April 4, 2024
UI/UX Design

UI UX Design Principles for Mobile Design

Having a great UI UX design for your apps and mobile interfaces is mandatory, and as designers, we should be aware of that.
Cristi Fonea
April 4, 2024
UI/UX design principles for mobile design

Phones have gained a lot of attention in the last two decades, and as we might expect, this will continue even more.

We use our phones for every task that we have and spend probably more than we should be using them. So, having a great UI UX design for your apps and mobile interfaces is mandatory, and as designers, we should be aware of that. But how do we keep our mobile UX design as accessible as possible? Well, by following the next principles that might be the answers that you were looking for the best user experiences. 

8 Design Principles for Mobile Design

1. Stay away from cluttered design

A cluttered design will make the whole UX design easier. Catching your user's attention is what you should stay focused on. And, having your users stay focused on an endless list of tasks and elements will lead to an overwhelming user experience. Let’s be honest – no one likes to enter an app and have a tone of images and colors thrown right into their faces. Remember what Microsoft Word used to look like? A tone of buttons that had different commands –  a never-ending quest to find that command you were looking for. Imagine having this on our mobile screens – a true nightmare. 

So, maybe a minimalistic user interface can bring a better user experience, for both mobile UX design, and web UX design. One of the most popular design principles related to minimalism is simplicity. In UI/UX design, 9 out of 10 times less is really more. A simple design has a higher chance of getting the point across, while also ensuring smooth and clear navigation.

2. Create a deductible design

Another UX design principle that can make the difference between a bad and good user experience lies in the deductibility of an app. Entering a new app can sometimes be a frustrating experience. Trying to find where to sign up, how to subscribe, or even see where the search bar is, can interfere with your opinion regarding that certain mobile app. So, try and map the experience before your users do. Think like them and see which is the natural order of your elements and create clarity in their experience.

Use familiar navigation patterns that lead to the expected destinations, while keeping it consistent. Integrate commands in the same place throughout your design, so, your users will know what to expect. Use visible and clear information and always let the users know where they are. Whether they landed on the blog or on your about us section, users need to be sure how to exit or how to get back to the home page. 

3. Seamless transitions

Seamless transitions are a must-have property of an app design.  The human attention lifespan is shrinking with every digital advancement. Even more so, we no longer just use a single digital device. We use our phones, our phones, laptops, desktops, and tablets on a daily basis and we need to have a seamless transition between all of them. 

Think about listening to music for example. Spotify helps you have a seamless transition between any digital device you might have. You can make the switch between your phone, laptop, tablet, car, or home assistant in no time, generating a great user experience. So, take this into consideration before creating a new design. 

4. Create finger-friendly designs

Mind your user's needs and keep in mind that mobile displays are smaller than a desktop, tablets, or laptops. The rapidity that comes when navigating through certain buttons is also given by the size of it. The buttons must be eligible and easy to read by all of us. Time is valuable, and it is easy to understand that all users care about how much time they spend on a task. We all have been in situations where we got annoyed by the fact that we couldn’t tap on a button because it was too small or other buttons were placed too close to it. It is essential to follow a grid and create touch buttons that are large enough. 

So, keep in mind that a design needs to include interactions that are suitable for finger-friendly actions, and integrate them into smaller screens such as those for mobile use. 

5. Accessible design 

Accessibility is the key to the gate that anyone can access. Is what makes a user experience good and what we all should think about in the design process. After all, we are creating interfaces for humans, not for unknown creatures. UI UX design should be accessible to anyone, it should follow familiar criteria and should also be inclusive to everyone’s needs. 

In the UX design world, accessibility makes sure we design web pages and apps that give our users the ability to navigate them smoothly. At the same time, web and app design can spark joy and deliver the necessary information without using a secret password. We need to do our research, understand our audience, and respond to their needs.

6. Reduce the necessity for typing

Precision is another important principle designers need to keep in mind, especially on small screens such as the ones on our phones. So, minimize the need for typing and at the same time, the text used throughout the design. Instead of using long texts, use smaller inputs which are easier to read. 

Align labels to the right. Even though we initially mentioned that labels should always be placed above the input fields, sometimes we decide to go for the labels on the left side of them. If this is the case, we must ensure that the text is right aligned. 

In UI UX design, the right alignment supports symmetry which is a key visual element in designs. Besides, it helps our users follow a clearer path when completing a form, and reading the texts used in a design.  Simpler and clearer designs are attractive to most users, as it helps them navigate an app with ease.

7. Create controls that align with hand positioning 

In his research, Steven Hoober demonstrated that when using a mobile device 49% of users rely on their right thumb. So, think about the natural placement of elements and how you can reach them with only the right or left thumb. Place important elements in the proximity of your accessibility and place elements that have a lower interaction rate in harder-to-reach areas. 

8. Test your design

See how your design works. Try it and test it on as many mobile devices as you can and see how it works on each platform. Phones come in different screen sizes so your design might look different regarding the size of the screen. 

uinkits – Our Figma UI Kits and Design System

We at uinkits understand the importance of inputs in great user experiences and creating amazing UI designs. That’s why we’ve developed a Figma UI Kit with design components that include these essential UI elements that enable you to design intuitive and user-friendly interfaces effortlessly.  

“You press the button, we do the rest.” – Kodak.

Inspired by this iconic tagline from Kodak, we believe in simplifying the design process for you. Our Figma UI Kit, uinkits, is a complete design system with UI components that allows you, as a UI UX designer, to create your products as quickly as pressing a button. 

Our design system includes UI components, icons, variables, cards, buttons and everything you need for your design process. All you have to do is take your UI design component needed, and you’re ready to use it in your designs!

Cristi Fonea
April 4, 2024

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