There is nothing that turns off users as much as bad UX. Your mobile app should provide a seamless user experience if you want it to be one of the most successful apps. Everything from the moment your users download the app to the moment they check out needs to be seamless. The thing about user experience is that no one notices it when it is good, but everyone complains about it when it fails. Your goal should be creating an efficient and enjoyable experience for your users. Mobile App usability problems can mean the difference between an app that is immediately deleted and one that is constantly used. You need to make sure your users spend the least effort to use your app.
What Does Mobile App Usability Mean?
First of all, you need to understand that UX is not usability. UX transcends usability, therefore usability is an aspect of UX. Usability is the focus between the user and the product, how effective, efficient and simple to use the product is in helping the user achieve his goals.
Successful apps are intuitive and easy to learn. The shorter the time taken for a user to become familiar with the app, the more usable it is. Furthermore, it should be very easy for the user to achieve his goals using the platform. Finally, a usable app is error free. These factors help determine the degree of usability of an app.
Usability should always take precedence over every other UX element. You need to make your app as simple to use as possible. No matter how pretty it looks, it will be deleted in an instant if users can’t figure it out. Here are the best methods to overcome mobile usability problems:
- Platform Usability
The first thing that your app should do is to be able to work on the smartphone your user has. Android and iOS are two of the most common platforms, and they are as different as night and day. Each operating system plays by its own set of rules. Your app needs to feel native on both platforms so that your users can be familiar with it and interact with it intuitively.
- Simple Navigation
No one likes poor navigation in an app. For e-commerce apps especially, users loath having to deal with poor navigation issues. Immediately a user downloads your app, they need to figure out how to navigate from point A to B, and how to get from point B to wherever their goal is. Organize your features in such a way that makes sense to any user.
- Provide Value Instantly
Your users need to see the value of your app from as early as possible. You need to entice new users during their onboarding process. They need to be convinced to stay within the first week of downloading your app if you want to lower user abandonment rates.
- Minimize the Number Of Steps
The fewer the strokes and swipes a customer has to make before achieving his goal, the better. You need to minimize the number of pages, buttons, input fields and hurdles a user has to jump over to get to where they want. For example, when your user can store their billing information instead of having to key it in afresh every time they want to use your platform, you save them the extra effort and they will appreciate the usability of your platform.
- Minimize Scrolling
Prioritize your content so that your users do not have to scroll. As a user, I want to get exactly what I came to your platform for within the limits of my screen. I wouldn’t mind scrolling down for more if I have to, but side scrolling is a no-no. Successful apps do not make users scroll sideways, and they make them scroll down only if they have to.
- Clear Content
Simplify content. What is your main point? What idea are you trying to convey? Your app needs to be concise. You need to give the user only the information he/she requires to complete his/her goal and no more. For example, for retail apps, you need to give your users all the information that they need to make a purchase, without withholding any vital information. However, too much information will result in poor UX. You need to know where to strike the balance.