UI/UX, Mobile App

The Essence Of Simplicity Or Psychological And Social Foundation Of The Mobile App Success

An average entrepreneur considers the designer to be a fine artist and sometimes he doesn’t realize entirely that the future mobile app success directly depends on well-thought-out and attractive design. 

It is not a secret that these days the majority of people visit the Internet from their mobile devices and «searching or browsing on go» became a normal routine for modern people.

The statistics shows that mobile application downloads number fluctuated between 58-87 billions last year and average user app downloading quantity was between 28-40 apps and this number is increasing dramatically. This sounds quite optimistic until the another, sad statistics says that the only small part of these apps are used in everyday life. 

Together with fast transitions to the mobile applications, we may follow serious changes to the applications user interaction design and usability.

Simplicity becomes a key to app success in the Google Play and Apple App Store. The high-quality design is obvious but the outstanding design is transparent. This is the main idea of this philosophy. 

Simplicity is also a key factor in the esthetics evaluations of mobile apps. Design tends may change but intuitive interface, natural and eye-catching design will always stay in demand

Let’s refer to psychology and try to understand how Simplicity works in everyday life.

Cognitive and affective attitudes of mobile app users

Social psychology says that the person attitude comprises two distinct aspects: affective appraisals and cognitive appraisals.

Affective appraisals based on emotions, feelings while cognitive appraisals belong to the utilitarian aspect of the attitude. 

Cognitive appraisal belongs to the way of user evaluation his interaction with certain mobile application interface, for example from the point of view of value, typing efficiency etc. 

Affective appraisal reflects the level of user’s emotional satisfaction of interaction with the interface, for instance, pleasure or frustration. 

Correspondingly while the interaction with the mobile application, the user has both cognitive and affective appraisals concerning the interaction design.

Environmental psychology and mobile interface design

Environmental psychology is a branch of psychology that works on a systematic account of the relationship between the surrounding and individuals. Based on this point of view, a human behavior is mostly determined by the surrounding (environment) as a strong and straightforward causal influence for future action.

Simplicity doesn’t apply only to the aesthetic perception of a visual layout, but also to the information design, that is, the organization, structure, flow, and frame of interface items.

Steps quantity minimalization for a specific function assessment and a well-categorized menu structure obviously create an acceptable, though not firm, mental model of clear and quick information hierarchy understanding, which belongs to reduction and organization in information design.

Minimalization belongs to task completion within the less steps, while organization refers to the reduction of the users cognitive load in order to process the informational blocks efficiently.  

So the main idea is that the Simplicity of mobile application design effects on users attitude by means of cognitive-affective attitude towards mobile app interaction and correspondingly reflects and effect on users continuous behavior with applications.

How to feel the simplicity

photo Less is more in UI design

People don’t like to think a lot and they easily abandon the application if the app flow is unclear or the UI is overloaded with the design elements. However,

Simplicity is not an end in itself and the empty space is not the ultimate goal. The main philosophy of simplicity is concentration on the essential aspects, and the product is not loaded with non-essentials. 

That’s why before starting your new product creation you should ask yourself about the one thing that does your product better than any other products on the market and concentrate on this thing. Empty space should not bother you. The good thing about it is that it allows the user to focus on the key thing, making his/her app journey easier and interaction engaging. 

The essence of something is quite complicated to design because the complexity prevails in nowadays world.

“Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”

― Steve Jobs

Good UI Design = Problem Solving

Simplicity in UI

Design thinking is cognitive processes directed toward problem-solving. 

Each stage of thinking process covers different aspects such as defining the problem, researching, generating design ideas, building empathy for users, solutions prototyping, receiving feedbacks, and of course, iterating. With current design understanding, the design is the problems solving. And if your product solves the user’s problem it will live. 

Make sure your product UI consists of the elements the user understands and knows. The fact of spending many efforts during the interaction process on the way to final goal will definitely make the user find the easier way to address the need and most evidently he will go to your competitors who suggest an easier solution. Users don’t like unknown elements. Their only goal is to find in your application what they are searching for. By common elements usage, you help your customer to complete the set task quickly and it is not a secret that the satisfied user will return to you again and again.

We are living in a complex world. This world is full of complex objects and things made by people who unfortunately can’t think in a simple way. We should think differently. It is a bad decision to add more complexity to our quite complex life. Don’t you think that the world is complex enough?

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