App elements are like your company’s customer relationship people. They speak the language of your application in a simple way. They act as tourist guides for the different windows of the application, propose action items and provide company to users while some items are loaded. They diligently take input from customers, also known as application users. Here are the top 10 app UI elements selected by us:
Your app icon is the face of your app (and it acts as a brand logo if your app becomes iconic!). It should be simple, conspicuous, and clearly represent your application. The same goes for the rest of your app icons. They are extremely useful if they are designed creatively but intuitively to represent different functions in your application.
Typically, a button appears raised from the bottom and can have icons or text as components. Buttons are of various types: simple button, dropdown button, toggle button, checkboxes, radio buttons, and the like. All of these, especially call-to-action buttons, need to be designed and placed with care.
Search fields are usually at the top of the screen and play a critical role in user navigation. They must be visible and it is recommended to place an attractive default question to encourage the user to take action. A good example is the destination search / entry box in Uber, which has a default question: Where? It posits the app as friendly and interactive while making it clear that a destination must be entered in the search field / box.
As the name suggests, breadcrumbs represent where you have deviated from the home page. They indicate the current location and all previous pages opened by the user. This is visible as a series of page titles intercepted by arrows that describe the flow of users.
There are two types of notifications: in-app notifications and push notifications. While the former increases usability by helping the user to better utilize the functions of the application, the latter keeps the user coming back for more. Examples of notifications in the application are the introduction to the use of the application and new functions. Push notifications are similar to in-app notifications, with the exception that they reach the mobile phone user, even if the app is not open.
The tooltip is an incredibly useful item. Appears when the user scrolls to an item, quickly giving an additional description or usage suggestions. It denotes attention to the needs of the user and adds to the experience of the application.
You may not like them, but if used sparingly and with the goal of benefiting the user, they can be a real bonus. They capture and hold the user’s full attention to focus on an important offer or message. The pop-up window does not close until some action is performed within it.
Loading items and placeholders
These, along with other elements such as icons, are part of micro interactions, a simple and visual way of representing a process and its completion for the user. The idea is to provide real-time feedback to the user regarding whatever function the application is performing. An example of a loading item is the typical circle of dots flashing one after another, often found when a YouTube video is being buffered. A placeholder is something that maintains an empty space or screen while the entire content loads. It often has blurred outlines of content that is about to load or partial content.
Tags are terms linked to certain elements that make searching easier. This item is a must, especially if your application manages a large database.
Now, don’t we enjoy all those images with stunning descriptions of one line slipping away to reveal another before we get enough of one? That is exactly what an image carousel is. It is certainly a must-have for e-commerce applications.
What do you think of the above list? Please let us know if you want to add or replace the above items with something else.