How the customers are experiencing your application? To me this is so important because I have personally ended up using some applications that are terrible. An appealing and magnificient application allure interactive user experience technically feasible.
Engaging user experience, user interfaces, information visualization and storytelling can be accomplished with the assistance of Contextual Design.
What is Contextual Design?
Contextual Design serve as the most applicable information or content beforehand. This way, the flow is handled, number of clicks are reduced, increasing the liveliness of an application by reducing inactive stages or screens. As the app is opened, from dashboard to every stage of an application the user should feel and understand the purpose of application. In short, contextual design fulfills the user centric design process.
Core objective of your apps can be defined with these simple questions.
- Who are the users of your service and how they differ from others?
- What tasks does user performs in your app? What do you offer them?
- Is location and date providing relevant information to your app?
- Is user participation concerned with its role for an engaging app?
- Is your website mobile-friendly? Does your app’s features and functionalities fit into different devices? Is your app responsive?
Contextual design is Handy
Context-responsive designs are used to solve a variety of software challenges:
- Is user guidance needed through the stages?
The dashboard which is the first screen of any application comes with a focussed call-to-action, keeps control on further steps, put up the updation and hence, by providing such details keeps the users engaging even if they are busy in their ongoing work.
- Is your error message annoying your user?
Language matters ! The tone of words in error messages can upset users. Here comes the key concept of contextual design that says to be stern with politeness. User participation is the major factor for an engaging application. Provide alternatives or suggestions helping them solve and move forward using the application. Follow the 4 H’s concept of writing an error message – Human, Helpful, Humble, Humorous.
- Is your app clear or with unusual gesture controls?
‘Over Designing’ your app is a big no-no. Unfamiliar interface elements and ignoring the standards or unusual gesture controls often confuse users. Apply standard patterns. Be clear with design and use standard visual controls. For example, Qtrax.
Contextual design is Data Compelling
Contextual design is a wide scope where number of considerations can be given a thought with no limitations. Some are described below as roles, task etc.
- User/Roles – Each role of user is designated a unique UI depending on its functionalities and the type of user.The Alert ME app’s home screen contains Emergency button which sends a predefined message automatically to the person as the details mentioned already in the app. The person in an emergency just have to give a simple tap on the button located in the Home screen.
- Location – Mapping, travel, distance, restaurants and a great number of apps depend on the location information. Healthcare app like Carepack has this outstanding feature of keeping a track on the number of steps where your help information is always under your control. Quick information can be gained using wearable device anywhere at your home or at parks using Carepack.
- Date and time – If you are a kind of person who needs to be notified with the stream of reminders all day long, from the morning news to end of day reflections, date and time has its own stand in contextual designing. Apps like Season helps user residing in one place can get information about date and time in some other terrain.
- Task – Qualitative data aggregation is an important factor of contextual design. Apps like Biton, a relay race format is an app where user uploads their posts in a period of time and same task is then assigned to other users in group while race was created. This way tasks gets allocated automatically to other users who grabbed the biton while the main user is benched.
- Device – With the use of Material design and flat design trends in 2016, Responsive design will augment. Hence, device awareness is must at core level for understanding the limitations and identify the drawbacks of any application or website. Mobile- friendly websites is a must-have.
Contextual design is a Bliss
How these awesome apps are making life easier has infinite answers to it. Carrying your phone with useful apps like weather app help you get notified which users fail to care about how useful the apps have been. In making your app good to great, you need felicity as an ingredient for the “Whoa” factor. Some apps like SEASON app having charming animation represent pleasant example of knowing the current weather conditions.