Mobile apps

Mobile apps: what do users expect?

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The more a mobile application meets the expectations of its users, the more they will raise the bar. Meeting their expectations is therefore a never-ending process.

With the appearance of the Apple iPhone in 2007 and soon after Android mobile phones, the installation of applications on mobile became more and more common for a large part of the population. The very strict initial recommendations that conditioned the integration of apps into the Apple App Store, and a competitive market of third-party app providers that has grown rapidly in recent years, have largely influenced the standards defining a quality applicatio

An overall quality mobile user experience is the holy grail to be achieved. There are many points that mobile development teams need to cover in order to make their customers happy. The most important being the loading time. This is the very first impression after installation. If the app takes more than two seconds to load when first opened, many users will uninstall it with a few clicks and find an alternative.

Another important element is the design of the application . Buttons, logos and text content should fit the formatting and be easy to use. This is especially true for texts that need to be translated (often with a different number of characters in other languages): it is very important to maintain the same graphic consistency.

The simpler and more intuitive the mobile application, the better it will be . A rule of thumb to ensure that your end users use the app hassle-free is to remove any unnecessary steps. For example, if a control calls for the entry of a number, the application must display the numeric keypad as soon as the user opens this field. Do not display the alphabetic keyboard as it will require unnecessary user action.

Another aspect that every designer should keep in mind is to check if the app can be used with one hand . As screens keep getting bigger, it sometimes becomes difficult for users to reach the upper left or right angles. It is therefore necessary to avoid any major action which would involve this movement. Also consider the size of the buttons and logos. Are these elements easy to read and understand? A mobile application must be understood instinctively and correspond to the design and interaction patterns provided by the platform.

Mobile users want fast apps that don’t drain their smartphone battery

Although mobile phones are equipped with a large number of attractive features, each of them cuts down on the battery life a bit. From a user’s perspective, apps can greatly simplify complex processes, but that doesn’t justify one app consuming as much battery as two apps.

Let’s take an example: when an e-commerce application offers many images to highlight its products, it is very important to be able to zoom in, for example by pinching, to enlarge the image in order to obtain more details. However, when the app uses a lot of images, it is important to monitor their size. This is because large images require more data to be retrieved in the backend and therefore have a huge impact on loading time as well as mobile data consumption.

To avoid this inconvenience, it is important to check the impact of the application on the battery. If it performs unnecessary services when closed, users will quickly find that it is draining the battery.

At the same time, the use of data is also a key aspect of the use of an application. As mentioned above, when an application requires a large number of images, it is important to include most of them directly in the application to avoid downloading them every time from a server. If this is not possible, then it will be necessary to reduce the images as much as possible to obtain the best possible quality with the smallest image size. The app should only send and receive the data it needs to perform the task at hand, and nothing more.

Control the expectations of your mobile users by collecting relevant data

If your development team has covered all of the above points, there is a good chance that the app will be liked by its users. However, with nearly six million apps available in app stores (some of which are likely similar to yours), a single flaw can lead your users to turn to your competitor.

To avoid this scenario, it’s important to gather as much data as possible about the needs and preferences (both in terms of products and functionality) of your consumer. Using this data, the development team and product managers can then confidently develop the ideal product that will meet user expectations.

Data can be collected in a number of different ways, including through existing product information, usability studies, mobile app testing, or market research. Once the data is gathered, a mobile QA / QA team can then perform intensive testing – for example functional testing to verify that the mobile app works well on different devices and with a multitude of scenarios. In any case, for an application to always meet the needs and preferences of users in real conditions, quality assurance must be at the heart of your concerns.

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