The mobile user experience has three distinct layers. It is essential to pay attention to each to ensure a positive overall user experience. Let us look at them, giving you an indication of how user experience consultants approach UX design when it comes to mobile devices.
The first layer is the hardware, such as the shape of the mobile device, screen and button size, screen resolution, touchscreen sensitivity, and battery life, as well as aspects such as network speed and video loading time. Mobile handset manufactures develop their devices to meet the requirements of a particular market segment. If a handset is designed for the hip and trendy mobile gamer, it will have excellent screen resolution. If the handset design is for business users wanting quick and efficient access to data, the design will include features to quickly open browsers and access other business features. These features should be easy to use, providing for an intuitive experience.
The user interacts with the mobile device using its operating system. If it falters in any way, you can be sure that the user will perceive the entire device negatively. Components of the operating system include the browser, navigation app, messaging app, app store, copying and pasting features, and responsiveness. The operating system plays an integral role when it comes to user experience. Well-known operating systems include Android and Apple iOS, amongst others. Android offers full and seamless integration with the various Google services while iOS also offers excellent integration, especially within the Apple ecosystem.
Which apps run on the device? Questions that user experience consultants consider range from how intuitive the device is, whether the site structure meets the user’s expectations, whether the tasks offer mobile-friendly operation, and whether the site was designed for the mobile environment. The third layer is where the expertise of the user experience consultant benefits the app developer. Whereas the first two layers mostly have to do with the manufacturers and networks, the third layer is where a company such as a grocery chain, vehicle manufacturer, game developer, or navigation provider creates an app that can be downloaded.
However, if the app has flaws, such as a complicated sign-up screen, complex in-app permissions, or troublesome navigation, the user experience is negative. It fails on the fronts of functionality, usability, and a positive user experience. The user experience consultant helps identify flaws and recommends ways to correct the mistakes. In effect, the consultant enables the designer to deliver a product that meets the requirements of relevancy, aesthetic appeal, functionality, usability, and user-friendliness, and thus an app that adds value to the mobile environment.