5 App Design Ideas that are Crucial to Deliver Differentiated User Experience

Ecommerce is increasingly gaining popularity, with rapid adoption in developing countries as well. Online shopping is no longer limited to select categories of products; the range of items people buy online is expanding. For businesses involved in ecommerce, exclusively or otherwise, heeding consumers’ demands and preferences is the key to business success. Since mobile phone has become the primary mode of communication and information search, businesses need to focus on their mobile apps. Below 5 design ideas that companies should consider incorporating into their mobile apps to increase engagement and conversion through better user experience.

Color theme makes a lasting impression

Dynamic and vibrant digital experience undeniably seems appealing. As mobile app designing technology advanced, developers and marketers played significantly with colors in order to stand out from the crowd. There is no dearth of apps that have bright and colorful webpages with cutting-edge design elements. However, as mobile continues to become the primary mode of doing everything that can be done through it, the importance of theme color should be thought over again. For ecommerce enterprises, especially brands that support ecommerce on their apps, color is no longer only about attracting users and making them stay on the app. Theme color is more about experience and impression.

Therefore, instead of multi-color design, companies should make one color the dominant color on their app. To avoid confusion and ensure ease-of-use, lighter and/or darker shades of the same color can be used. There are a number of advantages with apps that have a dominant theme color. First, it gives the entire app a uniform appearance, which is crucial in the long term. As a particular brands uses a particular color dominantly for its app, frequent users starts to associate that color with the brand. As a result, whenever consumers see that color anywhere around them in their daily-lives, they unintentionally think of the brand even if it is for a fraction of a second. Hence it keeps reminding them of the brand.

Second, a single dominant theme color makes it easier to draw and retain users’ attention on the products rather than the design finesse. Similarly, it makes it easier to distinct ‘call to action’ buttons. Brands should go for contrasting and attractive colors for ‘call to action,’ highlighting offers and/or new products, and so on. All these, quite understandably, can lead to better consumer experience and increased revenue.

Streamlined scrolling is essential for seamless navigation

Every person on this Earth is unique in behavior and characteristic, and that applies to mobile app design too. People use their fingers differently when smartphones than when using tablets, or laptops and desktops. Brands should focus on understanding how smartphone and tablets users use fingers and gestures to navigate through an app.

Scrolling, swiping, and using multiple fingers for various gestures comes naturally to people when using mobile devices with touchscreen interface. For a particular brand, the need is to understand what combination of finger movements and gestures works best for its app and the kind of offerings and functions it includes. For instance, swiping right or left to move between categories, and scrolling up and down to check out varieties in each category, is a simple and effective idea. In fact, it has been adopted by many companies for their apps. However, since the focus of ecommerce apps (or apps that also support ecommerce) is to make offering readily viewable and navigable for users, there is ample scope for improvisation.

In this regard, it is important that companies do not hurry for the redesign and deliver a complex change in the navigation. Instead, the process should be make one change at a time, and collect feedback from the users about whether it improved their experience.

Image search is much easier

Image search feature is almost essential for ecommerce. It will soon become a necessity for ecommerce companies as well as enterprise that facilitate ecommerce on their apps. So, those who adopt it early are going to have a clear business advantage.

There are major advantages of image search. Typing a word or a phrase to search for something seems completely normal on laptops and desktops. But things are not the same when it comes to mobile devices. Entering text into the search bar to find a product is not the most convenient way of searching. Doing so becomes even more difficult when users are driving, carrying something, and so on. This where image search capability can be fruitful. It is a relatively more convenient task to tap on an image and upload to find the same and the related products.

Typing the search term carries the disadvantage of spelling mistake. Mobile users expect everything superfast. So, if a misspelled word or phrase directs a user to an irrelevant page or yields irrelevant search results, that user is likely to abort engagement then and there, unless it is very urgent. Taking into account hundreds or thousands of users who visit a particular brand’s app, it would mean a significant loss of potential business for that brand.

Besides, image search becomes a boon when users do not exactly know the terms that they should use to search for a particular that they are looking for. In such cases, they usually try a few combinations of words. If they fail in their first few attempts, they tend to disengage to try again later.

In addition to all these, one of the biggest benefits of visual search capability is scope for additional sales. Image search has been in use for quite a few years. However, the popular practice is to provide the exact or close matches. While that works fine in terms of relevance, what companies can do is also show products matching the stuffs around the main product in the image. For instance, a user clicks the picture of a television set to search for. Using advanced image analyzing capability, the app should also be able to recognize the surrounding objects, such as the cabinet, which usually get caught in the picture as well. So, along with the TV, the app should also show results for cabinets, and so on. If the user is interested only in the TV he/she will enter that particular section and ignore the rest. However, there is considerable possibility that he/she will get interested in the related products as well. Besides add-on sales, this technique also adds value to users’ effort.

In-app chat and image-sharing can be revolutionary

Shopping is one of the biggest socialization activities. Socializing over shopping is both an individual’s need and preference. Sometimes people are sorted in their mind about what they want to purchase, from where, and when, but still need a last minute suggestion or evaluation from peers. Various versions of getting caught in petty dilemma is quite usual among people. Such situations often lead to selected items being abandoned in the cart. The ability to get in touch with a peer or fellow buyers can help consumers who are stuck in such confusions. However, while businesses that support ecommerce offer chat service at their website, same is not the case with mobile apps. Direct chat even with company’s own representatives is not supported by an overwhelming number of companies.

The reason that mobile app developers have to deal with much smaller space is understandable. However, as mobile becomes increasingly integral to people’s lives, and as mobile technology continues to advance rapidly, businesses have little to say in excuse.

Incorporating chat support in apps is potentially a game-changing idea for businesses across the world. Enterprises should look plan modifying their apps to support not only chat with customer service representatives but also between consumers. In fact, there is plenty of scope for businesses to facilitate in-app socialization. Image-sharing capability (think of Snapchat and the likes) is another far-reaching and high-impact idea. Image-sharing capability can yield ground-breaking results especially for companies that sell apparels, footwear, jewelry, households, and similar articles.

While the facility to discuss a choice dilemma with peers will be helpful, consumers are likely to love the ability to share images. That way, they can click pictures wearing a few dresses they like, share it with their near and dear ones for opinion, and make the choice. The in-built chat and image-sharing idea not only makes digital shopping experience engaging for consumers, it can also be a key to genuine organic marketing. As users share images of items they intend to buy, they can even drive their peers to purchase. Thus, one potential sale may generate a number of potential buyers.

Voice-support will make shopping seamless

With internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence, deep learning, and similar advance technologies are becoming increasingly common in everyday-life, ecommerce apps should not lag behind. Digital personal assistants are the future (in fact, almost the present). So, incorporating a similar voice-based search capability is surely going to be helpful for consumers. In-app language recognition and voiced search support will make online shopping even more restriction-free. Current ecommerce apps prevent consumers from shopping or browsing products while they are busy with other work such as driving, cooking, and so on. Voice support will enable consumers to just verbally instruct the app to take them to the intended product or information. In fact, not just for navigation, the voice support can be extended let consumers place order as well as report complaints verbally.

With voice support, the chances of consumers completing their actions successfully as they intended to will also increase. Consumers will not land on incorrect or non-existent webpages due to misspellings and inappropriate use to words and phrases. Hence, it can potentially lead to significant increase in engagement and conversion.

Bottom line

While incorporating these design ideas mentioned above, businesses must take the slow and steady approach. Drastic changes to app experience can annoy consumers and rather drive them off. In order to successfully implement these ideas to maximize business potential, companies should add features in small iterations, and explain the intention and advantage of the new capability clearly to users. This would not only make them aware and prepared for the change, but will also make them feel valued as they would realize that the company is going to extents to make shopping convenient for them.

This article was originally published on MarTech Advisor

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