10 Mobile app Design Principles


10 Mobile app Design Principles

Mobile app design guidelines


These guidelines will help in designing better mobile apps which will improve the overall user experience. Mobile is very powerful device and becoming as an important part of human life. So it is very important to design better, simple and interesting interfaces which helps people in their life and also bring satisfaction. some basic design principles are mentioned in the context of Mobile application.

1. Avoid designing long Menus in Mobile app

Long Mobile menus are the result of poor architecture and content grouping of application. It affects the ‘Decision Making’ of a User, also it destroys the importance of main function.  Group the functions properly and show the small menus with less no. of choices. 

Avoid designing long Menus in Mobile app





2. Select the right navigation system for your application 

Navigation is the important aspect of any mobile app because User follows the navigation pattern and finds the information. There are 2 types of navigation system given as follows,

Primary Navigation types 

- Hierarchical (Drill Down)
- Persistent 
- Sequential

Secondary navigation types

- Search
- Index Pages
- Quick Links
- Bread Crumbs
- Embedded Links


3. Web to Mobile transformation should be responsive 

Mobile websites should be responsive to provide an optimal viewing experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices.



responsive mobile app



4. Take a proper care of Device orientation (Portrait and Landscape mode)

Users expect landscape view to display more details or information.



mobile screen orientation




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5. Limit the number of colors in your color scheme

Too many colors in a screen creates screen visually clutter, which results degrade in performance. Presenting a analysis of ‘Seconds (time) to find object’ with respect to ‘Number of colors used’ below,


Number of colours in mobile app design



6. Keep the Graphics in Light weight and more focus on creating clean interfaces 

Heavy Graphics impact both Mobile native app and Mobile websites in following way -  

on App: When very heavy graphics are used in any application it impacts on Mobile OS performance. Resulting application runs in slower manner.

On Mobile websites: Generally mobile websites are accessed through the cellular network (Wireless Network). Cellular connections are not as fast as broadband internet, consider reducing the graphic sizes.


7. Provide an appropriate data entry input UI 

Generally working with the touch screen mobile phones, type of keypad depends upon the data entry input field. While designing the mobile app use the appropriate data entry field. Like: 
1. Normal text keypad contains alphabets and control keys (space, caps etc.) 
2. Email ID field should contain ‘@’,  ‘. ’ along with alphabets etc.
3. Numeric field should contain the ‘Numeric keypad’ etc.


Mobile keyboards


8. While designing Interaction always consider the appropriate touch target area

Minimum visual size of touch target 4.5mm
Keep common target size 9-10mm (Recommended)



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9. Selecting over typing

Avoid providing the long forms in mobile application and
prefer ‘Selecting’ instead of ‘Typing’.


Drop down selection in mobile




10. Using gestures tactfully

Try to make gestures match the real world metaphors. Too much gesture interaction on a single screen is also not advisable.

Mobile app gestures



About Author


Abhishek Jain
Design Lead UX Researcher
Co-founder of UXness 







3 Months free Interaction Design Foundation



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