We live in an app-driven world. Consider how many mobile apps you use daily. According to eMarketer, the average US adult spent about 3 hours and 25 minutes on apps daily in 2018, and that time is expected to increase by 11 minutes this year. Apps account for up to 90% of the time spent on mobile devices. But what does this mean? Well, apps have essentially become the place we hang out virtually on our smartphones and tablets.
As a developer, if you want users to spend time on your app, you need to focus on creating a captivating user interface (UI). Thankfully, there are many app design tools out there that make the process easier. In this article, we’ll look at some of the best app UI design software out there.
Adobe Experience Design (XD): Adobe XD was built for Android and Microsoft Windows 10. The app allows you to bring your app idea to life by creating a wireframe and a prototype. It is incredibly easy to use.
You can do a lot of things with Adobe XD. The tool shows you how your app will look on different screen sizes and allows you to adjust your design to suit these platforms. You can use Adobe XD to animate your design, create voice commands as well as add plugins and integrate other apps. Adobe XD is the perfect tool to breathe life into your app idea – from creating a basic layout to designing a full prototype.
Android Studio: This is one of the UI designing tools provided on the official Android platform. As you can imagine, Android Studio is used to create Android apps. However, you can run it on Windows, Mac or Linux.
You can use Android Studio to create a layout of your app and preview how it will look on different screen sizes. It comes with many other features including an APK analyzer, a code editor, an emulator (which can be integrated with Google’s ARCore platform) and much more. Android Studio provides all the tools that you need to make programming your mobile app UI. However, you need some programming knowledge to be able to use this tool.
Mockplus: This is another excellent app for designing your mobile app UI. It is designed to allow you to create an app mockup with ease. You can use this tool to develop both Android and iOS apps.
Mockplus is easy to use. It has a drag-and-drop design. There are thousands of icons and up to 200 components to choose from. It also supports fast testing. You just need to scan a QR code to test this app on your native device. Although this tool has a short learning curve, it comes with a lot of advanced features that give you control over the UI of your app.
Sketch: This popular tool allows you to design the UI of your iOS app and create a prototype. Sketch is a lightweight tool with simple functionality. You can export the codes and preset design of your app to another platform. While it does not support photo editing, it provides just about everything else that you need to get your app idea off the ground. You can add animations, choose from hundreds of plugins and bring your prototype to life with Sketch. This tool does not only allow you to create a basic prototype but an interactive one with proper content. You can even export your prototype to clients straight from the Sketch platform.
Proto.io: This is an iOS UI design tool, and it also works on Android. Proto.io was designed to allow you to create a high-fidelity prototype of your app. You do not need any coding experience to use it.
Proto.io is the right tool to take your app idea from the early stages to a clickable prototype. It can be used to develop apps for different platforms; from smartwatches and phones to desktops. It has a drag-and-drop design and a vast UI library to get you started. This tool supports animation. You can sync your work to Dropbox or Google Drive and even send it to your device for realistic testing. You can also share the app with colleagues and clients. Proto.io is one of the best tools for working out the UI ideas for your app and testing it.
There are many equally good UI designing tools out there. However, these are some of the most popular. Here are a few things to keep in mind before you start working on the UI design of your mobile app.
1. Take the time to develop the idea of your mobile app before you start building it.
2. The UI of your app must have a consistent structure and user-friendly design.
3. Take the time to test your app UI thoroughly before you release it.
e-Marketers say that approximately $101 billion was spent on mobile ads globally last year alone. This sum is more than 5 times bigger than the corresponding one from 2012. Digital advertising began its conversion from desktop to mobile in 2008 and ever since mobile APP advertising rates have been increasing day by day. Mobile ad spending got a remarkable lift in the 2012-2013 periods with the introduction of bigger screen smartphone models as well as when the tablet computer market began to mature.
Average CPM (Cost-Per-Thousand) is one of the core metrics for digital advertising, specifically in mobile app advertising. In a nutshell, it tells the advertiser how much a thousand ad impressions in a specific mobile app costs and in this way publishers can get an idea about how much revenue can be generated from every 1,000 impressions served. Among all digital ad metrics CPM, CPC, and CPA are the most important and reliable metrics for digital advertisers. CPA (Cost-Per-Action) is the most valuable to mobile advertisers because it measures the cost of a specific action that people take within a digital product.
Let’s have a look on Key Mobile Advertising Rates data points:
Knowing these app ads revenue data points, we will analyze a few data points collected for the last several years.
Mobile advertising spending has grown from $19 billion in 2013 to $133 billion in 2017. The fastest growth took place in 2013 and 2014, when year-over-year mobile ad spending grew up more than 100%. This year it’s forecasted that collectively, companies will spend $166 billion or roughly 25% up from the previous year.
When we look over desktop and mobile ad spending volume over time together, it becomes crystal clear that starting around 2015 desktop spending is in decline and mobile advertising spending flourished day by day. Companies were spending progressively more from $40 to about $100 billion from 2006 to 2015.
How much money is spent on mobile advertising by a country in a particular year reflects the size of that country’s economy.
Have a look at Global Mobile Advertising Spending Forecast, 2013-2018, by country.
The Zenith Optimedia agency report from Q3, 2016 compares advertising spending from multiple ad formats and here the result.TV ads presented 36% of the total ad spendings pie in 2016, this percentage is projected to shrink to just 33% in 2019, meanwhile, mobile advertising will almost double, from 15% to 27%.
Let’s have a look at Global Advertising Spending by Format, 2016 vs. 2019:
According to data from March of 2016, the total spending in 2016 passed $192 billion and is projected to reach $234 billion by 2020. The overarching trend is that during the five year period, from 2015-2020, mobile ad spending is to more than double, from $32 billion in 2015 to $77 billion by 2020.
US Total Media Ad Spending, by media 2015-2020, $ billions:
CPC is equally important as like CPM in digital ad marketing. CPC stands for cost-per-click. Just like CPM, CPC also varies for different advertising platforms.
Let’s take a look at a chart of Mobile app install ads CPC trends, 2015-2016
Here is another chart of Cost per click by device in dollars, 2015-2016:
Facebook is the biggest advertising platform on the planet and it provides a broad spectrum of advertising tools to reach the targeted audience through its app on desktop and mobile, as well as on Instagram and via its Audience Network which serves thousands of app developers with target ads that match their app users interests.
Let’s have a look at Facebook cost-per-click in dollars.
Here is another chart which shows countywide CPC of Facebook
So we know about CPM but what about eCPM? The difference between CPM and eCPM is that CPM (cost-per-mile or a cost of 1,000 impressions) defines how much ad impressions are valued before an ad campaign takes place. On the other hand, eCPM is calculated by advertisers after an ad campaign is finished and regardless of what buying model was used – CPM, CPC, CPA. Because of some over or under delivery by the ad network or the publisher, an eCPM price may vary from a CPM rate.
Now, to get an idea about average CPM, we will review the market research of top five mobile advertising networks (Chartboost, AppLovin, AdMob, InMobi & Admob).
For better understanding, let’s have a look at top mobile ad networks Android and iOS eCPM Rates, 2015-2017
In the realm of the mobile advertising market, Facebook is the biggest shareholder. Facebook ad rates are tied to the condition of the local economy as well as the size of a local digital market. Among a number of European, Latin, Asian and North America countries the highest CPM rates are in Sweden – $1.8, Denmark – $1.7 and Taiwan – $1.5.
Let’s have a look of few charts and table for better understanding.
Facebook Ad CPM Rates, by country in 2015:
US Facebook Ads CPM Rates, by industry in 2016:
Facebook CPM by ad format in Q2 2017:
The Mobile Advertising Market is flourishing day by day and it has become a major source of digital publisher’s revenue nowadays. Because of Mobile Advertising, the advertisers can reach their targeted audience more effectively. Mobile ad eCPM rates vary by industry, mobile OS, geo location and specific mobile ad network. Facebook and Google control the major part of the mobile advertising market together and this scenario aren’t likely to change anytime soon.
The mobile app industry is highly competitive. There are billions of mobile app users across the world, and thousands of mobile apps are released yearly. Although the potential for growth is high, mobile app creators need to do a lot more to succeed.
User engagement and user retention are crucial to success in the market today. A mobile app with low user engagement and retention is bound to fail. Active users are at the core of profitability with mobile apps. If you have a mobile app, there are some strategies that you can employ to boost your user engagement and retention.
First off, you must make your app unique and attractive enough to make users check it out. In other words, it must play a useful role in their everyday lives. If you can achieve that, the next step is to ensure that users do not struggle to get a grip on how your app functions. The goal of your app design must be to make users operate it intuitively.
Failure to achieve this can result in user discontent and app abandonment. Usability must be at the core of your user engagement and retention scheme. A lot of thought and analysis must go into the design of your app. If the onboarding process is complicated, users are likely to uninstall your app or stop using it.
One way to make the onboarding process of your app simple is to avoid asking for too much information before giving users access. The goal should be to remove all the unnecessary roadblocks and allow users to get a taste of what your app offers. Some of the biggest apps today like Facebook use this strategy. Research shows that users tend to recommend apps they find useful to their family and friends.
Key Takeaway: The onboarding process of an app should be fun and straightforward.
Communication is essential in strengthening the user engagement and retention of your app. Not just communicating with your users, but listening to their opinions. As a developer, you must take the views of users into account. Knowing what your users think about your app puts you in a better position to make the right improvements.`
Besides feedback, user data analysis is another way to gather valuable information about which features of your app are engaging to users. It will show also reveal the aspects of your app users do not like. Data analysis can go a long way to help you improve user engagement and retention on your mobile app.
There are many ways developers can get feedback from users. You can create a section on your app where users can drop their suggestions. Another way to find out what users think about your app is to read reviews. There are many platforms online where users write about their experiences with apps. For example, you will find lots of user reviews on App stores. The comment section of tech blogs can also provide some information about the experiences of users. Social media is another gold mine for unfiltered comments about your app. Surveys are another viable option to gather feedback. Polls are more specific and deliberate; you can ask what users think about particular aspects of your app. You can contract professionals like Buildinary to analyze your app and provide an expert opinion on how you can improve it.
Key Takeaway: Listen to your users.
To engender loyalty among your users, it is essential to build a sense of community. You must let users know that their suggestions are valued. As much as possible, respond to user’s comments. Responding to feedback from users is one thing, but you must also attempt to implement their recommendations where possible. Users feel more valued when they see that companies take their opinions seriously.
Key Takeaway: Work to build a relationship with your users.
Anyone abreast with the tech market knows that personalization is one of the secrets to keeping users. It can go a long way to enhance user experience, particularly with mobile applications. The more personalization options that a mobile app offers, the more it is likely to engage users. You can harness data to personalize content for your users. Users are likely to find relevant content more appealing and would spend more time on your app. Some simple personalization options like making the name of each user appear on the screen or allowing users to choose a different interface can go a long way to make people fall in love with your app.
Key Takeaway: Give users options to personalize their experience on your app.
There are many other equally good ways to improve the user engagement and retention rate of your app such as offering discounts and adding social media features to your app.
Table of Contents
User experience (UX) and user interface (UI) are central to the success of mobile apps. Without a proper interface, users may not be able to utilize the features of your app fully. Ultimately, a poor UX can result in low user retention and engagement. It is safe to say that all apps that have a high conversion rate invest a great deal of time and energy into improving their UI and UX. There is no way people will patronize an app if it wasn’t designed to be easily usable and provide an enjoyable experience.
Companies are increasingly recognizing the value of UX. In an interview with Fortune last year, Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia explained the importance of considering customers when creating products. He described this as “design thinking.”
“Design thinking is another way of saying empathize with the customer,” Gebba said. “It’s consideration for the person you’re designing for…What it means is you’re going to spend the time and effort to understand the needs of the person you’re designing for such that you can create something that’s valuable to them.”
While user interface describes the outer/surface design of an app that users interact with to control it, user experience refers to every aspect of a users experience with an app. Therefore, creating a UI that users can operate intuitively is one of the elements of UX.
User experience is one of the underlying factors that separates successful apps from all the others. According to a study by Forrester, companies earn $100 for every $1 spent on improving their UX. And that’s not all. Research shows that users don’t mind paying more to get a better experience. A study by Walker concluded that by 2020, user experience would be the main factor that differentiates brands – not price. This means if you want to create an app that will be successful, UX must be at the heart of your design.
It is clear that apps are an excellent avenue to drive conversion. According to a report from Criteo, apps have a 120% better conversion rate than desktops and mobile sites.
One of the main benefits of providing great UX is conversion. It can be tricky to measure the conversion rates of mobile apps because each app is unique and may require different conversion actions. For example, on social media apps like Whatsapp, the conversion goal is to get users to interact with their friends through the app. However, for an e-commerce app like Amazon, conversion means viewing and buying items.
If the UX of an app appeals to users, the high level of engagement will translate to a high conversion rate. It is important to note that attuning the UX of your mobile apps to appeal to users is not a one-time thing. It must be a continuous effort. Essentially, putting users first should be part of the culture of your organization. Most app developers spend up to 20% of their budget on UX improvement.
In recent months, one of the main focus of UX improvement has been to add diverse emoji to social media platforms and other apps. Some of the biggest social media platforms on the market including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have updated their apps to support different emoji. Recently, Tinder has been calling for more emoji options particularly emoji for interracial couples.
This goes to show that it is not only the major features that count, but minor things like personalized greetings and emoji options can go a long way to improve UX. Every marketer knows the importance of giving users more options and keeping up with the trends.
Table of Contents
As indicated above, a mockup is a relatively detailed outline of the appearance of an app. The difference between an app mockup and wireframe is that the former includes colors, layout, images, typography, and more, while the latter may only feature sketches and text. A mockup is usually static. It gives you a glimpse into how the completed app will look and operate. Mockups are very important in the UX design process.
Mobile app prototyping refers to the final phase in the designing of an app before it is built. Unlike a UI mockup which is static, a prototype is interactive. It includes animations and other UX features that will appear in the final version of the app. The prototype of an app is what is tested by users and potential investors before the final version is created. A prototype must represent an app with its full functionality. It is essential to test your app prototype repeatedly before you roll it out to investors and the public. Mobile app prototyping allows you to evaluate your idea in its final appearance. It also allows you to get valuable feedback and give investors a realistic sample of the app you’re creating.
There are many ways of creating a mockup. If you are a developer, you can code a mockup of your mobile app. While this may be time-consuming, it is an excellent way to get started on the project. You can start figuring out what works and what kind of technical expertise will be needed to get the app completed.
Another way to create a mockup is to use graphic design software. Since the mockup design is static, this should be quite easy. However, you need to be an expert graphic designer, or you may struggle.
The fastest and easiest way to create a mockup design is to use a mockup application. There are many online tools that you can use to create a mockup design of your mobile app. Some of the top mockup apps are UXPin, MOQUPS, MockPlus, Balsamiq, Sketch, MockingBird, Invision, and Proto.io.
There are many advantages of creating an app design mockup. It gives you an opportunity to make revisions to the final appearance of the site. For example, you may find that specific colors do not go well together or the place you have selected for the logo is not the best. There is no way to create a perfect UX design without doing a mockup of your app.
Another benefit of creating a mockup is that it allows you to explain precisely what you want from collaborators. This is essential to rally your team in the early stages of the app development process. A mockup is the best way to give everyone a clear vision of what the final app will look like and how it will function. It is also something you can show investors before you can raise funds and expertise to create a prototype of the app.
Designing a mockup is a crucial part of developing a mobile app. This is a step that must not be overlooked if you want to create an app that will appeal to users successfully.