They say: differentiate or die. That rule applies also to the mobile application world. If your app is not different than whooping two million apps available in the App Store – it can be easily forgotten. However, what can you do to bring your app to another level and provide an extraordinary user experience? Let us give three suggestions that will help you stand out from the crowd.
Animations – making things move
Animation has a special role in interface design, as one of the most important tools of successful interaction. It can be said that without animation, there cannot be interaction. People are mostly visually-driven creatures, meaning the force behind the picture, which is worth a thousand words, gets even stronger with the help of animation.
Animation breathes life into the process of interaction and is especially good for mobile apps that have to be developed with limited screen estate while providing an informative and functional interface.
There are two major types of animation in the modern user interface: functional and delightful.
Functional animation is subtle animation that we embed in a user interface design, as part of the process. The goal of functional animation is to help the user better understand what’s going on and how to use your app most effectively.
Delightful animation is focused on user emotions. The goal of this type of animation is in entertaining the user and bundling a brand’s values into a product.
State restoration – making users sessions persistent
Imagine, you are reading a news app. You have browsed hundreds of articles and got an interesting one and started reading. Suddenly, you got a guest and he happened to be your old school buddy. You guys had a great time and spent hours in chit-chat. You came back and thought of continuing your blog. But you found your blog to be lost and the app started from the beginning. Such an experience can be frustrating!
This is where a technique called state restoration comes into play. App State Restoration refers to the process of saving and restoring application semantic state. The semantic state of an application refers to the user’s state in the application and the computational state of the application i.e any computations or business logic at the time when an application suspends.
State Restoration in iOS was introduced back in 2012 and major improvements happened in 2013. You can read about it more on official Apple documentation. On Android, a set of techniques allowing state restoration was know from the beginning of that platform, yet it has greatly improved over time. You can read more about it here.
Continuity when user moves from one device to another
Continuity describes a set of technologies that allow users of iOS and Mac OS devices to begin tasks on one device and then transfer to a new device to continue with that task. With the Bluetooth as a core communication layer, it can be great for the people who start one task on the mobile but want to switch to their desktop at some point.
Consider users buying something in their app. While building a marketplace experience on the mobile is possible for years, managing a big set of products in the basket can become tricky. There’s little we can do with that, as the screen size is the key limiting factor here.
One idea to improve that would be allowing users to switch at any point to the full-fledged desktop experience. And yes, you can implement that easily in your product with continuity features from the iOS and macOS.
Building great apps with Handcrafted Platform
All the techniques described in this article can be implemented with the help of Handcrafted Platform – a rapid mobile application development framework, developed by Handcrafted Mobile. If you are interested in building a mobile app with our platform, feel free to contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.