A comprehensive guide to mobile app design

A Comprehensive Guide To Mobile App Design

At the end of 2020, over 3 million apps were on Google Play Store, while iPhone users could choose from about 2 million apps on AppStore.

Data also discovers that the average person uses nine apps per day and 30 apps per month, having a total of 80 apps on their smartphone device.

Each of these apps is attempting to solve a challenge, whether it’s learning, messaging, or simply boredom. Millions of smartphone users can choose from millions of options, which can sometimes be overwhelming.

However, even though it seems like there are too many smartphone apps out there, there’s still space for useful apps. The stakes are high, and you’ll need to build a high-performing app that provides fast and reliable solutions to challenges that your target audience faces.

To attract a more significant number of users, your app must have an exemplary user interface (UI) and provide an outstanding user experience (UX). This means that your app could look good, but this won’t be worth it if it’s not easy for the user to navigate through.

Apps with confounding navigation, cognitive fatigue, and unfriendly architecture are less likely to stand out in a crowded market.

How to achieve the perfect app user interface design?

Well, there’s no correct answer to this question. There’s no formula you can use, and be sure that it will work for you. However, good design is easy to recognize and differentiate from bad design. The perfect result comes when you find the right dose of both UI and UX.

Colours, fonts, and other aspects of your app’s look that build the overall appearance are all part of the user interface.

The main objective of user experience (UX) is to keep a user involved, quickly guiding them through the steps they have to take. Some apps like Airbnb or Uber might seem very minimalistic, but they keep users engaged, clearly showing them every step of the purchase process.

In this article, we’ll list some of the most important things to pay attention to when preparing an app user interface design.

Answer the core challenge

Users have just installed your app and are expecting it to fix a problem right away.

This is where you explain what the app can do for them and how it will improve their lives. Now may not be the moment to brag about the app’s excellent features. Rather, concentrate on solving your users’ primary challenge.

Enable fast loading

Users abandon apps if they take more than a few seconds to load. Their lives are busy, and thus they have no patience to wait. The choice is simply too broad, so if your app doesn’t load immediately, they will find one that does in no time.

You must take action to maintain loading times down for your app to last on the user’s smartphone.

According to the Google Developer website’s PageSpeed Insights blog, holding page loading times under one second has become the benchmark. There are many ways to reduce your app’s loading time, so make sure you make this one of your top priorities when designing an app

Create a seamless registration and onboarding process

To have a personalized interface and improve conversions, an app must first register the customer. This is, however, a move that you must approach with caution.

Requiring a customer to submit personal information right after they open the app causes them to feel uncomfortable and annoyed.

Users are concerned that exchanging their email addresses would result in an avalanche of spam mail. The user installed your app to search, purchase, book, or learn more about something.

First and foremost, meet these standards. Before presenting any personal information, the user must believe that your app will overcome their challenge.

Allowing the customer to take a walk and try out the app for a few minutes before politely reminding them to sign up is a smart idea.

Apps that don’t work until you give them an email address and a password are likely to be replaced by another alternative.

Apps that ask for too much information, have complicated password security mechanisms, or are complex to use in any other way are more likely to fail to gain a user’s confidence.

Moreover, the first time the user enters your app, they have to go through a smooth onboarding process that will let them know what your app is all about.

Onboarding is an opportunity to introduce your story to your customers. You shouldn’t use too many details at once as you’ll drive users away long before they finish the onboarding process. Instead, create an action-oriented onboarding, motivating users to continue going forward.

To make it easier to remember, break the information down into smaller chunks.

Also, offer the user the opportunity to skip and restart the tour at their leisure. This empowers the customer and encourages them to engage in more interactions.

Here are some of the best practices related to registration and onboarding:

  • Enable registration with social media
  • Ask for information at later stages
  • Require minimum permissions
  • Allow users to skip the onboarding tour
  • Minimize the number of notifications

More visuals, less textual information

A user’s cognitive burden is increased because there are too many choices to select from. Too many queries to answer or too much knowledge to read and comprehend.

Users download apps to solve challenges and make their lives easier. When using the app, the cognitive load defeats the intent. Instead of asking users what they need to do next, the app should direct them with clever visuals.

The UI of a successful app should be simple enough for a small child to handle. Decrease the users’ mental burden by using a minimalist interface that only contains the most critical components. Avoid using glamorous design and instead opt for gentle, delicate motion where possible.

Careful with how users hold their devices

We all use our smartphones in a variety of ways. Keeping it in both hands in landscape mode, holding the handset in one hand and scrolling with the thumb, working with both palms, and so on.

Regardless of how you do it, make sure the critical interaction keys are easy to reach with the thumbs. Screens are getting bigger, but thumbs aren’t.

So, make sure you put the most important features and details in the middle. There should be no elements concealed behind the fingertips or hands.

Moreover, be careful with the button size. Small buttons with many elements around them are difficult to reach. It can be aggravating if users keep pressing the adjacent button repetitively.

When using a computer and a cursor to do specific work, things are a little simpler, but you have to plan things differently for thumbs.

Keep it simple and clear with fonts and iconography

Users enjoy apps that have a simple, straightforward font. Keep your font size over 11 scales, as anything less would burden the eyes of your users.

Line spacing, paragraph breaks, and indentations should all be carefully optimized so that the app’s text is concise, clear, and simple to scan.

Also, make sure to add contrast between the font and the background, increasing readability.

Careful with the icon sizes when it comes to pushing notifications. Design an icon that can stand out even on the smallest screen. Also, always stick to minimal design.

You can use a background to make your icons more readable, or you can skip it altogether if your icon is clear and recognizable enough.

Be consistent with your colours

Colour has a function rather than aesthetics. Colour is, in particular, one of the most critical facets of app user interface design.

The right colour scheme will help your users navigate smoothly between pages while still promoting your brand. Your app’s colour combination must match your company’s identity.

Your target demographic is a crucial factor to remember when choosing a colour scheme for your app.

A vivid, multicolour colour palette can make you cater to a wide range of people, regardless of their age, interests, or sensibility, whether the app is aimed at a wide variety of different types of people, especially younger generations.

On the other hand, for a business app that targets serious professionals, you would want to adhere to one or two primary colours to retain a professional atmosphere.


When creating an app, you should try to achieve the right blend of aesthetics and usability.

To have a better app user interface design, you should provide a seamless onboarding process that leads a user’s path on your app with easier navigation and straightforward conversions.

The transition between steps shouldn’t be drastic and the elements on the app should be simple.

Buttons should have the right size and be reachable to thumbs, and the entire app should have more visuals instead of too much textual information.

The best way to improve loyalty and retention is to produce high-quality experiences while looking good doing it, and a good design will help you reach these goals.

Brainster is coming to Vienna

If you have ever thought about a future-proof career in UX/UI Design, have a look at our remote Bootcamps.

What do you want to be when you grow up?