10 mobile UX design principles you should know

July 15, 2024
13 minute read
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Imagine you're leading a thriving business and developing an innovative product, yet the market response is muted. Could this be due to your app's mobile UI/UX design principles?

In today's smartphone-dominated era, mobile apps and websites are expected, not wanted. They are the bridge between your business and customers. Apple's shift to mobile-first technologies highlights this trend.

An app with complex navigation and poor usability is a liability, akin to a high-end store with a maze-like entrance. While some may find it intriguing, like in IKEA when it comes to mobile apps, simplicity sells.

Embracing technological change through the key principles of mobile app design is essential for business owners. The digital landscape is rapidly evolving, with increasing expectations for effortless, intuitive mobile experiences from customers who use your app.

Creating great mobile user experiences can enhance your brand, build loyalty, and drive growth. However, designing mobile apps with poor choices and usability flaws throughout the app can harm your reputation and repel customers.

Good UX and UI design should make your customers enjoy your product. The key to mobile design is creating resonating user experiences, increasing engagement and retention, thereby contributing to your business's success.

This blog aims to help you optimize mobile UX and UI as you're designing an app or if you want to know how to design a CRM other businesses can use.

We're exploring how to build experiences users expect from their mobile apps. We'll guide you through the best mobile UI UX design practices, from clear navigation to intuitive interfaces on a mobile screen.

Continue reading to discover strategies for exceptional UX in your mobile sites and apps. We'll cover everything from standard and advanced design conventions to great UX interface design. At the end of this post, you will have the knowledge our team of mobile designers use to craft mobile interfaces with visual designs people love.

As stated, mobile designs are becoming synonymous with success. So, why not begin positioning your business for success in the dynamic digital landscape with the principles of good mobile navigation and user interface design today?

Everything we cover will help you, whether you simply conduct UX research, are a UX designer, or are a business owner wanting to learn UX.

Key takeaways

  • What principles of mobile app design aren't
  • Why user experience design is important for your app or website
  • What great mobile UX design principles are
  • 10 UX design principles for web design and designing an app

What aren't UX and UI design principles?

To know what good UI and UX design principles are, we need first to define what they are not.

This distinction is necessary if your app is delivered in the digital marketplace.

Firstly, these principles are not just about how visually attractive something is. While visual appeal is important, the functionality and user journey truly matter. User experience and interface design principles are not the latest design trends or visually stunning graphics. They exist to help you create intuitive pathways for users.

Secondly, these principles are not static. In the dynamic digital business landscape, customer experiences must evolve with changing needs and technological advancements. They aren't set-it-and-forget-it elements. Continuous iteration and responsiveness are key.

Mobile design principles also aren't one-size-fits-all. What works for one app may not work for another. Customization and understanding your unique user base are essential. These principles help you create tailored solutions, not generic fixes.

Design principles aren't solely about user satisfaction. They're a strategic business tool. Implemented effectively, they can drive user engagement, brand loyalty, and profitability. They're business growth catalysts that lead people to head to the app store and download your mobile application. More importantly, when people use mobile apps, the product design and functionality keep it installed on their phone or tablet.

Lastly, these principles aren't just your team of mobile app developers or designers, nor are they your responsibility. They're a collaborative effort involving cross-functional teams. It's a collective approach to creating something big, from market researchers to developers. Think synergy, not siloed tasks.

Can you see why great mobile designs are increasingly discussed in business? We hope so because understanding these nuances helps craft a mobile experience that's a functional and powerful extension of your brand. These principles help you strike the right balance between form, function, and business strategy so you can place interaction design at the center of your development for any app on a mobile device in the future.

In the next sections, we'll explore how to apply these principles effectively because they're important for mobile.

Real-world examples so you know what comprises UI and UX design process principles.

Desktop and mobile design principles are core to creating effective and engaging digital experiences. They involve a deep understanding of user needs and behaviors to create interfaces people love.

Apple embodies design thinking, focusing on simplicity and intuitiveness. Their design philosophy centers on creating products that are easy to use.

For instance, the iPhone's interface is renowned for its minimalistic design and intuitive navigation. If you've ever purchased a phone from Best Buy, there's a good chance you've heard someone selling an iPhone to an older customer.

The reason is simple. Users can easily access various functionalities with simple gestures and taps. Apple's design eliminates unnecessary elements, ensuring users can focus on what is important. They make it easy for people to do many things.

Not an Apple fan? Here's another example. Sephora's mobile app excels in personalization and user engagement. These are key UI and UX principles.

They use augmented reality (AR) to allow users to virtually try on makeup, which offers a personalized and interactive shopping experience. By understanding their users' desire for a customized experience, Sephora's app provides a unique and tailored journey, setting a benchmark in e-commerce UX.

Still unsure of what we mean?

Dick's Sporting Goods demonstrates how accessibility and functionality can be integrated into UI and UX design. Their website and mobile app provide a straightforward shopping experience, with easy navigation and clear categorization of products.

Their approach makes it simple for users to find what they want, whether browsing on a mobile device or a desktop. By prioritizing accessibility and functionality, Dick's ensures that all users, regardless of their tech-savviness, can navigate their digital platforms with ease.

A business owner's playbook with 10 mobile UX design principles you should know

We've established what mobile UI/UX design principles are and aren't. Now, let's break them down for a comprehensive understanding.

Remember, these principles are the foundation for successful digital experiences. They require an in-depth understanding of user needs and behaviors to craft visually pleasing, highly functional, and intuitive interfaces.

One screen, one action, better mobile user experiences

On mobile devices, real estate is a precious commodity. Cramming multiple elements on one screen can lead to information overload. Adhere to the one-action-per-screen rule. If you're incorporating a process, divide it into digestible steps.

This principle streamlines the user journey and communicates the expected action.

To compare this to a desktop experience, think about a sales page. You will likely remove the menu bar so customers will not click away. You will also give them one on-screen option. The option to make a purchase.

Any other action would require them to close the sales page. As you can see, it guides people and tells them what you want them to do.

Here's a good example of a process on a mobile website. Let's assume you want people to work with your digital agency, and they are viewing your site on a mobile phone.

On page 1, they should see your landing page after clicking on your ad. On the landing page, they should see your offer. Beneath the offer, they should see your hot offer matrix; this explains why they should buy now. After that, they should see testimonials. Until now, there are no buttons, only information. After your testimonials, give them a book now button to set a meeting with your agency.

On page 2, you should present them with a calendar. Here, you should only allow them to choose the date they want. Then you send them to page 3.

On page 3, you give them times to book on their chosen date. Then you send them to page 4.

Page 4 is your qualifying questions for the client. The questions would prepare you for their meeting and help you qualify them. After they submit these questions, you take them to page 5.

Page 5 is where they confirm their meeting. They only need to review their information and click the confirm button. Then, you direct them to page 6.

On page 6, you tell them thanks, and then your automated systems kick in so the client remembers their meeting.

To discover the best flow for your customers, you can plan and conduct a successful user persona workshop or gain feedback through user testing methods. Doing so will allow you to gather data to create specific experiences.

Intuitive Navigation is for designing a mobile app interface

The navigation within your app should be simpler than making a sandwich. Remember, the learnability of your design is also important.

Users should effortlessly move between screens or revert to the home screen.

Overcomplicated navigation can cause frustration, pushing users away from your app.

Create a logical structure within your app to guide users through their journey.

Employ familiar navigation patterns and indicate the user's current location. To understand what your users are familiar with, research competitors and see what works best on their app using your investigative skills.

Then, use that data to make your app better.

If many people are confused with your app or website, you will experience customer churn.

Buy you can increase product adoption rates with a user interface audit.

Give the user control over the design look and design better alerts for their needs.

People appreciate the autonomy to customize their app journey. Allow them to tailor notifications, alter settings, or block actions as they see fit.

Offering this level of control enhances user trust and comfort. It will lead to a more transparent and liberated experience.

Do not confuse this with one screen, one action. To combine the two, consider why you are making a specific page. It makes sense for a sales page to have one option - make a purchase or buy a product.

Similarly, it makes sense for a customization page to contain all the tools needed to customize functionality.

You can make all these functions accessible by going back to our first two points:

  • Make navigation intuitive
  • Create one screen for each action

These principles should work in harmony and not cause distress when implementing them.

Wondering how to know if the control you're providing is overwhelming?

You can do so through research.

It begins with planning usability testing.

Next,  ensure you understand the difference between usability testing and user interviews so your research is reliable.

Designing mobile experiences that users won't forget with legible typography

Choosing the right font for your mobile user interface can increase or decrease a user's ability to use your website or app. Font influences user comprehension and message delivery.

Our top tip is to aim for readability. If users struggle to read your content, its presence is futile.

Choose typography that balances legibility and efficient space usage. Avoid fonts smaller than 16 pixels and overly ornate typefaces. Fonts like Roboto and Helvetica Neue strike the right balance between functionality and design.

Understanding if your chosen font is simple for users is one of the many benefits of a UX audit.

Build a mobile app with minimum Input requirements for maximum user output

In mobile app design, less is more regarding user input.

Lengthy typing tasks can cause users to leave your website or app.

Enhance experiences with smart features like autocomplete and field checks.

Customize keyboards to match the type of input required, such as bringing up a numeric pad for numerical entries.

Provide seamless cross-device experiences.

Ensure a consistent and seamless experience across all mobile apps, browsers, or desktop devices.

Design elements should harmonize across platforms.

Consistency in design elements across different devices builds user trust and brand identity.

Users expect this today, and websites like Notion have great examples of it.

On Notion, you can use the app on a web brows, desktop, and mobile.

The experience remains the same, and there is little difference between them.

If someone uses the app, the design is consistent and easily recognizable.

Achieving consistency that users learn to rely on only comes from asking your customers the right questions for usability.

Provide personalization features during mobile app development

Personalization lies at the heart of effective mobile UX design. Guide users towards relevant content while steering them away from the irrelevant.

Strive for the right personalization, avoiding excessive predictive analytics that might disorient or intimidate users.

A great example of personalization done right is Netflix.

The streaming giant uses sophisticated algorithms to analyze user viewing habits and preferences.

Based on this data, it provides personalized recommendations for movies and TV shows.

It enhances the user experience by making content discovery effortless and keeps users engaged with the platform by continuously presenting them with options aligned with their tastes.

Netflix's approach to personalization respects user privacy while effectively using data to enhance the user experience, setting a standard in the realm of mobile UX design.

Netflix knows the importance usability testing and design analysis and their resulting app proves it.

Use white space to increase mobile usability

White space is a potent tool in mobile app design. It's not just an empty area.

Rather, it guides users and creates a sense of clarity.

Use it strategically to direct users' attention and enhance their journey within the app.

Often, this is overlooked by zealous business owners.

Feeling excited about a new project is normal, but ensure it's not at the expense of your users by overloading them with information.

Great mobile designs are becoming a requirement for users.

So, some business owners are opting for cost-effective unlimited design services with benefits such as suggestions for using white space effectively.

Test religiously and rigorously to achieve mobile UX best practices

Continuously test and optimize your app's design.

Rigorous testing of features, layouts, and overall usability increases your website or app's appeal.

Engage real users in testing and evaluate your app again industry best practices to gain insights into user expectations and preemptively address any challenges.

Then, implement the changes. Do you know the best design audit approach for your brand and its needs?


We've navigated the essentials of mobile design and helped you understand why they are crucial for any modern business. Our journey began by defining what these principles are not.

They're more than aesthetics.

They're dynamic, tailored, and strategic for business growth and require team collaboration.

We examined examples from Apple, Sephora, and Dick's Sporting Goods.

Each demonstrates how effective interfaces elevate the user experience for customers.

Apple focuses on simplicity, Sephora on personalization, and Dick's on functionality.

Staying ahead in digital innovation means understanding and applying these principles.

They make your app stand out in customers' minds.

If this seems overwhelming, our team is ready to assist. We have the expertise and passion to guide you in creating impactful mobile experiences.

We can help you design amazing UX enterprise applications or customer facing apps and websites.

Or, we can assist in helping your business learn how to effectively manage UX design projects.

If you're ready to revolutionize your approach to app or website design, click the yellow get started button in the top right of your screen today.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is mobile design?

Mobile UX refers to the process of creating positive user experiences when interacting with mobile devices and applications. It encompasses branding, visual elements, user goals and behaviors, efficiency, and discoverability.

What are the 4 Cs of mobile user interface design?

The 4 Cs design are consistency, continuity, context, and complementary.

What are the four golden rules of UI design?

The four golden rules of UI design are giving users control, making it comfortable to interact with a product, reducing cognitive load, and providing consistency.

What are the key elements of a successful mobile app design?

Successful mobile app design should prioritize user needs, balance aesthetics and functionality, streamline navigation and usability, enhance accessibility and inclusivity, employ effective feedback mechanisms, and optimize onboarding and personalization.

How can I improve the usability of my mobile app?

Focus on simplifying interface elements, implementing familiar design patterns, optimizing touch targets and interactions, and ensuring accessibility for all users to improve the usability of your mobile app.

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