Mobile App Development

Developing Great Apps: Understanding The Importance of UX/UI Design

8th February 2013

In order to develop great apps that work for your business, you must consider the importance of UX (user experience) and UI (user interface) design. There are two different approaches to app development – but only one is really correct. All too often we see poorly designed apps for iPhone, iPad and Android that have been created by a programmer or coder. If you want your app to be effective in generating sales or leads, you must begin your project with an understanding of user behaviour. Your app should be designed by someone who understands the psychology of user behaviour. Every design decision that’s made should focus on delivering a slick and seamless user experience in order to increase conversion performance. We tend to find this is a specialist role and that apps must be developed from the front end by a designer. If programmers get started too early creating functionality, it’s difficult to be true to the overall UX/UI design and deliver a great experience that works for your business.

User Interface design is the part of the app that faces the user, whereas User Experience is how they feel when using the app. Applying effective User Experience design into the app development process is essential in engaging the end user and invoking the desired emotional or transactional response. Apps are designed to fulfil key business objectives – generating new revenue streams, enhancing brand identity and engaging users. By developing a slick and fluid User Experience design within the app development process, businesses and brands can ultimately help to fulfil wider strategic objectives. User Experience design requires detailed qualitative user feedback and should be driven to stimulate an appropriate emotional response in the context of fulfilling wider commercial goals.

We’ve listed several apps below that we feel showcase the best of UX for iOS.

Clear (iPhone)

Clear is a simple ToDo list app which has an intuitive, virtually non-existent interface; one that is completely gesture based using swipes, pinches and touches. Clear uses colour and sounds creatively to create a very pleasing user experience imbuing the user with the satisfaction of getting things done. See Clear here.

Summly (iPhone)

Summly is a news aggregation app that summarises articles into single page snippets. Using a very simple, clean interface; using mostly gesture based swipes to navigate between articles and through the menu hierarchy. Summly also employs a radial menu in the article view by pressing and holding anywhere on the page bringing up visually pleasing sharing options encouraging user interaction. See Summly here.

Flipboard (iPhone & iPad)

Flipboard is an extremely popular digital social magazine that aggregates news from web and social sources and displays them in a magazine like form. Flipboard’s use of transitions to ‘Flip’ through pages imitates real world reading and gives the user gratification of progressing through the content rather than one long stream of never ending information. See Flipboard here.

Paper (iPad)

Paper is a sketching app for the iPad with a very simple interface using natural gestures to navigate between notebooks and pages and to access the tray of tools to draw. The unique feature of Paper is the Undo gesture of two fingers winding counter-clockwise to “rewind” through the previous steps. Paper’s tools use sophisticated algorithms to try to recreate digitally the real world stroke of a brush or of mixing ink; allowing even the most novice artist to create a beautiful sketch. See Paper here.

Since 2007 Waracle has been developing high performance mobile apps designed to delight and engage the end user. Having worked with blue chip brands across the UK Waracle has gained a solid understanding of the User Interface design and User Experience design process. Waracle work develop apps for iPhone, Android, iPad, Web, Facebook and Smart TV with clients from Glasgow to Edinburgh, London and beyond. Our aim is to develop awesome apps for our customers that seriously fulfil wider commercial objectives and goals.

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