelling content is useless if people can’t find it. Navigation menus are lists of content categories or features, typically presented as a set of links or icons that are grouped together with visual styling distinct from the rest of the design.
There are many different ways to structure navigation when building a mobile app. Each structure has its advantages and disadvantages. Usually, the content of the app itself will dictate the type of navigation.
For example a bar at the bottom for navigation is probably one of the most popular types of navigation. This type of navigation structure keeps a fixed set of buttons on the bottom of the screen. From many of Apple’s native apps to Facebook, thousands of apps use bottom navigation. It is easy to use and the go-to choice for many apps. The navigation should always be viewable, no matter what page you are on. The user should always know where to head when they need to go somewhere else.
The hidden menu, also called the expanding menu, is typically utilized when there are more than five options. These menus can be scrollable and can hold any number of links. Of course, it is not a good idea to go crazy with long lists.
Lists can be presented using text, icons, photos, or just about anything else you can imagine. Layouts give an option to arrange items horizontally or vertically.
When a user needs a way to navigate between different sections of the app without being distracted in each individual section, slideouts and transitions could be an appropriate solution.
This entails a secondary section of the application—such as navigation, chat, settings, user profiles, etc.—being tucked away in a collapsible panel, which is hidden under the main section when not needed. When accessed, it usually either moves the main section aside or slides over it.
Since the slideout is in a separate layer from the main content in the application, there’s a lot of flexibility in terms of how content can be laid out inside the drawer—icons, text, and even simple controls are viable options to provide quick access to important actions here. It’s an easy way to hide all the less important things in a “side drawer” and not worry about how a mobile application should distill the most important information. Instead, you only have to focus on how to distill the most important information in each view that’s accessible from the side drawer.
Given the explosion of information now accessed from mobile devices, data visualization can play a central role in enhancing the mobile experience for your users. It can help them visually interpret what’s going on underneath all that data and quickly respond to the most relevant items for better, faster decision-making.
It is becoming extremely important to process and analyze data and content, and then provide visually appealing ways to facilitate consumption and interaction in a mobile friendly way.
With a simple drag-and-drop interface, developers can interactively change what data is seen and explore different combinations of visualizations against real data.
Various types of charts can be used to compare data and make the data easier to understand. Gauges are a great way to illustrate the magnitude of a value in a given range of upper and lower bounds. This could be speed, distance, temperature or progress of a process.
Mobile app performance cannot be ignored. Users tend to stop using an app based on its performance, regardless of fancy UI designs, layouts, navigations and feel.
Performance takes center stage when it comes to user experience. Bad performance could mean three items from a user's perspective: 1) the app takes too long to launch, 2) the app takes too long to do something for the user, 3) the app takes too long to do something for the user, and even after waiting for a response, it doesn’t even work.
When it comes to performance, an app which offers a smooth experience with native quality performance is always a winner.
User Experience is one of the core solutions in the Progress Digital Transformation arsenal. You get to build successful mobile applications with more than 50 components that users would love interacting with.
Create beautiful and flexible charts with smooth interaction and zooming—area, line, pie, scatter and more. You can show trends with Line, Area and Spline Area Charts, compare sets of data with Bar Charts (both horizontal and vertical) and illustrate proportions with Pie Charts. The wrappers for iOS and Android and the platform specific version of Windows Phone support OHLC and Financial Series.
Easily implement various calendar scenarios with week, month and year views. Enjoy single, multiple and range date selection, support for appointments features, etc.
Explore navigation options with ListView and try different layout modes, pull to refresh features and more. Add additional space to your app and use it for navigation or custom content with Slides, which can come in from all four sides of the screen with SideDrawer.
Telerik Mobile UI solutions cover multiple platforms and form factors and address all four key aspects of UI design and patterns discussed above.
User Experience/Customer Experience takes center stage when it comes to digital initiatives. UI/UX is becoming more and more relevant in this era of digital transformation. App designers and developers are in high demand now, particularly in user interface. UI design focuses on user experience and interaction, and while being easy to use is important, a design that is both attractive and practical is essential to the success of an app.
To make a successful app, make sure you pick a solution that not only adds elegance and polish, but also brings in simplicity and ease of use for your users, to truly create an enjoyable experience.
Shravanthi Alimilli is a Product Marketing Manager for the Telerik Mobile UI bundle, including UI for NativeScript, iOS, Xamarin and Android. Shravanthi is passionate about emerging technologies and her responsibilities include bringing to market best in class products.
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