Mobile apps are being used more than ever.
In fact, since Q3 in 2019, mobile app usage has grown 25% year over year, with 180 billion total hours spent worldwide during each month of July, August, and September of 2020.
Industries have been forced to adapt, but with the shift comes the opportunity for organizations to capitalize. For example, the medical industry has reworked how it typically delivers healthcare, with various organizations introducing many new mobile health apps.
These apps, also known as mHealth apps, have seen a large increase in demand, particularly since the onset of the pandemic. As App Annie reports, mHealth apps have seen a 65% worldwide increase in downloads from February to May of this year.
If you’ve ever thought about designing an app for your organization, or you currently have one developed, this data highlights many opportunities; although it also shows that you’ve got some solid competition to go up against.
In order to perform better than the competition, companies must acknowledge the importance of a thorough design practice. This means taking a step-by-step approach when designing an app to maximize the opportunity for success.
What does this approach look like?
We’ve gone ahead and highlighted four of the most important steps that the best companies follow:
1. They Are Passionate About Research
The best organizations embrace and are guided by research and data.
There are many design features available for any app, but it’s important to choose wisely so that goals and objectives are adequately reached without wasted resources.
When thinking about mobile app design, MindSea follows a tried and tested Blueprint to help determine a strategy that will result in success. Completing thorough upfront planning and studying your users will help you decide what you should and shouldn’t include in your app. This will not only save you time and money, but it will also maximize the potential for a great user experience.
Research and testing should ideally be ongoing from the minute you begin thinking about designing an app and continue through until the prototype is complete.
Have a read through our blog on user testing to gain knowledge on the what, why, and how questions about user studies.
2. They Acknowledge Personalization And Customization
The best mobile apps give users the freedom to enjoy personalized features. Offering a personalized user experience can help create loyal customers because customization allows every user’s specific needs to be met.
At MindSea, we understand that users value personalized features. From a design lens, API features can have benefits on user experience.
Some of these features, along with some examples of how companies have used them, include:
- Visuals – API features like dark mode and widgets can help to improve aspects such as readability and navigation. Additionally, personalization of colours and appearance for apps like mHealth apps can create comfort for users. WhatsApp recently introduced dark mode to improve readability for its users.
- App icons – For their tenth birthday, Instagram allowed users to pick from a list of app icons, which added a nostalgic touch to their user experience.
- Push notifications – Netflix uses push notifications to send personalized messages to users about new movies and shows that they might like based on their watching habits.
This list isn’t exhaustive as there are many other ways to personalize an app. However, these features, and many more, are often overlooked.
3. They Love To Innovate Using The Latest Technology
New mobile app technology becomes available frequently. It’s important to stay up to date with these innovations so that your app maintains credibility against your competitors.
For mHealth apps, the addition of new technology can further improve your users’ well-being.
In the case of Constant Health, MindSea introduced a “Clinician Portal” where users can interact with real dieticians to ask questions and feel comfortable with their diet.
The addition of new technology, such as augmented reality, has many other benefits from a user perspective as well. AR allows a unique, immersive, and enhanced user experience that will leave an impression on users.
Here are some examples:
- Ikea offers a feature called Ikea Place on their mobile app, which allows users to pick and place furniture in a 3D virtual format so that they can get an idea of how it will look in a chosen room before they purchase it.
- Mac Cosmetics uses facial recognition technology to allow users to try make-up options on their faces prior to purchase.
Again, this list isn’t exhaustive and there are various other technological innovations that can and should be considered for your mobile apps.
4. They Understand Why Simplicity Works
To follow innovation and advanced technology with a section on simplicity seems contradictory, but let us explain…
When thinking of mobile app design sometimes less is more. Fancy features are great, but you don’t want to go overboard. You wouldn’t want a user to stop using your app because it’s too complicated. A healthcare app, for example, is designed to improve well being, not to stress users out even more.
Simplicity in a mobile app means:
- Simple navigation through the app
- Seamless buying experience
- Clear core functionality
In the case of PsychScope, we used simplicity because we wanted the launch of the app to be smooth and easy-to-use so that users can seamlessly incorporate it into their daily routine.
Confusing users with too many complicated features can cause them to churn before they even get started, so make sure to pick and choose wisely.
Designing your app doesn’t have to be nerve-racking. With proper planning, dedication, and staying atop of new trends, you can leverage the opportunity the pandemic has created by designing or redesigning a mobile app for your organization.
So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to start designing your mobile app!
At MindSea, we value that every mobile app requires its own unique strategy. Through a decade’s worth of experience, we understand that developing an app requires a lot of diligence and preparation. Need a guiding hand to start your app development journey off on the right foot? Get in touch with us today.