In this week’s blog, we thought that it would be beneficial to show you a behind-the-scenes look into what goes into our mobile app UI design process and what our secret is for app developing with Top Rated National® User Experience.
When it comes to developing a mobile app and ensuring that the user experience is at the forefront of the strategic design process, there are five key elements to follow. Jesse James Garrett, one of the founders of Adaptive Path, coined these as The 5 S’s in his book “The Elements of User Experience.” A great read if you want to learn more detailed information about the development process.
When we fully understand these five elements, we can fully grasp what comprises the user experience, and henceforth be able to develop app platforms that encompass these elements in the best way possible to enhance the user experience and fully satisfy the end user’s expectations.
Here at Xecuit, we believe that following these key principles as a guideline in the app development process leads to the best user interfaces and the best user experiences for our clients’ mobile apps.
The components of UX consist of five layers that are equally dependent upon one another. Each level builds off of the previous one — starting with an abstract concept that leads towards a concrete final product in the final level.
We’ll do our best to navigate this intricate topic in layman’s terms.
Component One: Strategy
The strategy focuses on the purpose of the application with the end goal of defining concrete business objectives. This can be done through research and questioning.
Why are we creating this? Who is this going to benefit? Why do they need it? By answering these vital questions, we can begin to decipher what the needs are of the end user for the most exceptional user experience.
Component Two: Scope
The scope is quite literal, meaning all of the functional aspects of the mobile app as well as the requirements for content. What are the most important features to the end user that we need to incorporate? The goal is to develop both functional requirements as well as content requirements that line up with the objectives determined in the strategy. If you’re wondering what the difference is between a functional and content requirement, a function for a video app is to be able to play videos efficiently and with high quality, while the content is the videos themselves.
Component Three: Structure
The structure is divided up into the two separate sub-components of interaction design and information architecture.
Interaction design is used to assess how users will interact with the system as well as how the system will react to actions performed by the user.
Information architecture refers to the arrangement of the content within the app based off of the previously determined content requirements. Good information architecture follows the content requirements to a tee to ensure the easiest comprehension of the content by the primary audience — the app’s users.
Component 4: Skeleton
The skeleton of an app is very similar to that of a human in the manner of being what holds together what is seen on the exterior. The skeleton shapes the visual representation and arrangement of all of the interactive elements that are used on the surface-level. A skeleton consists of a wireframe that determines how a user will navigate through the app’s information in a clear and functional manner.
Wireframes are used to map out an entire website, mobile app, or any digital medium’s structure for optimal functionality. They are a three-dimensional model made up of three elements:
Interface design involves the way in which the pieces that make up the mobile app interface are arranged for presenting to the user for the most simple, intuitive, and engaging experience. This involves the graphic design template for which of all of the functional elements beneath the surface will be housed.
Navigation design is what is used to determine how users will navigate through the information on the app interface. The key here is to make it as simple as possible for a user to navigate to their desired region within an app.
Information design pertains to the actual content of the app and how it is portrayed and organized for clarity and effective comprehensibility.
You can learn more about our wireframe process at Xecuit from our case study.
Component 5: Surface
The final step for user experience design that, if all other steps are followed precisely, should come to fruition with relative ease. It should take the complex content, controls, and functions, and portray them in a visually appealing and easy-to-use manner. The better the surface, the increased ability for the end consumers to absorb information and quickly “learn” the ins and outs of your app.
One key here is to use graphic icons that already have imposed visual cues and mental triggers among users from their application among other digital apps and the other wide varieties of digital tools they have learned to navigate. For example, stick to the simple yet effective magnifying glass icon for your search bar and so forth to make the learning curve for finding the desired functions of your app as minimal as possible.
All UI Elements Constitute The UX
As we initially touched on, all of the layers within the user interface strategy are dependent upon one another. If you make a costly mistake in the strategy or scope, it will affect the project in its entirety all the way to the surface level. Experience in navigating through each phase is the only way to master the development of great end products. It takes trial and error.
But we’ve been through all of that here at Xecuit. We incorporate a workflow for approaching each of these elements in a complementary manner with the help of our team of experts, so you can trust that when you choose us for designing and developing your mobile app’s user interface, you will get a final product with all of these elements tailored to give your audience the best user experience.
No matter where you are in your journey, put our team of mobile app UI design experts at Xecuit to work for you. Fill out the form to get your free flat-rate quote today.