Alpha Software Blog

Mobile App Design Tips - Ideas for Better Apps

As you develop user interfaces, choose color schemes and determine UI designs for your apps, here are some key mobile app design tips to consider. Learn about key errors often found in poorly designed apps, and learns the tips to make your apps better. With better design principles, your apps will fly off the shelves of the app stores.

5 Mobile App Design tips

Companies are in a hurry to get more mobile apps built. Business managers are dreaming of ways they can engage customers on their mobile phones, administrators are inventing new ways to complete business tasks while executives are on the road, and operations leaders are seeking ways to leverage tablets on active workroom floors. 

Unfortunately, more apps don't necessarily make work easier.  Often, users are extremely disappointed with how new business apps perform, and as a result, they don't adopt and use new apps. We've identified 5 problems - and thus 5 tips - that you must consider as you design new business apps.

Design Elements to Consider When Building Apps

As you're designing web and mobile apps here are some design elements you should consider that will improve performance on different mobile phones and different size mobile screens. By thinking broadly about how users interact with apps, you can greatly improve user experience and app performance.

Consider responsive design in your mobile app design elements

Mobile App Design Tip #1: Do Not Ignore Responsive Design

Tablets and smartphones have very different screen sizes and are used in very different situations on mobile devices. For example, smartphones are often used when a user can only utilize one had to hold the phone and capture or manipulate data.  Make sure you take responsive design and smaller screen size into account when doing app design.

Design Tip #2: Do Not Make the Screen too Busy

As smartphone screens get larger, you may be tempted to add more to the app to utilize the bigger screen.  This is not necessarily a good interface design. 

Real users want to get in and out of apps quickly to do business tasks.  Don't make them get lost or hunt around for next steps. Help them get what and where they need, quickly. 

Mobile App Design Tip #3: Do Not Be Inconsistent

When designing a mobile app, keep a consistent layout throughout your mobile app. Use consistent toolbars, icons, colors and styles (rounded boxes or square boxes, for example. Keep the layout consistent -- if the toolbar for most screens is usually on the top, be careful about suddenly moving it to the bottom or the size of the screen. If your design becomes inconsistent, you risk confusing or frustrating  mobile app user with your design.

App Design Tip #4:Do Not Transfer your Design Directly from iOS to Android

Both iOS and Android are popular and heavily used, but mobile app development that works well on one, may not work well on the other. Be sure to field test designs on EACH OS carefully before the hard launch.

Design Tip #5: Do Not Mix Fonts

In a fast moving, mobile world, UI/UX designers should make it fast and easy for users to read information in the app and make quick decisions.  Keeping fonts consistent allow users to process quickly and won't slow them down as they process new fonts and styles.

These mobile app design tips aren't a comprehensive list, but are an easy list of 5 to bookmark or post nearby your desk and keep in mind as you design new mobile apps. By following design rules, even developers without design or user experience, can begin to improve their mobile app design skills.

Developing Apps With Outstanding User Experiences

mobile app designs with great user experiencesMobile app design is only one part of building a great app. You also need an easy way to build, an easy way to deploy, and a method that lets you quickly make changes and constantly iterate mobile app designs. Learn how Alpha Anywhere can help you build well-designed mobile apps quickly and effectively.


Design better appsUse The Best Software to Design Better Apps

Whether your expertise is in development or design, Alpha Anywhere is the best mobile app design tool for business.  And we've made it easier than ever to get started with our new Alpha Anywhere Community Edition. This full featured and FREE development environment to help YOU succeed in the mobile app marketplace. We also have a team of experienced app designers and developers who have produced tutorials on how to build and design a mobile app for free.

Further reading on design:

The app design process takes into account how a mobile app appeals visually to a user and perhaps more importantly. It inspires an app's use and interaction.

Learn about the relationship between planning, building, testing, and refining of the inner workings of an app and planning, building, testing, and refining of an app's look and feel. Both aspects of app creation are critical to successful completion of business apps. Read more about mobile app design for beginners.

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About Author

Amy Groden-Morrison
Amy Groden-Morrison

Amy Groden-Morrison has served more than 15 years in marketing communications leadership roles at companies such as TIBCO Software, RSA Security and Ziff-Davis. Most recently she was responsible for developing marketing programs that helped achieve 30%+ annual growth rate for analytics products at a $1Bil, NASDAQ-listed business integration Software Company. Her past accomplishments include establishing the first co-branded technology program with CNN, launching an events company on the NYSE, rebranding a NASDAQ-listed company amid a crisis, and positioning and marketing a Boston-area startup for successful acquisition. Amy currently serves as a Healthbox Accelerator Program Mentor, Marketing Committee Lead for the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge Launch Smart Clinics, and on the organizing team for Boston TechJam. She holds an MBA from Northeastern University.

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The Alpha platform is the only unified mobile and web app development and deployment environment with distinct “no-code” and “low-code” components. Using the Alpha TransForm no-code product, business users and developers can take full advantage of all the capabilities of the smartphone to turn any form into a mobile app in minutes, and power users can add advanced app functionality with Alpha TransForm's built-in programming language. IT developers can use the Alpha Anywhere low-code environment to develop complex web or mobile business apps from scratch, integrate data with existing systems of record and workflows (including data collected via Alpha TransForm), and add additional security or authentication requirements to protect corporate data.