Published: January 6, 2017
9 min read
Last updated: May 2, 2022
In this article, you'll learn:
👍 Tip # 1: Put All Key Elements in the Thumb-Friendly Zone
📱 Tip # 2: The Three-Tap Rule
🔐 Tip # 3: Avoid Long Sign Up and Checkout Process
📱 Tip # 4: Stick to the Minimalist Design
🖥 Tip # 5: All Eyes on Consistency
📲 Tip # 6: Put Navigation in the Center of Attention
If you already have a Digital E-Commerce Product (like an app or a website, or even both), you definitely know that appropriate design and customer-centred UX means a lot to the success of your business. So this article will be the most relevant to you in the following cases:
In this article, we’re going to give you 6 helpful eCommerce app design tips from our UX-wizards that will help you to increase your key business metrics: conversion, add-to-cart and other rates.
Let’s take a closer look!
Appropriate placement of elements can encourage users to take specific actions or to complicate this journey for your audience. Therefore, check if all of your key elements are located in the thumb-friendly zone. What do we know about this element of the eCommerce mobile app design?
The Thumb-Friendly Zone is a space on the screen which a user can easily reach with his thumb while holding his smartphone with the same hand.
Since most people use their smartphones with the right hand, the thumb-friendly zone includes the lower left corner and the centre of the screen. Other elements can be placed anywhere on the screen except for the upper left and lower right corners. Take a look (you can also check it on your own smartphone):
Examples of a thumb-friendly zone
The key idea here is simple as that: if people can’t easily reach something, many of them won’t even take an effort. So what buttons should definitely be within the mentioned zone?
By the way, the same rules apply to mobile-friendly websites.
When designing an eCommerce mobile app or website, it’s important to keep its structure clear.
The Three-Tap Rule says: it should take no more than 3 taps from a user to get to any of the products he wants to buy.
To meet this requirement, you can arrange your products in the following order:
But also you can use tags to arrange products into specific categories, like “Christmas Sale”, “Gift for your Valentine” etc.
Of course, the search bar is also an essential element of the UX design for mobile apps and sites. It helps users to get directly to the Product they’ve been looking for.
Make sure your app has a clear structure (image by JuneWong🐱)
If you want to provide even better functionality, think about the Smart Search. As users type in the first letters, a number of possible options and suggestions to choose from will be displayed. Thus, you will not only save users time and improve their Buyer Journey but will be able to show some hot picks up front.
The Three-Tap Rule can be easily transformed into a general eCommerce Mobile App Design concept for you: the fewer steps all processes (like browsing products, adding to the cart, paying) take, the better.
Generally, never ever ask your client to sign up before you really need their personal information for the checkout. And even when you ask him for his information during the checkout, try to keep it as simple as possible and ask only the information which you critically need, it should fit into the screen of his smartphone without scrolling. Period.
People find a long multi-page signup or checkout process boring. They just don’t have the patience for this, especially mobile app users. What’s the usual result? Correct - abandoned carts and your lost profit.
Social networks already have all the information about us. So why not consider them as tools? One click - and registration in the app through Facebook, Twitter or Instagram profile is complete! Your customers will appreciate saving their time.
An option of buying as a guest works great as well.
Using social media has an additional advantage. Your users might enjoy:
Seeing that someone else, especially someone you know bought your product already increases the client’s commitment to purchase it.
Sign Up Process should be fast, simple and not mandatory (image by Taè Prasongpongchai)
The same is true for the Checkout Process. You don’t want your users to leave your App with their carts full of your goods, do you?
To avoid this, you have to make the Checkout Process as smooth as glass. Talking more specifically, here are a few UX mobile app design tips to ensure flawlessness:
The simpler your interface is, the more likely it’s for your clients to find exactly the product they were looking for, so avoid UI-Junk.
While working on the eCommerce app UI design, think about your first-time users. Your app shouldn’t have complicated guidelines and instructions for use. Interfaces should be intuitively understandable, too.
Also, your app should look native. Consider that every mobile OS has its own style guidelines:
Moreover, it’s usually recommended to stick to minimalism when designing an eCommerce mobile app. What does it mean in practice?
The best solution is to go with a monochromatic or analogous scheme.
To get the monochromatic color scheme you need to modify the brightness and saturation of a single hue. It will provide you with several different colors that go together well and don’t overwhelm the eye.
A great example of minimalist design (image by MUSE )
The analogous scheme is based on using three neighboring on the color wheel. Such a scheme allows highlighting the most important data, leaving the mobile app interface design clear.
Any professional mobile app design company will tell you that it’s not recommended to use more than 1 typeface in the application. Moreover, a safe bet would be to use the platform’s default font (San Francisco for iOS devices and Roboto/Noto for Android).
Of course, you can use typography as a powerful tool to guide users’ attention. For that purpose, we’d advice playing with size, style, and weight of the chosen typeface, instead of using another font.
Lines and dividers are well-known tools for delineating different sections on a screen. However, every line makes your eCommerce app UI design look more cluttered up.
Instead, try using shadows, colors and spacing to define different sections in a non-obtrusive manner.
Keeping your Product consistent is one of the most common mobile app design tips. Actually, it’s one of the key principles of design.
To put it short, we can say that the eCommerce app UI design is consistent when similar elements behave and look the same way.
Consistency can be split into 3 parts:
For instance, if a «Buy now» button is orange on one page, it should be orange on all other pages as well.
All "Add" buttons are green while categories are orange - a small example of what consistency may look like (image by Omer Erdogan)
Applying principles of consistency to your products will provide your customers with remarkable benefits:
If you’re wondering how to design a mobile app for improving sales, the key advice here is to perfect the navigation patterns. It can either create a natural flow for users so they make more purchases or confuse them and leave unsatisfied.
How to find out whether your navigation system is great?
The fastest way to check this is to look at your audience’s behavior: users should be able to explore your website or application intuitively and to complete all key tasks without any help or prior explanation.
So here are a few eCommerce app design tips regarding navigation!
It may be tempting to stand out and create something totally unique. Yet, the navigation patterns aren’t the best case to get the most out of your creativity.
You can create a better UX design for mobile apps with some standard navigation elements: like the tab bar for iOS and the navigation drawer for Android.
Make sure you have clear navigation patterns (image by Sean Packard)
The same is true for gesture-based navigation. There are some well-known patterns that all modern users intuitively understand without any additional explanations. For example:
Using popular navigation patterns allows even your first-time users to successfully interact with the product as they’ve already done this before.
When possible, don’t hide navigation options. For example, if it’s a side menu, users should clearly see how they can call it.
The same can be hardly imagined for gestures since it’s a classic example of hidden controls. This is another reason why it’s important to use standard or natural gestures within your application - otherwise, it negatively impacts the UX design of mobile apps.
Also, you can increase the visibility of some navigation elements (a menu button, for instance) by using different colors. Moreover, you can prioritize navigation options by using different colors (for example, to mark high-priority options with brighter hues).
So it seems that we found the key ideas for eCommerce mobile app design. Let’s recall the main mobile app design tips highlighted in this article, which will help you to raise your Sales:
Now you know how to design a mobile app for improving sales. We hope that these tips will come in handy!
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