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The Look and Feel Vs the User Experience of Mobile App

Should your mobile app be designed for better user experience or just to ensure the catchy look and feel? This is the principal question that represents and all-pervading confusion common among developers and designers.  Obviously, look and feel of a mobile app does matter. An aesthetically beautiful app with a catchy eye design can be immensely helpful to make a quick impression. The only concern is this aesthetic beauty alone does not result in downloads. This is why, along with great look and feel, the features, functionalities and above all User experience of an app is incredibly important.

In this post, we will offer some guiding principles in regard to building beautiful apps with great User experience.

A Balance Between UI And UX:

As far as developing an app for business is concerned, the design and functionalities of the app should largely depend on the nature of the business. For example,  if you have a retail business and through your app, you want to connect your existing customers and make ordering products easier for them,  you need to optimize the product pages to ensure maximum ease of use, quick browsing, and easier shopping. The design of the product pages should be simple and should offer optimum scope to view the products in detail without requiring moving around much.

So, it is a balance between quickly engaging UI and Functionally superb UX that would make a great app capable of converting business and building the customer relationship.  With a balanced approach, you can ensure that neither the UI needs not to be sacrificed for the sake of user experience, or the other way around.

User-Centric Functionality:

At a time when most apps are struggling to gain user attention, it is incredibly important to make your app completely optimized for the users.  You need to deck your app only with tools and features that help users to achieve their objectives from the app.  Anything less or more will only make your app useless or irrelevant for the users.

Mobile environment demands priority of certain features that are available on other channels in a different way. Just because when shopping through mobile devices users are more exposed to reviews and in-app communications, your app can easily benefit by allowing them to post reviews when buying products through the mobile apps. There are too many retail apps that are allowing their customers posting reviews while browsing all shopping products through the mobile apps.

Mobile Only Functionality:

Certain mobile-only functionalities such as barcode scanning and instant image recognition help customers, even more, to achieve their goals quickly and easily. Define enhancing the usability of apps some mobile only functionalities also can delight users and make user engagement further easier. In this respect, some Mobile UI elements also prove important.  For example, easy to navigate mobile-menu, quick to attend call to action buttons and smooth transition from and task to another, are some of the key attributes that add to the quality of user interface and user experience.

Location Is Key To Business Conversion:

For mobile apps scattering to retail customers, location best technology is a crucial element.  The store locator should easily provide information about the nearest stores based on the location of the mobile device.  The contact information including the phone number of the nearby store should be displayed as soon as the store locator locates the mobile device. This should allow the mobile app user to make a call to the store instantly. The retail app should also provide a real-time map of the surrounding locality featuring the stores nearby.  In every way, a retail app should make it easier to contact and locate a store.

Personalized User Experience:

Offering custom experience to each and every user individually is a challenging task asks for UX designers. With a small screen real estate, a designer does not have much option when it comes to designing on page elements. A small screen and an interface heavy with an array of gestures, offering design for each individual user seems to be literally impossible. From colors to typeface to layout to the scrolling, all these elements cannot be customized for each individual separately. This tremendous challenge didn’t stop designers and developers to take the aspect of individualized user experience seriously and this gave rise to the personalized user experience.

Though such tailored experience has mainly been a common attribute of desktop specific web design, in a mobile environment it has been made popular by a few leading apps and services.  For instance, Amazon for the first time personalized the mobile shopping experience through their knowledge of the customers. On the basis of customer data and user information Amazon offers their customers discounts, promotional offers, and product suggestions.  Today, most retail apps follow the example set by Amazon.

Personalization is different from customization in many respects. First of all, unlike customization, it does not focus only on individualizing the look and feel of an app.  It focuses more on delivering contents as per the preferences of the users. By taking a note of the user data preferences and user habits, a personalized user experience ensures offering contents prepared by the user. So, when it comes to evaluating the role of look and feel of a mobile app against functionality and user experience, personalization offers the most balanced solution.

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