UI and UX Are Critical for Mobile App Success

Marina Astapchik
IT Trends Research Specialist
October 10, 2012

To design a mobile app with a superlative user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) is a challenging task. This is conditioned by the very nature of mobile devices–compactness and their ability to be used on-the-go. The mobile phone screen is much smaller than that of a desktop monitor and simply cannot display large amounts of information. However, mobile is not just about making things smaller.

It's crucial to decide precisely which features and functionality you intend to deliver, and to whom. After that, you need to make sure you care for the look-and-feel of the app to the mobile device it runs on, and to the tasks it has to achieve. When the mobile app fits perfectly on the mobile device screen and adequately responds to the gestures that users know, it provides much of the experience they are looking for.

Why are UI and UX critical for success of a mobile app? The competition in the app marketplace is getting tighter, since the overall number of mobile apps is growing at a staggering pace. According to IDC's study "IDC Predictions 2012: Competing for 2020", the key metrics for the year of 2012 include the following:

  • 1.5 million mobile apps will be available, over 15 times the number of PC apps;
  • 85 billion mobile apps will be downloaded;
  • The number of Android apps will finally exceed those for Apple’s iOS;
  • Mobile devices spending will grow 23%, driving 43% of IT growth.

Good UI/UX is what separates successful apps from unsuccessful ones. However, like all shoes are not created equal, the UX across multiple platforms would be different as well. It is therefore important to take into account platform/OS-specific principles and adjust UI elements correspondingly without altering the core functions.

As you design every aspect of your app, it's essential to keep the user expectations uppermost in your mind. The mobile app should pull the user in and keep him engaged with a simple yet effective design.

Industries and Technology Areas:

Industries: information technology

Technology Areas: mobile application development, software development, UI development, UX development, smartphone, tablet, Android, iOS, iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry, Windows Phone

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