5 Quick Tips on Mobile App Usability

mobile_app

With the rapid increase in technological innovations and digital what-not’s nowadays, it seems as if the business world has been shrouded by the irresistible desire to produce more ways to cope up with the trend.

From the mobility of communication devices to the mobility and convertibility of data, down to the ease of access to information and the ease to accomplish tasks. Clearly, technology already became one of the necessary needs of a person to be able to cope up with the demands of his/ her environment and the community. It started with telephones, then computers, then software, and now the world has come to love the availability of mobile applications and their limitless capabilities to help ease the burden off the shoulder of the working individual and to be able to entertain a constantly growing crowd of tech geeks…. no they are not called nerds. Those were the old days!

However, it appears that the efficiency of these apps nowadays have come to a state of entropy.  It seems that the GREAT avalanche of innovations and rapid growth of mobile apps has now turned into an intermittent production of tools that are only made for the sake of producing an application…however dumb it is. It is becoming a fad! Do we really want to do this? I hope not!

Some would probably say that it’s fine as long as they are able to produce and as long as the applications are being downloaded and used nonetheless. But, it is still necessary to remember the purpose for the existence of these applications. Given that technology was invented and innovated to be useful, stressing the idea that these applications must serve a sensible purpose must therefore be closely considered. In order to be properly utilized, a mobile application should be able to help save time, money, entertain, enlighten and ease the effort exerted by the user, and offer a wide variety of functions.It is to either solve a problem, help someone or just for some sense gratification. Whatever it is, the quality and usability must never be compromised.

Furthermore, aside from being able to determine the purpose of the app, it is also very important for an app creator to know what the app can offer? Currently, there are no standard developer guidelines when producing an application because of the wide variety of handset models available. However, most problems in usability arise from hardware issues.

Here, some of the major hardware issues will be addressed and subsequently be given solutions.

  1. Screen Resolution

screen resolution

In order for a mobile application to be fully utilized, it is important to consider the clarity of its contents. Screen Resolution refers to the clarity and the readability of the displays on the screen. A high resolution caters a clearer display.

With the diversity and the wide variety of phones in the market nowadays, it is impossible for a developer to know and assess the standard resolution of an application which could also affect the usability of the app because adding more features would only add up to the issue. Therefore, the only way to solve this problem is to put as little information on the page and then make it bigger .

  1. Colors and Contrast

It is given that every developer wants to beautify his/her app since making it more attractive would help in marketing or even pulling viewers. However, keep in mind that you should also consider the readability and the clarity of the contents of your app before using subtle colors. Also, the fact that mobile phones were called “mobile” for a very obvious reason should also be highly considered. Remember that the user carries the phone everywhere and uses the app on different lightings. So, using subtle colors would probably make it difficult for them to read or see the displays on their screen clearly.

The solution to this problem is to use high contrast color schemes and separate widgets with blocks of solid color. Also using simple graphics and not using too much frills would greatly help in making the application more useful.

  1. Font Size

Now we arrive at the last hardware component that often has app issues. The font size. Readability refers to the users in ease in reading and understanding the information encoded on the mobile application. This is very important since this is one of the means to relay information to the user.

All cell phones contain fonts that are either too small or too full of frills that the user finds it hard to understand … you sometimes need to buy some new pair of glasses or you probably think that you may have to visit an eye clinic to get your vision sorted out. Maybe some of us may just think that this app is screwed up for real.

We know that the developer cannot do anything about the font on the phone. However, what you can actually do is to make the font on the app more readable. Ideally setting the size into 14 px. This way, the font will not be too annoyingly big and at the same time readable enough for the user. Too big a font makes the app look unprofessionally done while too small a font makes it not user friendly. You have to ensure optimum size fonts are selected.

  1. Button Functions

buttin functions

Considering the fact that mobile phones and apps are used by different age groups and different people with different mindsets, inclinations and capabilities , so it would be a great help in developing a successful application for your target market.

Some mobile users are not that much of an expert when operating their mobile phones making it highly necessary for a developer to put in clear instructions for the buttons and the operating tools in the app, so that any user will be able to use the application with ease. Always develop from a user’s perspective even though sometimes developers like to go the extra mile by infusing what THEY think is the best most techie way of doing things, even though the ultimate result will not be helpful or useful for users. So think of end users before you do your UI or UX.

  1. Cursor

cursor

The most annoying part of the mobile phone is the cursor. Unlike computing devices, mobile phones don’t have as large graphics and therefore they do not have the kind of ease that the computer’s cursor provides. Plus, mobile phones and models largely differ in feature and so it will be really difficult for a particular user to drop or drag objects, even to transfer the cursor to a particular area when editing.

And so, to avoid such issues and further problems, make anything on the screen clickable and enlarged so that the users will be able to use the app with more ease.

To sum it up , flexibility is the key factor when producing a highly utilized mobile application. Working with diverse types of mobile phones and platforms and trying to consider their features for your app’s efficiency will be a great pain so it’s necessary that your app should be flexible enough to be able to properly cater to the diverse needs. Developing a mobile app is never easy especially when it comes to complex apps so take heed of the above steps when developing a mobile app for your client or even for yourself.

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