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Mobile App Design Best Practices to Follow in 2021 – Design Guide

Mobile App Design Best Practices to Follow in 2021 – Design Guide

Before we begin, let’s look at some numbers and statistics about mobile apps;

  • Mobile apps are expected to generate over $935 billion in revenue by 2023.
  • There are 2.87 million apps available for download on the Google Play Store.
  • 21% of the millennials open an app 50+ times per day.
  • 49% of people open an app 11+ times each day.
  • 69% of all US digital media time comes from mobile apps.
  • The average smartphone owner uses 10 apps per day and 30 apps each month.

Now, these are just a few of many astonishing figures around mobile apps which reflect just how important it is for businesses to work on their mobile app design. 

Optimal mobile app design is all about personalized communication; a friendly voice, and intuitive interaction. It is defined as a design that doesn’t require users to think much and focuses on emotions, motivations, and needs.

While developing your mobile application, you need to consider its UI and UX as they will be the first things to strike the eyes of users.

“85% of mobile app users confirmed that they will not go back to the mobile-app if the UI and UX is not appealing to them.” 

It’s simple. If the UI/UX design of your mobile application is user-friendly, then it will attract more customers and also will impact your conversion rates. 

So, in order for you to generate an excellent ROI through your mobile apps, it is the design of your apps that you should be focusing on primarily. And, in this article, we’ll cover some of the basic and best practices to follow when designing a mobile app. 

Make it easy to access

mobile app design best practices

Unlike using a web feature on a big screen (laptop or PC), the accessibility of web applications on mobile is tricky. 

Your mobile app must be designed in such a manner that it holds the “design for everyone” method at its core. 

While planning your mobile app design, go through the dynamics of all the generic ways a user holds a mobile phone in their hands (both, left and right-handed) and ensure that the main actions of your app design lie within the accessible area. 

Additionally, avoid keeping long scrolls in your design. It may come across as an effective tool to keep your audience engaged. However, studies show that the more we scroll, the more we tend to lose interest or get frustrated.

A good way to execute this is to provide an option for the users; such as a “tap to expand” or “read more” option. 


Make it readable 

Remember that a mobile app has a screen size limitation which makes the choice of your typeface, color, and spacing very important; in order to make it readable. 

Always choose a typeface that works well in multiple sizes and weights in order to maintain readability and usability in every size. Along with that, you should use a font size that makes the overall content legible. 

Apple and Google recommend at least ~11 points so users can read it at a typical viewing distance without zooming.

Additionally, the colors used for your mobile app design must be contrasting in order to keep a differentiation between the background and other UI elements; such as images, CTAs, etc. 

Another design practice that adds to the readability factor and would help your mobile app design to succeed is the use of whitespace. 


Ensure the correct visual hierarchy

Setting the right visual hierarchy is one of the main elements of UI/UX design 101. 

Place vital elements near the top of the screen, and arrange all sections in the descending order of importance.

Keep all the important information and action buttons (CTAs) approachable and visible for the users. 


Try and use tab bars

mobile app design best practices

Tab bars are helpful for providing ease of navigation for app users. They usually appear at the bottom of the screen, allowing users to quickly and conveniently switch between different areas of an app. 

Tab bars are an effective feature of any mobile app design which helps in saving design space and making it easy for the users to find the desired features. 

It is, however, recommended to limit the use of tab bars and not go beyond 3-4 tabs.

As the app owner, you need to understand the demography of your target audience and make sure that your mobile app design is compatible with their skills, background, and level of familiarity with mobile software and devices. 

For example, users belonging to Gen Y and beyond won’t probably need much hand-holding, however, beginners will surely appreciate a guided walkthrough through your app to get a solid grip of all functions. 

Here’s a detailed guide on how to design a website for users from different generations (age groups). 

A good practice to accomplish this is applying familiar, standardized layouts and icons. Make sure that all UI elements clearly indicate their function. For instance, use an envelope symbol to trigger sending a message and a phone symbol for a one-click call action. 

No need to go overboard with your creativity when you can get things done through simplicity!


To conclude…

Having a mobile-friendly website or app is more or less a necessity for businesses to sustain and flourish in the market. It is, therefore, important for brands to ensure that their mobile app design is on point and creates intrigue in their target users. 

GraphicsZoo is a pioneer in UI/UX design for all types of businesses. Speak to use at to understand more on how we can help you grow your business.