What exactly is usability in terms of mobile apps? It is the clarity, ease and elegance of performing a task to reach its desired goal. It is very important to focus on usability and user-experience in the process of creating high-quality mobile applications. Increasing interaction with the user makes the product emotionally pleasing and desirable. Usability testing helps learn from the customer's perspective and develop better apps.
Basic guidelines for a better usability
1) Identify user’s needs: If you are looking to develop a user friendly mobile application, it is very important to think like a user yourself. Try and identify what you want, what kind of application would appeal to you and what design applications will attract you. Once the basic layout is ready, further designing will be quite an easy task.
2) Font size: Looking at the range of screen size available in the market, it is essential to provide users with a range of font size as well. This would help them adjust the font size in accordance with their screen. Flexibility is the key behind a successful application as no two mobile devices will have the exact same features.
3) Indicate button function: Button indications should be clear and make sense to your audience. The user should be able to browse through the application interface effectively rather than spending hours in understanding its functionality.
4) Resolution: Handling this might be difficult as it is not possible to predict the resolution upfront. Creating an ideal resolution will help reach out to a lot of users.
5) Contrast and color choices: A proper contrast and color scheme is what makes an application attractive and appealing. Never over-do the graphic. Give your application a soothing color effect. Using proper coloring gives a compelling manner to provide information thereby ignoring the need for additional space. Maintaining a proper contrast will not only make things look pretty, but also provide guided information.
6) Keyboard selection: With the introduction of touch screens and QWERTY keypads, it has become more important to target a specific group of users or provide flexibility in keyboard selection. If you are looking to develop an application with flexibility to work on a computer and a mobile, then you are committing a big mistake. Mobile devices should never be considered as mini computers while developing an application. Adjusting various features like color, font resolution can be flexible up to some extent but will never provide the same effect as it does originally.
7) Testing: Now that the designing and developing is done, be a user yourself and test your mobile application. It is very important to test the smooth functionality of your application and check how usable is your design. Thorough testing will help you identify small glitches and fix them accordingly.
Looking at the popularity of Androids, iOS and Symbian, the need of developing usable mobile apps has reached new heights and developing user friendly applications is the key to surviving in this ever-growing market. You should ultimately work on providing a rich and pleasurable experience to your users.
About the author: Kelly is a blogger by profession. She loves writing on technology and luxury. Beside this she is fond of gadgets. Recently an article on Aluminum Windows attracted her attention. These days she is busy in writing an article on Nokia n950.
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