5 Basic UI/UX Design Principles for your Mobile App

UI/UX design determines the way your app looks and works. Therefore, it is undoubtedly the most important component of its success. 

User-friendly design is not just about unique style and eye-catching animations. It requires a much more comprehensive approach that is not without theory. 

There are basic mobile design principles that are not only part of personal experience, but are backed up by the world’s best practices and research. Knowing these UI/UX design principles a novice designer can avoid mistakes and a business owner can better understand a contractor.

So let’s start our journey to clean and intuitive design.



1. Emphasis


When opening a site or application, the user should immediately understand what is important and what is secondary. If design elements are emphasized correctly and are placed hierarchically on the screen, the user intuitively understands where to click and what to do. 

If all elements are given the same weight and there are no contrasts, attention is dissipated. This should be avoided. That's why it's important to have only one focal point and to place accents in such a way that the visual hierarchy is clear.

The most common techniques that can be used to highlight elements and give them visual weight are:

⬥ size

⬥ shape

⬥ color

⬥ value

⬥ depth

⬥ texture

⬥ white space


Accents in mobile application design


2. Typography


Typography is one of the main parts of the visual language for communicating with users within mobile design. Like the color and shape, it can create a mood and present your product the way you want it to. By optimizing hierarchy, font size, spaces, and other things in your typography, you can provide the most seamless experience to your users. 

Here are the basic UI/UX design principles regarding typography.


Font Size

Use different font sizes for different types of headers to structure the page. There shouldn't be too many different sizes of your copy, while the same text elements should have the same size so that there is no chaos.

And do not forget about the minimum size: a 16-pixel or smaller font size for paragraph text puts serious pressure on readability. 


Text Alignment

Alignment is very important for mobile design because it helps to organize elements and therefore improve readability and user interaction.

In the majority of cases, text should be aligned to the left. It is definitely the best choice for long text, as it’s easier to read than the centered one. With the straight left edge there is a consistent place where the user can shift their gaze when completing each line.

When you center your text, the starting place of each line changes. This forces your users to put more effort into finding the beginning of each line to continue reading. Center-aligned text is best used for headings and short lines of text. Users can read them with ease because the lines are short, scannable and do not require repeated eye movements. It can also give your layout a balanced look thanks to its symmetrical format.

Designing a mobile app in right-to-left language has its own rules. And this requires not just a reflection of the text, but a whole sequence of actions and knowledge of the peculiarities of languages. We write about this and our experience in creating such an app in an article on right-to-left localization.


Text styles in web and mobile design


3. Balance and Organization


Make sure to organize the items on the screen correctly. Elements of the same type should be of the same size and alignment. The user should intuitively understand which elements form groups and which differ. Important information also should not be duplicated.

For this mobile design principle to work properly, white spacing is important. To separate objects from neighboring ones, internal spaces within objects must be smaller than external spaces. This separates the objects and gives them independence.


Element and text align


4. Navigation


Design should look neat and be clear to users. This will help them smoothly navigate through the pages without any confusion and reach goals. In your mobile application, the user should understand where they are, what they need to do and what will happen after pressing certain buttons and icons. That’s why design principles are important.

Thus, the navigation should be designed in a standard style using commonly known elements, so that users can easily find and understand the actions they need to perform. For instance, hamburger and kebab menus are the most common for mobile devices.

Avoid more than five choices of actions on one screen, otherwise it will be difficult to focus on the needed actions. Hamburger menu is a short way to go beyond this limit, as it allows hiding multiple choices behind a single icon.


Hamburger menu and what you can do with it


Image sliders, carousels and clickbait paginations are badly executed, causing users confusion and misinformation. Because of this, people tend to skip them.

While creating forms, place fields logically, reflecting the natural flow of a conversation. Group similar information to create more connections and associations in the user's mind. The sentence case is slightly easier  —  and thus faster  — to follow than the title case, so don’t try to capitalize every letter.


greate good forms


5. Feedback and Interaction


Don’t forget about these UI/UX design principles. Simplified and thoughtful interaction with your app allows you to keep the user in the app for longer and the user to reach the goal faster.

Always show your users the results of their actions to keep them informed and engaged. Add items that are highlighted when tapped, progress indicators that tell users the step of filling out the form, and animations and sound that help understand the results of actions.



Final words

We hope that now it has become a little bit more clear why design principles are important. A good UI/UX is designing an app that fits well with your users' behavior, preferences and expectations, which you can learn from the market research.

Be clear. Design clear and user-friendly interfaces. Make sure that every item in your project has a purpose and that it communicates its purpose. And if you're lost in design articles and current trends, and you're looking for help creating a competitive product, we provide app design services. Our UI/UX designers and business analysts will help your product stand out and make a difference.

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