How not to annoy mobile users

Let’s talk about Peter. He just bought a great shirt. She’s trendy. The quality / price ratio was favorable. He returns home in a good mood. But then. At first it tickles him, then something scratches him, then he realizes that the label is digging into his skin. When his friend asks about a purchase, an annoying scratch is all he mentions. However, he is still going to wear it.

Make a mistake like this in a mobile app, and unfortunately, your users will likely not be so tolerant. After all, the patience of the mobile audience is low and their expectations are exceptionally high. Your app users are one of the hardest audiences to reckon with.

Below we have compiled the disadvantages of the most popular mobile apps that usually go unnoticed. Repeated occurrence of one of these problems can annoy some part of your users.

1. Nobody likes delays

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We already know that users don’t want to wait long every time they interact with your app. However, some of the answers may not be immediate. In these cases, it all depends on how you present this reality to your users.

The worst thing you can do while waiting is to do nothing. However, a loading spinner is not much better than a visual cue if it does not provide an estimate or information about the process duration.

It also has to do with how you handle micro-interactions in your application as a whole. Do them well and the UX of your application will be nice.

Decision

If you haven’t already, you need to discuss with users their subjective perception of time. If you can estimate the time it takes to complete a task, use the progress status indicator. If you can’t provide one, consider gradually loading the interface to show that the content is loading (see Facebook’s Shimmer libraries).

2. Your users cannot read the text

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Features of vision are individual. While one font size may not be right for all users, there are ways to please as many people as possible. Typography standards did not appear yesterday, and we are confident that most applications today adhere to the recommended standards.

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You don’t want your app to be remembered as an app that forces users to adjust the font size in their phone settings, so this is something to watch out for. Surprisingly, even with well-known companies, we still see applications that do not adhere to this standard.

Decision

It is possible to use text graphics and images according to the standard size guidelines, but if you do, make sure you enable the scaling feature as a workaround for those who need it. If your application mainly contains text, you might also consider adding a “change font size” option. There are several tools that can recognize when a gesture is not responding — using them, you can find out if the users of your application are trying to repeatedly enlarge or modify the image to no avail.

3. You redirect people against their will

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In reality, you should avoid redirecting users. If you sell products through your app, do not send customers back to your site with return questions. If you are focused on video content, it is best not to force them to open Youtube. If your app contains multiple website links, your users will not only negatively associate your brand with their frustration, but they will also feel that the product is unfinished.

Decision

It is always best to reformat any necessary content posted on your site and, if possible, put it directly into the application. This is especially true if the content is mostly text-based and you are simply linking to external resources to save time. However, it sometimes happens that your application will take some time to offer a specific feature.

In these cases, you have several options. Consider whether your application needs to show or display content at all. If not, remove it. If you need content, you can integrate a browser into the application, but this should be the last resort. It would be helpful if you made it clear to your users that you are going to do this before it happens and show them how to return to the previous screen in the application.

4. You continue to interrupt sessions

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Today, all kinds of applications contain confidential information, so session interruption times often become a sensitive issue when it comes to security policy.

However, mobile users work in a context switching environment, so if you automatically log off a session earlier than they expected, you are probably frustrating some users.

Decision

Pay attention to what your competitors are doing. If they have more time elapsed between automatic session interruptions, investigate why. Most banking applications use a minimum session duration of up to 10 minutes before users automatically log out, so if your application is less sensitive, you can afford a longer session.

Touch ID has made re-signing in more convenient for most users. Therefore, if your application requires login and frequent session interruptions, enable this feature if you have not already done so.

If your application only allows logged-in users to work, consider whether you need this. In most cases, you can continue to provide experiences (such as selecting and adding products to your cart) before displaying the login screen.

When you require users to log in again for a new session, you will need to find a sweet spot in terms of timing. To do this, it is very important to closely monitor the average number of sessions per week (and compare by demographics), set up session cohorts for specific time periods, and run multiple split tests. This will allow you to accurately assess the impact of triggering a login request on user engagement.

5. Controls are too close to each other

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Clicking the wrong button in an app continues to be one of the most annoying actions for any user. In applications with a lot of gestures (for example, games or image editors), this problem on any screen size can lead to negative feedback. It’s also worth remembering that your users may hold their phone in different ways.

Decision

Depending on where you are looking, current guidelines for sensory purposes c. 40px are based on the actual average width of an adult’s fingers. The point is, these guidelines are perfect. To do them correctly, you need to control the screen size and actual use. If your app’s success depends on a lot of interactions (especially fast ones), a heatmap tool can help you visualize exactly how your users interact with these screens in practice.

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An example of using touch heatmaps from Appsee

Output

The reality today is that providing a less-than-perfect mobile experience will impact your app rankings and overall conversion goals. In mobile apps, all the little things matter, and your job as a UX designer is never completely complete.

However, I hope you can safely say that your application is not annoying to anyone.(Image in header:DepositphotosAll other images in this article are screenshots taken when visiting their respective applications. They are used in this article for explanatory purposes only).

Author: Clark Douglas

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