The Role (and Benefits) of UI/UX Design in Mobile App Development

By Gowtham Raj on March 22nd, 2021

Think of any mobile app success story of the past few years, such as Uber, Airbnb, or GrubHub. While these apps offer very different services, when you open the app, the experience has certain feelings in common.

These apps are clear and easy to use. Creating a profile and placing an order is a seamless, intuitive experience. You rarely have to hunt for a feature and you never find yourself confused as to what stage of the app you are on. 

Though it may look effortless, this is the product of thousands of hours put into UI/UX design.

These companies know that customer satisfaction is everything, and a confusing app will quickly be deleted. Nearly one in four users will delete an app after only one use and a higher percentage will delete after using an app only a few times. For many of those apps, the culprit is frustrating or unintuitive design. 

Considering UI/UX design in every step of the mobile app development process is what separates great apps from merely useable ones. Read on to discover the many benefits of incorporating UI/UX design into your work.

What is UI/UX Design?

UI (User Interface) and UX (User Experience) refer to how it feels to use an application, website, or program on the user’s side, not the programmer’s. It can involve anything from designing loading animations to deciding the specific wording of buttons and forms. 

Good mobile app UX and mobile app UI is mostly invisible. Often, it is only when an app is frustrating, confusing, or unclear that users notice the design. They react by leaving a bad review or, more likely, simply leaving the app and never coming back.

This means that UI/UX is easy to overlook during the development process, but it is among the most important things to consider.

If you integrate great UI/UX into your mobile app, your users likely won’t know you’ve done it. The design will work on their subconscious, keeping them coming back to your app for its ease of use and simplicity. 

Why You Should Invest In UI/UX Design

As a whole new aspect of the design process, UI/UX design can seem like an intimidating added cost to your development. However, these factors make UI/UX design undeniably worth the investment.

It Cuts Down Overall Costs

Silicon Valley startups often live by the phrase “fail early, fail often”.

This refers to testing again and again, making sure all the problems in your mobile app design are ironed out before your launch. The idea is that failing early and often will prevent expensive bug fixes and relaunches down the line, as well as ensuring a better product overall.

This statement was coined to refer to programming but is relevant to every step of the product design process. With extensive UI/UX user testing integrated into your development process, you can spot difficulties for users as they appear.

If you get your product right the first time, there will be less need for expensive redesigns and focus groups down the line.

It Motivates Users to Interact

A big part of a UX designer’s job is thinking about who the potential customer is, and designing a system that works for them as well as possible. An app designed for elderly people will have different UI/UX considerations than one for teens, and so on. Good UI/UX design will deliver content that is maximally relevant to the user.

Think of Amazon’s customer recommendations. They are masters of using data from millions of users to deliver extremely specific recommendations. Often, their analysis of what the user is looking for can be almost unsettling in its accuracy. 

UI/UX design that offers reasons for the customer to stay on the app and make additional purchases or orders can be a huge revenue booster. Similarly, alerting users to features they may not be aware of can help to increase use and revenue.

However, too many notifications or a cluttered interface can drive these users away. Be sure to continue to test extensively throughout your design process.

It Keeps Users Coming Back and Spreading the Word

Positive experiences with a mobile app are the most important factor in both building customer loyalty and spreading the word about your product.

Studies have shown that investing in UX design can increase customer retention by a huge amount. A famous study in the UX/UI field showed that every dollar invested in UX brings an average of $100 in return.

Companies such as Amazon, Airbnb, and Intuit credit extensive testing with users as keys to their success. Rather than spending money on advertising, they put that money directly into UX/UI testing and relied on positive experiences to grow their business.

More specific UI/UX decisions like the placement of social sharing buttons can also enable your business to grow. The easier it is for people to share your app, the more likely you are to attract new users.

Finding Great UI/UX Designers

Explaining why UI/UX design is important is simple enough, but what about finding designers you can trust to work with you? You will have to consider portfolios, case studies, and word of mouth. Different designers specialize in different fields, so finding the right one for you can often be overwhelming. 

We are an experienced team of app developers who specialize in every aspect of the design process. We’re committed to the long-term health of our projects and we’re passionate about creating a great experience for both you and your users.

Browse our portfolio to get a sense of the work we’ve done and feel free to drop us a line to talk about your idea.

By Gowtham Raj

March 22nd, 2021