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Ten Tips to Build Killer Mobile Apps by blending User Psychology with UI/UX Design

App startups often wonder why users are not interacting with the product in the manner they hoped. Persuading people to perform a particular task is definitely a challenging job. Especially for apps, requiring people to sign up or buy their products. Nevertheless, apps wanting repetitive actions from users face the same dilemma. Since the dawn of the time, people are thinking differently, acting differently and faring differently from each other.

The Psychology behind Different Opinions

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The basic axiom is there can only be one truth and one standard to determine right and wrong, reckoning the empirical facts as well as the ethical standards. However, the limited knowledge and vision of us – the human beings; make us unable to distinguish between what that truth or theatrical standard is – the least we can do is approximate them in our minds. One of the many explanations directs us to assume that all the human intelligence is still limited in their minds and to the perception of their reality. People usually know so much or sense much and thus, when people form opinions based on their knowledge and perception of reality, they become prone to errors.

The perception of UI & UX Designers Varies

The above psychology is true when it comes to different views of design that people of different backgrounds, education, and experience have. A UI designer approaches design from one point of view, the UX designer from the other and the programmer or the developer has yet another view. Thus, it is interesting to understand the part of UI/UX psychology that others or users of an app are experiencing.

Most often, developers or UI/UX designers have a false perception that they understand their audience and users. In reality, designers are free to design what and how they want; consequently, the thing that matters to the highest degree is thinking about the next step in the process. Ordinarily, analyzing and then reacting with the feasible solution displaying how the layout would break apart and come together decides the fate of engaging UI/UX.

This blog is an attempt to understand the psychology of app users, understanding what they think and why they think. Above all apprehending what would make users to perform a certain action and interpreting how changing and redesigning the layout of the app will offer users with much-needed encouragement along with frictionless experience to perform a particular task for which the app is intended.

Ten Tips to Understand the Users Psychology of Experiencing UI/UX Design

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1. Never Expect Users to Think or Work More – Bring Ease to Your Apps UI/UX Design

  • Typically, users want to complete a task with minimum efforts
  • Progressive disclosure of information is the key to design exceptional UI/UX. Provide users with information first, and then offer a choice to know more
  • Instead of just plain text let users see an example
  • Affordance of the on-screen object has to ensure scope for clickable items. Nevertheless, make sure clickable objects portray their clickablity.
  • Providing little, but meaningful information about the features is the best way to position a product. More than the required information clutters up space.
  • Think of offering ‘Defaults’, this will intimidate people to complete the job in minimum efforts.

2. Every App User Has Certain Limitations – Understand and Negate Them

  • Users, lose interest in apps having too much information or too much text, restrict your UI to offer only that amount of information that is much-needed
  • Ascertain that the offered information is easy to scan
  • Use attractive headers and text blocks whenever you feel there is too much text
  • Not every user is a multitasker; accordingly, avoid UI/UX designs needing multitasking
  •  As per the conundrum, people have a tendency to prefer information in short lengths, but they read better with long sentences
  • Based on expected outcome from the apps, decide either to design, performance or preference based UI/UX; remember, users generally ask for things that are not best suited to them

3. Users Commit Mistakes – Analyze and Eradicate such Possibilities

  • No matter how easy or simple UI design is users will commit mistakes, predict possibilities where users might commit mistakes and eradicate such possibilities.
  • Avoid possibility of silly errors resulting in severe results, better to use confirmation dialogue before letting user take an action
  • Give importance to undo function
  • Helping users to correct their errors is not a good practice, but preventing them from happening is the appreciable, “The best error message is a no message at all”.
  • Break a complicated or error-prone task into little chunks
  • If your UI rectifies any error, let users know about it
  •  Even UI/UX designers commit mistakes; consequently, it is better to depend on iteration, user feedback, and testing.

4. Understanding the Habit of a Mobile App User is Complicated – Keep It Simple

  • Humans reconstruct memories. Moreover, to get an insight about your UI/UX Design watch users in action rather than taking their word of review
  • Keep the layout simple to understand avoiding dragging of users to remember how a task is completed from one point to another
  • Follow “Seven Plus or Minus Two” rule. As users usually remember only 3-4 items on a screen, avoid display of more than 4 products in a single screen

5. Humans Are Social So Your Users – Incorporate the Social Element in UX/UI Design

  • Way again, it has been proved that people depend on technology to be social
  • UI design must give scope to social validation, wherein users look for guidance before performing a certain action, especially if they are in doubt, this is why ratings, reviews of an app can make or break the image of your app.
  • Design the UI/UX in such a way that it motivates users to do specific action together and at the same time called as ‘Synchronous behavior’, which initiates social components allowing users of the same app to bond together
  • If your app needs people to fill out a form, ensure to give them something they want and then motivate them to fill the form this is called ‘Reciprocity’ – returning a favor
  • People like imitating others show users how other people did a job and they will start doing what you want them to

6. Capture User Attention – Avoid Distraction Improve Uniqueness of the Design

  • Grabbing the attention of a user is a key to a killer and engaging UI/UX design. Although this is a vast topic, ensure users are less distracted when they are paying attention to some key concerns.
  • A design with a difference will always stand out. People are attracted to something that is different and novel, so make your UI design unique and appealing.
  •  Take thorough advantage of ‘Change Blindness’. It is a psychological term wherein changes in the visual field must be passed unnoticed by the users
  • Bright colors, large fonts, beeps, and tones play an important role in capturing users’ attention
  • Using random videos or flashing banners and ads will distract users, avoid such distractions, but do it when you want to distract the users

7. Users are Hungry for Information – Feed Them

  • According to human biology, learning is dopaminergic, it intimidates people to crave for information
  • Users look for more information than they can process. More information persuades people into thinking that they have options. More options make people think they are in control of the app.
  • The feeling of being in control enhances the chances of users liking your application.
  • At every stage, provide feedback to the users. People are always interested to know what is going on say ‘saving’ or ‘uploading’ if users are saving or uploading something

8. Commit Users in Taking Action –Design to Meet Expectations from the App

  • If your UI/UX design instigates people to take small action like signing up for a free membership, if yes then you can easily persuade them to carry out a larger action (Subscription)
  • Hit the emotional side of the user’s brain by showing them pictures of people or by telling stories so that it can influence the decision-making capacity of the user
  • Framing is another element in UI/UX design. The psychological behavior of the people is largely affected by the matters even they are not aware of. Use words in such a manner that it should compel the users to walk down slower even in the halls.

9. Users Create Mental Models – Manage and Imitate Users Mental Model

  • More often, people create a mental model about specific task or object like paying utility bills, reading books or using an app.
  • Design the user interface that will create a mental model in users mind about how easy a particular task can be after using your app.
  • Create a positive UX by either matching conceptual model of your product or website with the user’s mental model or by teaching users to build a different mental model.
  • Use metaphors wherever possible it will help users in creating a conceptual mental model.

10. Visual Appearance of the App – Design Must Be Engaging, Appealing and Soothing

  • Avoid cluttering pages in the app. It is tougher for users to find information in a cluttered design. Use Grouping so that users can focus on where you wanted their eyes to be
  • One of the major principles of great UI/UX design is “Things that are close together are believed to go together”.
  • Instead of using decorative fonts use font type and size that is easy to read
  • According to human psychology people rely on peripheral vision to get at the core of what they are looking; therefore, make your UI design eye-catching
  • Together Red and Blue colors are more arduous to look at. Avoid using red text on blue background or vice versa
  • Think of using canonical perspective to make objects look slightly angled and slightly above the ground, making it easier for users to recognize on-screen objects.

Conclusion: Modern UI/UX design is based on intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. The kind of motivation that persuades user’s to take an action. Usually, such action is largely dependent on the outcome and expectations of the app. UI/UX design that motivated users to do something using external factors like rewards or gifts are extrinsic motivations. On the contrary, intrinsic motivation is a voluntary action from the user to perform a specific act out of mere enjoyment derived from doing an activity.

While designing UI/UX of an app, it is important to consider the psychology of intended users. A fine insight about the expectations, delivery and the chance of betterment will eventually lead to developing a killer mobile app with equally killer UI/UX design.

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  • chris jericho

    Thanks for sharing this technical knowledge with us. It can really work for us & we also know that Mobile Application market growing day by day..

    • Thank you, Chris, we really appreciate your humble comment