Just over a decade ago, a click on a button was all that was needed for a user to interact with a mobile device. Ten years forward, and we have adopted a whole new gesture vocabulary and behavior. Today’s users need to learn how to communicate with the phone apps by scrolling, zooming, swiping, pinching, spreading, rotating, double-clicking or even master more complex press-and-drag or pinch-to-resize actions.
As the number of interconnected smart devices grows, the beyond-the-button UI design wave is at an all-time high. Despite some drawbacks (think of questions like: Will I archive or dismiss the email if I swipe across the screen? How do I keep the menu visible while I check out the rest of the features? Why is this screen too small for my thumb?) mobile app developers can still maximize the innovative potential of gestures by adopting a customer-centric approach. In this way, gestures not only offer an effective way of intuitive mobile interaction but also an opportunity to awe the customer.
We all share the pleasure of watching new information fill out the screen at a nick of time with a swipe. You can boost the power of this tactile interaction by keeping in mind some basic elements of user-friendly, fun, and intuitive interfaces.
1. Learning by habit.
The annoyance with touchscreens that parents felt during the early days of this new technology was a pleasure for the children who grew up with a smartphone in their hands. This just proves the fact how easy is to use gestures and learn by habit. It seems they are not going anywhere soon.
Some may call the habitual learning approach to user guidance with a different name: the progressive learning curve. Leaving aside the choice of names, users would rather digest new gestures by exploring the mobile app by themselves, then having all spelled out in a comprehensive user tutorial.
Think of how you interact with a new application – you prefer intuitively touring the bits and pieces that most catch your interest, then delving into an in-depth analysis of all aspects of the mobile app. Stick to the instructional basics, and let your customer complete the app ideas.
2. Fresh and clean space.
While gestures are fun and original, they are not only a tool to entertain your customers and make then stay for longer (although, that doesn’t hurt, too – who wouldn’t want to turn a random website dweller into a loyal customer by making them feel special?)
When you adopt the gesture-based approach to mobile app design, you get massive space to impress your customers by exciting visual experiences. Having in mind the average time spent on a new website, you only have about 15 seconds to capture your visitor’s attention. Use gestures to leave a clean interface and stun them.
3. Effortless integration.
It is almost impossible to design a mobile app without thinking of how to integrate gestures. They not only save space, but also save time. People and phones learn together and some of the best mobile app designers out there know how to tap into the well of mutual support.
Thinking along the lines of connecting people and machines in a smart-learning system may be a bit too far-fetched, but it is an irreplaceable lesson you can use in app development.
Make the gesture controls visible and capitalize on the user feedback. This interactive play needs to be intuitive, memorable, and match the reality. Fewer button distractions on the screen mean more time to engage the user feedback and optimize the loop they get into to complete a screen action. Happy customers make for the best feedback resource.
If you take the challenges of gesture application in phone app design with a grain of salt, you get your hands on a limitless repository for mobile app development. Just provide good visual hints keeping in mind your customer needs, and you are a step closer to producing an attractive and future-proof app design solution.