10 Mobile App Design Tips for Maximizing Customer Engagement

19th June 2017

10 Mobile App Design Tips for Maximizing Customer Engagement


When you’re making a mobile app, customer engagement is everything. We’re talking about UX or user experience, and it is the most important driver of your app’s popularity and longevity. Fortunately for you, we’ve learned a lot from other people’s app mistakes (including our own).

Design with the user in mind.

What is the objective of the user when considering your app? Why are they here? If they download, they should feel something special and valuable when they use it. Maximizing customer engagement means understanding what motivated the customer to download your app to begin with.

Design for user experience and what the audience should feel when using your app.

As users come back to the app, users should feel immersed in your brand at all times. I cringe when I download an app and see the logo slapped on the navigation bar in almost every screen. A good brand implementation does not require the need to do that, people just know from the second they tap on your App Icon from the home screen to launch it.

As show above: Remove the logo, it takes up space that could be useful to serve a purpose instead. Users don’t need to be reminded of what app they are currently using.

Focus on one task per screen.

Each screen should support one goal-driven activity, which will make it easy to use. Even though virtually everyone has a smartphone, you should design your app for the most novice user.

Make navigation easy and intuitive.

Otherwise, you run the risk of losing your audience. Go for big, simple buttons, in plain English (not tech speak). Don’t make the text too small or tight because you’ll kill accessibility and frustrate older users.

Design for the one-handed.

85% of Smartphone users access it with one hand. Also, design for multiple screen sizes so your app translates well across any digital device.

Optimize load times to make the app appear lightning-fast.

If your app still has long loading times then think of ways to make loading screens (or indicators) less boring to keep your users distracted from the lengthy loads.

Example of an engaging loading indicator which can help increase user experience when waiting for content to load. (credit: Murat Mutlu)

Match your design for the operating system you’re using.

iPhone lovers use their phone differently from Android lovers. Don’t just copy the mobile app from one platform to the next. Make sure you’re interfacing properly across every screen, from desktop to smartphone, tablet, or the web to improve customer engagement.

Quality Assurance.

Test your assumptions before go-live. How smooth were the interactions between tester and app?

Use grids in your design work.

Grids keep everything uniform from page to page. Grids will help you be consistent and create visual connections between screens (you designers know what I’m talking about here).

Stick with one idea and don’t mix your messages.

Do not lose sight of the primary purpose of the app. Your app should focus on one goal, one idea, and one purpose. Anything else is a red herring that will kill your customer engagement metrics.

Squareball Studios is a creative company that entitle disruptors, startups, and Fortune 500s to realize their vision through mobile app development, design, and strategic solutions.

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