Importance of UX in Mobile App Design

User Experience (UX) plays an important role in making or breaking the audience for your app. Your designs should be user-oriented, aimed to provide them value over downloading and using your mobile app. In this article, let us find out the importance of UX in mobile app design.

In the current digital world, smartphone user penetration is around 42-43% in South Africa (Source: Statista). Almost everyone in South Africa living in densely populated cities like Cape Town or Johannesburg has at least one smartphone.

You’re missing out on your target audience if your business does not have a mobile application. Having a mobile application allows smartphone users to interact with your business effectively. It is better than a mobile-optimized website as, comparatively, a mobile app allows greater customisation and personalisation.

The functionality and app design are primarily going to decide whether it’s going to drive in or drive away your app users. It’s always better to take advice and assistance from a professional firm when it comes to mobile app design. Furthermore, technical coding knowledge in designing your app is necessary. We advise you to do a background check on a firm before you are ready to purchase their services.

This is where UX in mobile app design becomes important. Let’s explore further to understand the ‘why’ behind it.


What is the difference between UI and UX?

Before we begin, we must understand the difference between UI (User Interface) and UX (User Experience).

In a nutshell, UI is a part of UX, but UX is not limited to UI.

UI in mobile app design refers to User Interface, which includes the visual designs and other visual elements that enhance the look of an application. Furthermore, it also includes controls and buttons, drop-down menus to help users navigate through your application easily.

UX in mobile app design stands for User Experience. UI is a part that plays in enhancing user experience, but that’s not all. UX is an umbrella term that counts the user experience before, during, and after the user uses your app.


So, what exactly is UX design? Is it really important?

“Design is not just what it looks and feels like. Design is how it works.” — Steve Jobs

The short and correct answer would be ‘yes’. Why? Because of course, you want to provide the best possible experience to the users that interact with your app.

A UX designer focuses on designing and overhauling the application by putting themselves in the user’s shoe. Delivering a proper UX designed app requires market research to understand what exactly your target audience wants. This includes being empathetic towards your target audience, surveys, research on market trends, creating buyer personas, and data analysis. Their goal is to increase the overall retention rate, Daily Active Users (DAU), and Monthly Active Users (MAU).

If you think that sounds easy and/or simple, you may want to take a look at these statistics of Retention Rate – sourced from Geckoboard.

Summary extracted from the source:
Although exact benchmarks vary by industry, mobile apps on average have a 30-day Retention Rate of 42% and a 90-day Retention Rate of 25%. The average 30-day rate broken down by industry ranges from 27% to 43%, but for higher-performing apps, that range is 32% to 66%


Elements of UX in Mobile App Design

Let’s take a look at some of the affecting elements that may make or break your UX design. Following is a honeycomb diagram sourced from Peter Morville’s article on Semantic Studios.

elements of ux in mobile app design

The elements of a good UX design.


This defines the end-user purpose of using your application. Your application should prove useful to them, providing them with all the necessary functions and services to fulfil their needs and tasks.


This refers to the functionality of the app. Make sure your application is not riddled with bugs and all the functions are working properly. If it doesn’t function, it is going to drive your userbase away.


Desirable refers to the aesthetics of your application. Is the colour scheme just right and pleasant to the eyes? Are the elements clogged or well sorted? This does not only represent how aesthetic your app is, but also represents how seriously you take your business. Don’t hold back on coming with the ultimate best design for your app.


This particularly refers to the accessibility for disabled people. Your application should include or support features like text-to-speech to help disabled people interact more efficiently.


App content and design determines the overall credibility of an application. Furthermore, make sure it delivers what it promises, has fewer to no bugs, and zero app-breaking bugs. A promising app that delivers what it intends to deliver will gain credibility across your user base.


Your app should be findable on the app stores you upload it on. Make sure your region settings, device compatibility settings are correct so that the users can find you easily. Lastly, make sure the application name and description are correct.


In conclusion

In every business, the bottom line is to provide a good and valued experience to your customers. When you develop an app, your users are going to be your customers. Your app is supposed to provide them with a pleasant and smooth experience, solve their problems, and should add some value to their lives. This is why making a UX oriented application is very important.

Digital Lime Green can help you in designing a UX based app effectively. Take a look at our Mobile App Development service package here or you can contact us for more information today!