Usability is fundamental. It is the difference between trying an app once versus becoming a loyal user for years. If your app isn’t easy to use, many people will simply give up and go to a simpler alternative. Clearly, you need to consider usability as a key pillar of your overall mobile strategy.
What should you consider in usability?
Usability can be complex and multi-faceted — but first of all, we have to understand that it means that the app will work and that it will work well. End users do not have time to figure out where to click within your app to get what they want. They need it to be obvious where and how to get to what they’re looking from the very beginning of their interaction with the app.
Ultimately, using the app should be easy and intuitive for end users. This means that the design and interface should be intuitive, and it should be easy for people to learn how to use the app. It shouldn’t be overly complicated, and using it should be efficient, with no unnecessary steps or processes. It should also be easy for the user to remember how to use the app each time they interact with it.
What can go wrong with usability?
Lack of standardization is a major issue that can affect usability. Standardization means that the app should have a consistent look and feel across devices, so whether it is being accessed through a mobile phone, a tablet, or even a smartwatch, it should look the same and the experience of using the app should be similar.
In addition, asking for the same information twice or more in your app is a bad idea. Users will become frustrated if they are required to fill in information when you’ve already asked for it. This wastes time and drives users to more efficient apps from competitors.
You can also make the mistake when designing an app across platforms of simply copying over the style from other operating systems. Copying over from one operating system (OS) to another can not only confuse users, it can annoy them. Every OS has its own unique style and look — for example, Android, iPhone and Windows Phone each have their own design aesthetic. Not recognizing that and failing to create a unique design and user experience for each OS and platform will drive users away from your app.
Getting usability right
Getting usability right is key to your app being successful. Usability strategies should be included in your app development and mobile testing plan from the very beginning. That way, you will ensure that users will have a great experience with your app and that they will tell other people about that experience.
To find out how Apexon can help with app usability, click here.