10 Basic Mobile App UI Design Guidelines: What Every Self-respecting Professional Needs to Know

App on mobile

Mobile applications have served as useful tools in making it easy for users to perform their daily activities, leading to a rise in global revenue from the industry over the years. Between 2019 and 2020, global revenue rose from $60 billion to $318 billion and is estimated to reach about $613 billion by 2025, according to Statista. 

Even with obvious growth in the industry, 25% of apps downloaded are only accessed by users once, and 57% of apps get deleted within a month; it all boils down to poor mobile app design. Mobile apps must be designed to satisfy users and contribute to long-term use after installation. To achieve this, mobile app designers must bear some things in mind. 

Guidelines on Mobile App Design

1. Make sure your app is user-friendly

A mobile app is designed majorly for the user. Hence, a designer must consider the user during the app design process. Your mobile app design must answer the questions: “who? what? and how?” That is, who is the user? What are the problems they need the application for? And how are these problems solved?

You must ensure that every design choice you are making is only set to make users’ lives easier by reducing the effort they need to put in place to get their work done. That is why they got a mobile app in the first place.

2. Be up-to-date with trends

As a professional, you should know the latest trends in mobile application design. You only call something trendy when it is known and is generally acceptable, which is important in designing the mobile app your user wants.

With the competition present in the industry, there are many options that users can switch to if your app isn’t efficient enough. Designing your app with the most recent trends will help you provide the optimal value to your users. Some of the latest trends include integrating with other apps, syncing certain services, using animations and emoticons, etc.

3. Realize that app design is not a monopoly

One man does not build the best mobile apps. It takes a group of experts with varying skill-set to create an app UI design that helps make your app effective for your user. It would be best if you did not, all for the sake of saving money, take on all the tasks that are required in designing a successful mobile app. Backend development, marketing, and research are aspects that you need experts to help you with to achieve the best results

4. Test the app with users

Users are the end-point of all mobile apps. If you are wondering how to design an app in the most user-friendly way, you need to know what users need, and the best way to do this is to research users. Before you decide to release your mobile app to the market space, you should have a sample audience to test a prototype of the app.

For your choice of sample audience, they only have to be a smaller fraction of who your users will be. For example, for an app that helps makeup artists find the best makeup products stores, non-makeup enthusiasts have nothing to do with your sample audience.

5. Show off your brand's personality

Most mobile apps use their brand identity to create trust with the users. If a brand's character isn't transposed in the design, users will have a hard time connecting with the app. When users click on your app and engage with it, they should feel like they are engaging with your company because you have already established trust. Your brand should have a unique, memorable, and recognizable color scheme that is consistent throughout the app to maintain this image.

6. Be responsive to different screen sizes and devices

There are many different types of mobile devices, each with their own functionalities and specifications. Mobile app designers should create user flows that are responsive to different screen sizes and devices. This is crucial to ensure that your app runs smoothly on different devices and provides a great user experience across all platforms. For example, an app designed with the iPhone X screen size in mind will look very different on the iPhone 7. So make sure to test your app on various devices before launch.

7. Add visual interest

A great first impression matters when people use your app. If users see something interesting, they’re more likely to keep using your app. To make sure your app looks visually appealing, add visual interest by adding color, patterns, textures, and other elements.

8. Don't rely on color alone for usability

The colors you choose for your app should relate to your brand identity. A few colors are enough to create an overall tone and mood for the app. You can use color to distinguish different functionalities and content types. But make sure you don't rely on color alone for usability as people with color vision deficiency might struggle to use the app. You can also use contrast to guide users on what to click or tap next. Consider a few key design principles, such as alignment, balance, proximity, and emphasis, to ensure that the app has the right look and feel. If you're unsure about which colors to use, you can use design tools like Adobe XD or Sketch to experiment with different color combinations for your app's design.

9. Don't forget about your users' hand grip strength

The distance between buttons on an app's screen should be large enough to make it easy for users to tap. You can use a ruler or a pencil to test the hand grip while holding the device in your hand. The buttons or links should be large enough to tap easily while the thumb should be able to easily reach the top of the screen or any other links or buttons. The distance between buttons should be large enough to avoid touching two buttons mistakenly by mistake. The screen should be able to accommodate the gesture of swiping or scrolling with one hand without straining.

10. Some other points to bear in mind

 The goal of every mobile application is to ensure that users have the best services with the most minimal effort. These steps summarize the key things that a professional designer should consider when designing the best mobile app.

  • Keep it Simple
  • Give a tour of the app upon installation
  • Cater for various types of devices (iOS or Android)
  • Avoid congestion on pages
  • Use consistent layouts and patterns
  • Ensure thumb-friendly navigation
  • Use simple and easy-to-understand words
  • Ensure proper spacing and positioning, keeping the serial position effect in mind
  • Use a clear visual hierarchy
  • Take advantage of color psychology. For example, blue is a color that helps build trust and security, that can work for Banks
  • Make use of gestures that can are easily adapted to
  • Reduce the need for users’ inputs
  • Reduce the number of push notifications


A mobile application without the user’s preference is just a collection of wasted efforts from the team, as the app would end up as one of the 57% deleted apps a month after installation since it does not serve the user effectively. In order to avoid having your app end up like this, follow mobile app UI design guidelines (by clicking on the link, you can find a description of the relevant Topflight Apps experience). Features as simple as the colors used in the mobile app design can help improve the efficiency of your app.


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