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How To Design Mobile Apps For One-Hand Usage ? Smashing Magazine

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Do continuous usability testing and study different ways your users hold their phones in various situations.If the users of your app tend to use the app a lot in distracting scenarios, then you should focus on designing patterns that target reachability and one-handed use.Let’s take a look at the evolution of Spotify’s interface to get a perspective of the problem:Spotify used the Hamburger Menu at the top-left which concealed these features and set the users on a treasure hunt of sorts. Let’s look at how apps use gestures and UX patterns to do those things easily.Apps with many categories, subcategories, and sections such as books, wiki, restaurant menus, products may need more organization to ensure users don’t struggle with finding content.These can be organized in a hierarchy and using UX patterns to increase accessibility and ease of use.Users spend about 50% of their mobile phone time in self-expression, social interaction, online shopping, managing finances, health and productivity, and planning upcoming events. This is specifically true for mobile shoppers for whom checkout is a multi-step process where inputting data is not as easy.The checkout process requires many inputs and careful attention from users.To design a one-handed checkout experience we have to minimize the information required from the users.The logistics of shopping online can be simplified within three steps — adding items to carts, picking product variations, and completing the payment process.As designers, it becomes essential for us to not only make these selections noticeable but also to place them within the reach of a thumb.One way to achieve this goal is to display product variations in a tray that slides up when the user chooses an item.Another way is to allow users to scroll through the page and quickly select variations of a product while the option to ‘Place the Order’ or ‘Buy’ stays static at the bottom.The Payment Methods Report 2019 suggests that over 71% of online transactions are carried out via e-Wallets like Apple Pay, Google Pay, Alipay, Fitbit, Samsung Pay, YandexMoney, and others. In such cases, we can use gestures (swipe down) like the Inshorts app to immediately start typing instead of having to reach the top and tap on the search bar.If you want to use your search page to show information to users then you can also use double-tap to pull up the keyboard like Microsoft News, Spotify, and Reddit Apollo.Online shopping, booking, on-demand and other apps alike can contain a laundry list of items for users to choose from.The biggest consideration for designing a filtering menu for small devices is the information hierarchy. Using things like auto-fill, thumb reachable buttons for next and previous steps, continuous keyboard presence, and no scrolling makes this approach faster and easier.Positioning the user-input controls towards the bottom of the screen allows for quicker data entry and prompt call-to-action responses.Use pickers, dropdowns, scrollers, and sliders to supply information to users.Let’s look at some more patterns that make getting input from users easier.With over 2 million apps on Google Store and 1.83 million apps on the App Store, it has become imperative for designers to make their apps stand out. Apps that have good one-handed use also save the time of users, remove friction, take out unnecessary steps, and most importantly focus on quickening the “distracted short burst usage” of apps.We looked at many patterns that designers can use to solve different UX challenges.

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