It is the process of understanding your whole vision and gathering requirements for your app before heading into app development.
Think of it like hiring a building architect to design a house before you hire the builder.
During the first quarter of 2018, an average of 6,140 mobile apps were released through Google Play Store every day. For iOS app releases, the number was 1,434 per day during the same quarter. Combining the two platforms, there were 7,574 app releases per day. That’s 315 apps in an hour.
Obviously at the very core of it, your app needs to add value to its target user base by solving a problem or offering a service. And as you go about it, it is important to consider and map out the experience of your app for its users.
Because – what differentiates your app and its core value proposition is its experience design – the way in which your audience engages with the app.
Even though experiences are subjective, assimilating all these subjectivities and being able to cater to your target user’s base main needs, understanding their motivations and ironing out their pain points bring about a better engagement with the app.
This is where a UX (short for user experience) designer becomes an integral part of your app development process.
UX helps define (and reiterate if necessary) the core value proposition of your app
… so that you can build an MVP version doing that one thing well, very well, that will help you stand out from the crowd.
UX gives you an in-depth understanding of your potential users
… so that you can understand who will be using your app and position your product accordingly. Most importantly, this adds empathy to your app and identifies the user archetypes or personas that will be using your app. What drives that person to use something in the first place? What brings joy to that person? Are they tech-savvy? What are their aspirations? What do they say they do (aspirational)? What do they really do (behavioral)?
UX validates your MVP
… so that your MVP is the best version of itself. It puts your apps through usability tests – checking if your app is functional, easy to use and leads to an appreciative “hmmm” or a smile or an “aha! moment”. How does the onboarding process feel like to a potential user? Are all the call-to-action buttons visible and working? Simply put, it critiques your app and challenges it to become the best MVP version of itself (at App Boxer Sydney, we call it the MAP – minimum awesome product 🙂 within the limitations and constraints.
UX ties the entire app development process together through communication and collaboration
… so that your app has consistency as it moves through various stages – from an idea to wireframes, prototype and the building blocks of code. An able UX practitioner/team never works in isolation, they work closely with developers keeping the budget and tech constraints in mind and align it with the needs and goals of the client and potential users match it with. Having everyone on the same page right from the start makes your app consistent, and in turn, reliable. All of this streamlines the overall development of the app, which is reflected in the app’s user experience.
For more on how UX does all the above, watch this space. UX is one of many key services inside the App box.