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03 May 2017

The Basics of Good Mobile UI

A mobile application or mobile-ready website can be valuable to your dermatology patients.

They let patients schedule appointments, make payments on office visits, and find general information from their mobile devices.

About anyone can put their design skills to use thanks to prototyping apps. (We have apps that let us design other apps. How cool is that? I digress.)

With 2.2 million applications and over 1 billion websites available, there truly is something for everything. So when designing your new mobile UI, you will want something that stands out.

Unfortunately, many applications are downloaded and are hardly touched. Even worse, they sit on your mobile deck for a few weeks before you have to start deleting junk to clear up space for better uses.

And don’t forget about the countless websites that are never even visited.

So, how do you create a mobile user interface (UI) that will get into users’ hands and stay there? According to Google, the two most important components of an app or website is its usability and its value to consumers.

Read below for our basic tips and strategies on how to create a mobile UI.

Mobile UI Tip 1: Understand Your Users

Designing an UI is similar to other business models.

You must understand who your typical user is and their purpose for visiting your page or app.

Ask yourself: Who is going to be using my app/visiting my website? What kind of functions are they going to be coming for?

Also, you must consider what your purpose of having an app is.

Are you looking to increase revenue?

Is this mobile offering a convenience move for our patients?

Having this understanding will help you move forward with the design process.

We recommend creating an experience map to lay out each function users can encounter.

For example, let’s look at what the user experience would be if a patient were to schedule an appointment.

  1. Open application/web page
  2. Select ‘Make Appointment’ tab
  3. Select Date- (drop-down menu or scroll option for different months and years)
  4. Confirm appointment date
  5. Close out of application/browser

It is beneficial to create a user persona that serves as a fictitious model of who would be using the app or site. This will help with customizing and simplifying- which leads me to…

Mobile UI Tip 2: Simplify, Simplify, Simplify

Apps that are hard to use get deleted. Websites that are hard to navigate do not get used. It’s as simple as that.

For a dermatologist practice, your users will be your patients. Making, rescheduling, or canceling appointments can be a daunting task for many (talking on the phone- the horror!) Your mobile UI can simplify this process, among several others.

Designers should follow the two-tap rule. Can your user do what they need to do within two taps or clicks?

If it takes over two taps, it is probably overcomplicated.

For instance, say you include a tab where patients can make their copayment for the office visit.

For that to happen, all users need to do is locate the ‘Make Payment’ tab. From there, they would confirm credit card information.

Users could skip selecting the day they came in, checking off the procedure they had done, etc. They just need to go in, find their payment, and pay it.

Mobile UI Tip 3: Needs to be Visually Appealing

The visual aesthetic of the mobile UI is a make-it-or-break-it factor that can cause an immediate delete.

Like the content produced, the actual design and appearance should be simple as well.

Some company applications or websites call for eccentricity.

But, the purpose of your platforms is probably a convenience move for patients. In this situation, it would be best to keep as simple as possible.Generally, it is ideal to go for colors that complement your brand logo so it is easier to recognize.

Generally, it is ideal to go for colors that complement your brand logo so it is easier to recognize.

No one wants to get a headache from using their phones or laptops. It is best to dial back on flashy, bright color schemes.

Typography should follow similar rules- easy to read, reasonable size, visually appealing.

Pick a font that is easy on the eye and make sure it is uniform throughout the user interface.

The amount of text should be kept sparse as well. Develop a content strategy for your dermatology practice in which users are able to receive the full experience without having to read a novel to do so.

Online platforms are so well-liked because they are so easy to use. Being too wordy can make your mobile UI appear more complex than it really is.

Mobile UI Tip 4: Proper Positioning

(The two following suggestions pertain to applications online.)

You may want to consider following other applications’ or websites’ formatting. In this situation, familiarity will work in your favor as it will create resonance.

Most users hold their phones by letting it rest in on one hand while using that thumb to navigate through the page. For applications, we generally look to the left and bottom to find what we need.

Touch gestures can significantly improve your user’s experience.

Often, it makes sense to use different gestures than simply tapping the screen.

For example, let’s say your patient is looking to schedule a date for a later month.

You could offer an option for them to physically scroll through the months. Or you could include a zoom function for a tab on general skin conditions.

Mobile UI Tip 5: Find Appropriate Touch Targets

You will want to consider the amount of space your mobile UI offers users.

Apple currently recommends applications to have a size of 44 pixels square. This is actually smaller than the average finger size of 45-57 pixels.

It is frustrating for users to peruse through an app when they cannot reach the button or tab they need.

Extra space will also give a better appearance to the application as it will look less cluttered.

A good mobile UI can improve patients’ experience with the company. Before launching, you will need a strategic marketing plan to spread the word.

Let us help! We create content strategies, optimize search engine results, and much more! Contact us for more information.