Using Machine Learning For Optimal Mobile UI Design

Machine learning can vastly improve design to create an optimal mobile UI design experience. Here's what to know.

machine learning and mobile UI design
Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By Irina Strelnikova | stock vector ID: 1141387385

Machine learning is incredibly important for user experience (UX) optimization. You need to use the right AI tools to understand the user’s response to a design and optimize it more effectively.

Governing the Use of Machine Learning for UI Designs for Mobile Users

User interface design requirements are drastically different for mobile devices when compared with those for a desktop or a laptop computer. Mobile devices have a much smaller screen and are controlled by touch. This means that a UI designer is going to need to take into consideration usability, consistency, and readability when designing their product.

Last year, Venture Beat talked about the benefits of combining AI with UI design practices. The information that they presented is still very important today.

How can you use machine learning to get a better UI design? You can start with symbol usage.

Symbols play a prominent role in user interface design for mobile devices. Symbols can be used more prominently because the small size of the screen limits the number of text labels that can be put on things. Of course, this creates unique challenges because the symbols are small, but they are necessary to ensure all elements fit on the screen. If they are too similar to each other, they might be difficult to distinguish readily. On the other hand, if your mobile interface becomes popular and readily used, users will start to identify your brand with the symbols. Think the apple home screen button on an iPhone or the icons on the apps within Android or Apple. When a mobile user interface UI design is not properly implemented, it can lead to confusion. Machine learning makes it easier to monitor their behavior.

Mobile User Interface UI Design Should Echo the Operating System

The mobile user interface design should be similar to that of the operating system when it comes to the colors used, the overall composition, and the placement of interactive elements. It should align with your business branding so users can visually identify the mobile interface with your brand and connect it with all other experiences with your brand. Even something as simple as rounded corners on an icon versus sharp edges can make the difference in branding in mobile, desktop, and laptop interfaces.

Apps do have the freedom to diverge a little bit when it comes to consistency in style, but be careful not to stray too far from the branding. This divergence should not be so great that it prevents a user from being able to intuitively or quickly understand how to use the interface.

This is one of the most important elements of machine learning. You can use machine learning algorithms to mimic the behavior of a given operating system and make sure it does not seem alien to users.

Before designing your own mobile user interface with a machine learning algorithm, do a bit of competitive analysis and review similar companies’ apps. Take note of the similarities and differences between the app and mobile device. Also take note of how the branding aligns with the company and how it flows from one interface to the other. Use these findings to help with planning your own designs. You can also read articles on UI design on educational sites like Adobe XD Ideas which is dedicated to helping designers advance their knowledge and skills in the UX design space with articles written by designers themselves.

There are a lot of ways to use machine learning to accomplish this task. CJ Haughley has talked about this in detail.

Functionality Issues to Consider with User Interface UI Design

User design for mobile devices must consider functionality and it must be more simplified than a desktop or laptop version, even more straightforward than a tablet version of the interface. This includes creating usable areas for touch base selection that takes into consideration the average size of the human finger. Keep in mind not every person’s fingers are the same length and width. Some people have larger fingers than can touch multiple buttons accidentally, or smaller fingers that can reach buttons in top corners when holding the phone with one hand. Keep all of these considerations in mind. If click points are too narrow or too small in any direction, they could lead to the unintentional selection of nearby items. This is often referred to as fat fingering.

Functionality means making the best use of the content window size. On small mobile screens, the user interface should not be the dominant thing on the screen. Remember, the purpose of a user interface is to facilitate the use of apps, not just the interface itself.

If too many commands or controls are displayed simultaneously, the user can become overwhelmed and misguided. Good user interface UI design makes interacting and viewing content pleasant, not confusing and directs them to exactly where they are looking to go. A mobile user interface should be intuitive to the purpose of its use.

Understanding Basic UI Design Principles

The structure principle dictates that the design of the user interface should be purposeful. You should look at it and understand its meaning and use. It should follow clear and consistent models that are easy for users to recognize. Users should be able to instantly put things together if they are related and separate them if they are unrelated.

The simplicity principle means that the design should be simple. It should be easy to perform common tasks. Good shortcuts should be provided that are meaningful to the user, especially if they are trying to do longer procedures.

The visibility principle means that a user should be able to see all the options or controls needed to carry out a function without being distracted by redundant or extraneous information. Good designs should not overwhelm the user with unnecessary alternatives or confuse them with excessive information.

User interface (UI) design is a challenge when designing for any device, but especially so for mobile devices. However, when it’s done properly, it can add wonders to a users’ experience when navigating an app on a mobile device.

The feedback principle means that the design should inform users of actions, changes of state, or changes of condition. Users should receive feedback on errors they receive if there are exceptions to the usual responses they would expect when interacting with the interface. All feedback should be clear.

The tolerance principle discusses how a design should be flexible and tolerant. This means that a good UI design will minimize the cost of the user making a mistake. This means that if a user makes a mistake, they are not going to have to start the process all over again and errors are going to be prevented whenever possible.

It’s important for app designers working on mobile applications to test their prototypes. This can help them verify that they are on the right track when it comes to their user design. It will minimize the amount of reworking they are going to have to do. Any kinks in the code can be ironed out so that when the product is finally unveiled, they will know that it is something that is going to be beneficial to their users.

Machine Learning is the Key to Getting Results with UI Design

You need to follow the right approach to UI design. Machine learning technology has made it much easier in recent years. You need to understand the machine learning technology available to you and use it to your fullest advantage.

MATT BERTRAM, C.P.C., is the Co-Host of the most popular SEO podcast on iTunes. He is the Lead Digital Marketing Strategist and CEO at eWebResults, a top internet marketing agency since 1999 focused on driving traffic though multi-channel marketing built on Organic SEO as the backbone.