Understanding Low Code 

How a user interacts with an app determines the success of any application. But why does user experience have such an impact, is not the design of an app just as important?

As mobile devices have become more prevalent in our personal and professional lives, so have the expectations of mobile applications’ user experience. As the number of app users increases across all sectors, so does the demand for better mobile app design that is available anytime, anywhere.

User experience sums up a person's observations and feelings when they use a solution. Questions that they may have are: How intuitive is the app design? Is it enjoyable to use? Can it solve my problem? UX describes people's experiences interacting with an app.

When using an internal or customer-facing solution, users expect an easy-to-understand user interface and to use an application across all their devices. They also expect no restrictions on its availability whether they are using it for work or leisure.

User feelings when using an app, what they pay attention to, what design elements they do or don't like, and how they interact with your apps and website are critical user data you must track and understand.

User experience determines the success or failure of an application. According to bluespace.com, 90% of users have abandoned using an app because of the user experience.

What Makes a Good User Experience on an App?

All successful mobile apps share one thing in common. They benefit users. If someone is going to use an application repeatedly, they need to find using it valuable. There are excellent UX research and visual design principles that can help guide your app design.

Creating a good UX depends on understanding an audience's needs and how a solution can help. At the core of any effective mobile app development is design thinking. Design thinking involves designers and users coming together to create a mobile solution based on how 'real people" think and feel.

A design thinking approach puts the user center stage, bolstering innovation, market differentiation, and competitive advantage.

Good user experience can also be subjective. After all, isn’t beauty in the eye of the beholder? However, there are a number of objective principles to define a positive user experience. Here are some ideas from two researchers: The Nielsen Norman Group and Peter Morville.

Nielsen Norman Heuristics

  • User Control and Freedom: Even mistakes on the simplest of applications Developers and designers need to provide a way out for users when they do. Ensuring they have a way to undo or redo actions is one way to achieve this. Another way is to make it straightforward to cancel an operation or a task.
  • Recognition Rather than Recall. To score high on usability, reduce the load on memory and recall avoid hiding crucial actions behind menus. Instead, the app should visibly present options enabling users to become better oriented.
  • Flexibility and Efficiency of Use: The solution should accommodate novice and advanced users. The Nielsen Norman Group recommends providing methods to speed up workflows and to increase familiarity while guiding newer users.
  • Provide Documentation and Help: While it is best to minimize the need for documentation, it still needs to be accessible. Do not make users struggle to find help. It is better to offer it contextually, when they need it, and in a language that is easy to understand.

Peter Morville's User Experience Honeycomb

  • Useful: Often, feature requirements define applications. As user-experience-oriented developers, we need to ask if the solution will help people achieve their goals in a logical, cohesive fashion.
  • Accessible: Users vary between products, and so do their abilities. Designing an application that ignores accessibility may offer a restricted experience for some.
  • Valuable: If the application does not bring value to the user, it won't meet their expectations. It is no good offering a selection of features without adding inherent value.

How Do I Make My Apps More User-Friendly

By user-friendly, we mean that an application is easy to use and reliable. This means that most people will understand its function, and it works efficiently without glitches or bugs.

Good UX (User Experience) puts the needs of the user first. UI (User Interface) means that the solution is customized so that the target audience understands how the app works.

A business should research its target audience’s pain points and wants before they develop a solution.

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Here are a few tips to help build an app that delivers value every time.

  • Make it Useful: Ensure that your application addresses a specific pressing need that your employees or customers have. It could be an application that helps remote employees get access to the database at work.
  • Understand Who Your Users Are: Get people to test your application before it is deployed. Make sure that your testers are objective. That means they were not involved in building the solution at any point during the process. They'll be testing how easy it is for them to navigate your app, its intuitiveness, and that it doesn't cause them frustration.
  • Ensure Onboarding is Easy: Customer-facing apps that force people to register their details create high bounce rates. If your solution requires customers to share information, ensure your users already like your app before committing and that they trust you and your company.

Here are some other ideas of how you can make your solutions more user-friendly:

  • Use Best Practices: Whether you're working on your first application or are a seasoned developer, best practices are essential. Your solution needs to be functional and developed in a safe and secure framework.
  • Less Is More: An effective app should be easy to navigate and should solve your target audience’s pain point or problem. Linking to or redirecting to external pages is a bad practice to avoid. If you can't include everything, provide fewer menus, and focus on your app's main functionality.
  • Create User Touchpoints: As a developer, you should consider specific situations where users may want to employ your app and prepare accordingly. From a technical perspective, push notifications are an effective tool that is worth trying.

There are plenty of professional tips to make your mobile app user-friendly, but what are the must-have features?

  • Automatic Speech Recognition: When you use an app on a mobile device, you need a hand to hold the device, as well as taps and swipes. However, for people who can’t use their hands due to an injury or disability, or for those who have their hands full, voice-activated apps are essential. Developers have found that a voice SDK is a cost-effective solution for using automatic speech recognition or text-of-speech. Additions like these provide users with seamless experiences when interacting with an app.
  • Multiple Device Synchronization: Multi-device synchronization is a must-have feature for any app. For example, when using a mobile app to fill in a form, users may find it too complex, or they'll prefer to fill it in on a website. By including the capacity for real-time synchronization across different devices and platforms, you'll be making your users' lives that much easier.
  • Data Caching: Make sure your app caches/saves as much data on your mobile device as possible. While it varies between applications, make sure your solution is as usable as it can be, even with no internet connection. If people are in a place with no connectivity, let's say the subway, they'll find it helpful to browse when shopping for items. Once outside the train station, they'll be connected again and will likely hit the buy button.

Which App Has the Best User Experience?

Companies in many industries have realized that apps with good UX are essential to their success. Here are some of the best examples of mobile solutions with the best user experience:

Examples of Applications that Have Great UX

Envision’s Instant Image Recognition: Envision's app provides a unique experience for low-vision users. It immediately recognizes signs, menus, price tags, and you can even teach it to recognize people and items. You can also train it to understand the context within a scenario and provide the correct information in straightforward language.

Augmented Reality Aircraft Travel: Airbus is capitalizing on the unique capabilities of mobile devices to make the user experience of traveling on a plane that much more immersive. The iflyA380 is used on A380 aircrafts enabling travelers to tour the cabin in augmented reality (AR), learn about the aircraft’s features, visually explore the cockpit and lounges, and track locations as they pass by their passenger window.

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low code compared to traditional methods

Innovative Ideas to Maximize User Experience on Mobile

Book Office Space from Your Mobile: Freelancers, remote workers, or business people can't always find a quiet place to work or host meetings. Some may choose not to pay for a monthly membership to use a co-working space. They may only need a space once in a while but not every day. Breather's app solves this problem by allowing users to book an office or place to meet a client at a touch of a button whenever they need.  

Manage Home Security From Afar: Developing software for a mobile device does not mean limited functionality. The Nest app provides users functionality without limitation to manage home security and the comfort of their home remotely, even from abroad. It is often easier to evaluate the tons of features using your mobile device screen than from the thermostat dial. In this case, the company had to consider the screen size the user was interfacing with the app on.

Why Are User-Friendly Apps Important?

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These days more people are using mobile devices. They use applications to automate their workload, communicate to other team members working remotely, or access information.

Users are likely to regularly use mobile applications that provide a smooth and easy user experience. If your company's app is not user-friendly, it won't help your customers engage with your business, and they will likely go to your competitors.

Mobile Users download dozens of applications daily. In just a few seconds, they'll decide to keep using an app, or not. If they don't understand its purpose or find it cumbersome to navigate, they won't remain on an app for long.

The biggest concern of online shoppers is the security of their data. An app that offers encryption reassures them and makes it easier to make a purchase. When they shop online, the solution stores their credentials, making future purchases a breeze. It also displays information about products more clearly.

The more user-friendly your mobile app is, the more people will use it. If your repeat customers love your app, they will act as your brand's advocates. Not having an application while every other business has may harm your reputation.

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How Can I Improve Mobile App Performance

As you select a low code platform, below are some crucial considerations: 

Consider User a CDN

APIs allow applications to communicate and display the information they receive from other apps like weather or traffic reports. A content delivery network (also called CDN) uses servers around the country to speed up API communication. By using an edge server that is close to the location of the user, you'll mitigate payload, latency, size, and round trip since you're reducing distance.

what to look for in a low code development platform

Be sure that the low code software platform you select fits the experience level of the people developing the apps.

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Resize and Compress Images

Resizing images saves additional bandwidth that would be required to display the whole original graphic. Caching downloads images from the network to a device's memory. Once it is there, the mobile app will no longer need to load it from the external network, instead, it will use its internal memory.

Focus on Improving Integral Features

Extraneous features make apps look better but may slow them down. Improving the app's integral features increases its speed, responsiveness, and performance.

Create an Offline Mode

Applications with offline mode create a buffer that allows users to save information in case of an unexpected loss of network connection. It also increases data security, reliability and gives users peace of mind.

Which Approach is Best for Mobile Application Development with Great UX?

A large part of mobile development is deciding what tools and frameworks to use. Some of the main ones include native platform development, cross-platform development, low-code, and no-code. The skill level of your development team, the purpose and long-term outlook for your application, your timeline, and your budget will influence your decision.

Native Application Development
  • Devices: The two specific devices for native application development are the iOS and Android.
  • Programming Languages Used: Developers use Swift as the programming language for the iOS. Developers historically used Java for Android, but today more are using Kotlin.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Native Application Development
  • Fewer Issues With Updates Using Native SDKs: A mobile app developed with native software development kits (SDKs) can usually handle iOS updates without any problems.
  • Longer Development Cycles for Cross-Platform Apps: Developers must rewrite code in different languages and rebuild user interfaces (UIs) with separate SDKs for developing a solution for iOS and Android.
Cross-Platform Development

Developers only need to write code once for developing a cross-platform application for iOS and Android. It unifies the app features across platforms, avoiding unintended divergences between them. They can monitor bugs singularly on one platform, and if they fix a bug on one, it automatically gets resolved on the other.

However, there are disadvantages: If a developer wants different UIs for an app for iOS and Android, it will take time to differentiate them. Sometimes a cross-platform framework can add additional intermediate layers that affect application speed.

Certain features of iOS may not be included in a developer's chosen framework because the APIs to access them are not supported or are delayed.

Community Edition Screenshot
Low-Code and No-Code Mobile Application Development

Low-code and no-code mobile application development allow developers to build applications with minimal or no coding needed. The advantages are:

  • Enables Cross-Platform Development: Low-code platforms allow developers to build applications across web, mobile, and desktop devices.
  • Fewer Bugs and Integrations: Most platforms have fewer bugs and integration issues which reduces cost.
  • Allows Employees to Participate in Application Creation: Allows business users to participate in building apps.
  • Speeds up the development process: It takes less time to build applications from scratch than it does on native development or cross-platform development platforms.

The disadvantages of low-code mobile app development are some platform components may restrict customizing options. Sometimes there is a problem when the low-code platform outdates a company’s systems or does not integrate well with other popular software.


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The Bottom Line...

User experience is subjective, but certain principles help in developing user-friendly solutions. Here are five simple ways that you can improve the mobile app user experience:

  1. To make sure your application meets the needs of your target audience.
  2. Add features that improve user experience, such as multi-device synchronization, an offline mode, so your solution works without an internet signal or automatic speech recognition.
  3. Ensure your users' information is secure by using data synchronization.
  4. By resizing images in your app and compressing them, you optimize the app's performance.
  5. Use the right app development tool to develop a solution for all devices with fewer bugs.
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The Best Software for Low Code App Development

You'll find Alpha Anywhere is the best low code development software for building web and mobile apps for business.  We've made it easy get started with Alpha Anywhere Community Edition, a full featured and FREE low-code development environment. We have a team of experienced app designers and developers, and offer mentoring and tutorials on how to build mobile apps.