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16 Nov, 2022 | Mobile App Development

Basics of Mobile App Design - The Difference Between UI and UX

Basics of Mobile App Design – The Difference Between UI and UX
Have you ever used a mobile app and wondered what the next step was?  Or you tried to click that tiny link, the CTA button, but failed several times?  If you answered yes, welcome. You have just come across what we call a common "UX mistake." Don't worry if you don't understand what it means. Because we have simplified it for you!  This article will go through the following: 
  • Why are UX and UI not the same thing?
  • What's UX exactly? 
  • What are the most common mistakes businesses and designers make while designing the UI and UX of mobile apps?
  • And finally, UI trends have been rising in popularity. 
Read also: 45 Stellar Mobile App Ideas that will Kickstart your Business

Stop! UX is Not UI 

Think of UX and UI in terms of the human body. UX is your skeletal structure, whereas UI is the visual elements like hair and skin. They are not the same. But they are different parts of the same body.  Both cannot function without each other. You won't be able to move or take any action if you don't have skeletons (UX). And same goes for skin and hair. You would simply be bare-bones! Here's how Don Norman and Jakob Nielsen of Norman Nielsen Group define the difference between UI and UX…
It's important to distinguish the total user experience from the user interface (UI), even though the UI is obviously an extremely important part of the design. As an example, consider a website with movie reviews. Even if the UI for finding a film is perfect, the UX will be poor for a user who wants information about a small independent release if the underlying database only contains movies from major studios.
Now that you know how UX and UI work, let's see their definitions.  What is User Interface(UI) Design? User interface(UI) design is the visual look of your mobile device. A UI designer will design a mobile app interface that fits with the user experience designed by a UX designer. A great UI design attracts users and retains them longer.  So, what are the essential elements of User interface design?
  • Documents
  • Texts
  • Images
  • Videos
  • Forms 
  • Buttons, tags, text fields, checkboxes, dropdown lists, etc.
In other words, if you see an app that gets the "wow, that's beautiful" reaction from you, thanks to a UI designer.  What is User Experience(UX) Design? User experience design UX has five major elements:
  • Strategy:  It's a phase of gathering information and laying a solid foundation by understanding the needs of both businesses and users.
  • Scope: In this phase, the designer will set the scope for the idea and type of content they will be designing. It's further divided into two parts - functional(features, functions) and content (images, themes, audio, videos) requirements. 
  • Structure: This phase decides how the design is organized and how it will behave when the user interacts with it. 
  • Skeleton: This phase is where the UX designer will combine everything created till now to decide the flow of information and movement from one screen to another.
  • Surface: It's the final layer. The designer finalizes everything that will go on the screen that users will see. 
In other words, if you see an app that gets a "wow, that was quick and easy" reaction, thanks to a UX designer. They succeeded in simplifying your user experience. UI UX design services take your mobile app design to the next level and make it user-friendly as well as pleasant.

Don't Make These Mistakes When Designing Your Mobile App 

1. Overloading users for information 

  mobile app design services The main motive of the mobile app design should be to reduce user frustration. So, when you use two three-page long forms. It can create a painful experience for users, leading them to abandon it.  Here's what you can do instead:   
  • Keep the forms short. Only include the most critical information and remove any unnecessary fields. 
  • Use intelligent features like autocomplete to fill the form automatically. This would instantly reduce the friction that most users friction while filing the information. 

2. Use jargon 

ui ux design services The worst thing you can do while designing a mobile app is to fill it with jargon that most users won't even understand! Clear communication should always be a priority. After all, if users don't even understand what you want them to do, how will they continue? How to avoid these scenarios: 
  • Keep it simple to avoid confusion. 
  • Learn the understanding level of your audience. A 15-year-old would have a different understanding from a 40-year-old. 

3. Bad onboarding Experience 

Mobile users are susceptible to bad first-time experiences. So much so that almost 21% of users will never app if they had a not-so-good first-time experience.   So, how to make the first experience pleasant? Simple, leverage contextual onboarding. Contextual onboarding is when you provide instructions only when users are using the app. The best thing about contextual onboarding is that it does not overwhelm users with information like those user manuals do.  Duolingo mobile app design services Duolingo is the perfect example of well-designed contextual onboarding. Once the users sign up for the app, it asks them to choose between beginner and non-beginner, after which they are immediately sent to the core product. There, too, the app guides the users with little information. Users are also encouraged to do a quick text. This is just one of the strategies to create a pleasant first-time experience with your mobile app. However, the end goal remains the same - make it easy for users without overwhelming them with information. 

Current Trends in Mobile App Design 

Let's delve into current trends in mobile app design.

1. Keep it minimalistic 

mobile app design services If you ever find yourself overwhelmed with the options, you know how tiring it can be to make a choice. To remove this paradox of choice, mobile app designers have been keeping the app interface as minimal as possible, meaning easy navigation, no extra details, more free space, clear color schemes, etc. 

2. Sphere, Sphere, Everywhere

behance mobile app design services Behance We can't avoid circles. They are everywhere, be it eggs, planets, or domes. However, these spherical objects do have a visual appeal that, when used in app design can give a soft, inviting experience. You can also play around with these spherical shapes to add depth to backgrounds and create a personality.  3. Microinteractions dribble mobile app design services Dribble Micro-interactions have been definitely trending this year. Tapping the heart button to turn from gray to red, swiping emails into the archive, swiping products, and status updates are all examples of micro-interaction. These little things (we don't pay enough attention to) are what make our experience intuitive. You will immediately know when they are missing. 4. Border-Defined Design behance mobile app design services Behance Borders are essential to the design as they separate two UI elements. Borders are old school, as Apple Macintosh System 6 and Windows 3 relentlessly used borders to define and separate their elements. So what are they doing in app design now? That's a debating question. However, the border-defined design does stand out from all the modern designs we see today. And isn't standing out from competitors the ultimate business goal? Hire Reliable Mobile App Design Company Within 5 minutes There are plenty of mobile UI UX design services for iOS and Android on the internet. However, it can be overwhelming to find the "right match".  Not to mention, you will have to see their portfolios, shortlist them, interview them, and see whether they are the right fit. If not, you again have to go through the vicious cycle of the interview process. Read more about New Trends In Mobile App Development That's why WeDoWebApps bring you trusted, reliable mobile app design and development services where experts are with you. We have spent a lot of time filtering these best app designers so that you can start your projects instantly! Don't wait. Chat with us and find yourself a match!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between UI and UX?

In simple words, the UI is how your mobile app looks. UX, on the other hand, is how it behaves – Is it easy to navigate, is it easy to fill in the information, does it notify you on time, etc. 

What comes first, UI or UX?

UX always comes first. A UX designer will map out the user's entire journey with the help of wireframes. Then, a UI designer will fill these journeys with appealing and interactive elements. 

What are some reliable mobile app design services? 

Here are the top mobile app design services to hire for your dream project: 

  1. WeDoWebapps
  2. React Native Development Company 
  3. OrangeSoft
  4. Diffco

Written by Tarun

Tarun is a creative and passionate Full Stack Web Developer at WEDOWEBAPPS LLC. He not only performs his duties with a strong sense of dedication but also possesses excellent skills in working with diverse teams to make the project a success.