User experience is all about eliminating points of friction and delivering an experience that users will come back to and enjoy. People use their mobile devices for entertainment, but increasingly also to make their lives easier and more convenient. Mobile manufacturers are constantly trying to improve mobile user experiences as technology continues to evolve and as the amount of mobile platforms and devices continues to increase.
Here are five ways mobile developers can improve UX:
1. Gather as much data as possible on your users to strengthen your network:
Even if your application doesn’t use the data natively, if it has the ability to collect information on users you should leverage this data to inspire other apps to integrate with your app. In an increasingly niche use-case world, profiling users and exposing profiles via your API makes your app or platform more desirable to other developers. This provides a better user experience because your app becomes more deeply tied with other app systems, strengthening both of your apps or platforms and distribution networks.
2. Be smarter about push notifications:
Optimize push notifications to prompt a user when they are ready to engage with your app, not whenever the app is ready to be engaged with. With geofencing and user profiles your app can determine user location and behavior patterns to determine what time and place in their schedule is an optimal time for them to receive their notifications.
For instance, it is unnecessary for notifications to come in when a person is at work or at the gym and is not looking at their phones to see them. Often times notifications that aren’t viewed right away are lost and become after thoughts. A better user experience means delivering notifications when the user is ready to view them instead of when the app is ready to deliver them, like during their daily commute when they are on the train and staring at their phone.
3. Deep linking:
One negative experience mobile users have is the lack of seamless transition from app to app. Being able to easily link to content inside mobile apps could make them easier to use, improve mobile search and boost the mobile advertising industry. The web has a system for directing people where advertisers want them to go. The mobile experience forces users to search within apps that don’t link up.
With new technology from companies like Quixley and URX you can put a link into a mobile app, web page or email that sends users to a specific section of another app installed on the device. Facebook uses deep links to allow companies to show ads based on users’ Facebook likes that take them directly to a specific and relevant place inside a mobile app. Deep linking allows mobile advertising to more closely resemble online advertising and benefits users because it enables them to search the content of mobile apps the way they do on the web.
4. Design for the platform:
You should design your app to perform specifically for the language and functionality of each platform it will live on. iOS users are accustomed to a set of iOS gestures and standards, Android users have their own expectations and Windows Mobile users experience something different still. Designing for the platform means making your app native to the way users use their device. This means speaking the language of the platform that users are used to.
5. Create a mobile experience and platform from the bottom up:
To create a frictionless mobile experience, it takes more than transferring a desktop solution onto a mobile device. Desktop platforms and mobile platforms are designed differently in terms of how someone performs different functions on each. To create an experience that satisfies what users expect from their mobile devices, it is important to take the time to create a mobile experience from the bottom up.