7 Best Mobile UX Design Principles and Best Practices

  • Product Design
  • 25 January
  • 10 min read

With the growing number of people consistently on the go, they learned to rely on their mobile phones for their daily struggles. It will be smart for a startup business to take advantage of that reality. Imagine being a part of everyone’s daily transactions, decisions, and general activities. It will not only bring you followers and potential customers, but also credibility and reputation. Once people become aware that your brand delivers satisfactory customer service, you wouldn’t even need to worry about marketing anymore. You can just sit down and wait for the word to spread.

Just take a look at some of the most successful, well-known brands. Did you notice how all of them cater to their mobile audience using a mobile application? This just shows how vital an app can be in a marketing strategy.

Before you get started on planning for your brand’s mobile application, there are still a few tips that you need to consider. Having an app cannot guarantee you success but an effective mobile user experience design will be a great start.

Not sure where to start? We got your back. Here are the best mobile UX design principles that you can use as guidelines when planning.


Keep Physical Constraints in Mind

Mobile phones come in different shapes and sizes. Also, you’ll have to keep different operating systems in mind, such as Android and iOS. When it comes to mobile UX design, it is not a “one size fits all” situation. You need to come up with several design variations catering to a device’s interface, navigation, and functionality.

For example, an iPhone has a single button that has multiple purposes. Meanwhile, an Android phone offers multiple buttons for interaction. Obviously, they require different approaches when designing and planning.

Another important thing to remember is to consider different screen sizes. Even in the smallest screens, your app should remain responsive. This simply means that it should adjust to multiple screen sizes, making reading and navigating easy and possible.

If you already have a website, it might seem acceptable to take everything from there and turn it into an app. Effortless, cheap, and practical, right? We apologize for bursting your bubble, but it will be the worst mistake you’ll do for your business. Losing credibility, followers, and money is just some of the price you’ll have to pay for this decision.

This leads us to our next principle: becoming the audience.


Put Yourself in the Place of a “Visitor”

One of the best practices developers would make is to see their work in the eyes of a user. It is inevitable to look at your own work in an overly positive light; however, it blinds you to the improvements and adjustments needed to be done. If you truly want to see your project shine its brightest, you need to determine what can make it do so. This can be possible by setting your mind in the perspective of a possible visitor.

For example, your target audience is toy collectors. You need to consider their needs, motivators, preferences, and behavior. With these factors in mind, you can browse through your project and possibly gain knowledge on what it does right and wrong. Does it perform the function you originally envisioned? Is it helpful for your target audience? Will it boost a brand’s name and reputation? All these questions will be answered in your simulation.

If you are willing to get more insights and accurate results, you can get a small test group to do the screening for you. It would be ideal to gather people who can benefit from the app. They can give you useful feedback and honest opinions. Also, it can be a subtle way to advertise the project, since these people know that there is an app coming their way.


Stay Minimalistic

The minimalistic approach in design took the world by storm, and it remains to be widely used today. It was no surprise that it also influenced today’s mobile app UX design. Its simplicity already became the metaphor for a business’ professionalism and credibility. Who knew that something so simple and uncomplicated can say so much more?

A pattern following a minimalistic approach is ideal to create a pleasing experience for mobile users. In a significantly smaller screen, they do not need to be crowded with overly-decorated apps or websites. What they seek is functionality and ease of navigation.
This is where a designer’s creativity will truly shine. It is easy to make a simple design, but it can be a challenge to make it outstanding. Once you get that perfect balance of simplicity and uniqueness, your app or website will surely stand out.


Get to Know Your Colors

Colors play a vital role in designing and planning. It is not only meant to put life in your app or website, but it also determines the tone, mood, and message you are conveying.

If you are a business involved in the food industry, what do you think is the best color to utilize? According to color Psychology, red is the most powerful choice that can increase your sales. Just take a look at McDonald’s, KFC, Pizza Hut, and Coca-Cola. One thing that they have in common is that they utilize red as their brand’s color.

There’s only one reason why these brands went for the same strategy: it’s effective. This color is known to tease a person’s appetite and stimulate the taste buds. When combined with other suitable colors, it can intensify the brand’s message.
Take some time to research about colors and what they can do for your design. Make sure that it follows the path you want to take and the goals you need to reach.


Take Note of Specific Gestures

As a designer, you should keep in mind that buttons are not the only interaction your users will experience. There are gestures that will help them get around an app or a website. Some of the most used gestures include pinching, double tapping, scrolling, and sliding.

Let us take a look at how their absence can affect a UX design for a mobile app. In the earlier versions of Instagram’s app, zooming in on pictures was not possible. This action is usually a result of pinching, which is the common gesture for zooming in/out. The users felt limited in their actions, meaning they were not getting the best mobile user experience. Fortunately, in their most recent updates, they addressed the problem.

It is also important to take note of the different gestures used in different platforms. A gesture that might work on an Android phone might not work for an iPhone.

To spice everything up, you might want to add some animations whenever a gesture is done. For example, pulling down has become the universal gesture for refreshing an app. Make it exciting by adding something that can play with your visitors’ eyes as they wait. Some applications use of the circular loading prompt, but you can always add your own flavor. Keep it unique, simple, and a little subtle.


Consider Hand-to-Screen Interactions

If you’re not holding your phone, grab it right now and open an app you regularly use. Observe your fingers and where they usually land or interact. Are they easy to reach and press? If not, does it cause any strain on your fingers and/or wrists?

When you design an app, do not forget to consider your users’ physical comfort. If you notice that button or content placements can cause even the slightest discomfort, it would be best to re-design. Users tend to stop supporting the app when it proves too difficult to navigate.

Another thing you should consider is the working area you should provide. These include the size of your buttons, content viewing area, text boxes, and more. For this, you must keep in mind that people have multiple screen sizes and various finger sizes, too.
Do not design your interface solely based on the size of your fingers and the size of your screen. What works for you might not work for others. If you wish to be sure, you can gather people with different features to test out your project. Take note of its pros and cons to formulate a plan to incorporate everything into a successful universal format.


Pay Attention to User Feedback and Data

When you build a strategy, you need to know how well it works out. It will not only help you measure its success, but also gain information on what you might need to improve. As designers, our number one goal is to provide a satisfying experience for users. Receiving accurate feedback on your app will immediately give you a notification on what’s working and what’s not. With these data in hand, you will know what you need to change, revise, or add.

For example, you noticed a sudden drop in your app’s subscriber count. What did you do wrong that drove them into uninstalling your app? You won’t have to guess anymore because the app analytics will tell you the information you need to know.
You can look into other apps for mobile UX design inspiration, just to get an idea of how to execute ideas properly.



In today’s world, there are a lot of trends and guidelines to follow for success. Fortunately, you won’t have to deal with it alone. Fireart Studio has helped plenty of businesses reach their digital success dream. These were made possible through our use of custom mobile app design patterns, fresh and well-executed ideas, and appropriate tools. Sounds good? All you need to do is contact us.

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