New Year, New U&I

Authentication, UI, UX

In 2017, the focus on attracting new users and retaining our existing ones should continue to drive our need to create an even further streamlined user interface than ever before. As the way people use mobile devices continues to take shape we need to use behaviours to explore how the look and feel of our UI's should be.

User Behaviour

In a perfect world we see users having just one device that they use for everything. In a semi perfect world we see users having a few devices but all running similar operating systems. An all Android user or an all iOS user would reduce the emphasis in cross platform consistency.

This sadly is not a perfect world. Or a semi perfect world. Instead, we have to consider the user that has an Android phone on the move, an Apple iPad for sitting down, and still a laptop or desktop to browse the internet with who knows what browser as their preferred choice.

In this world - consistency over all of our platforms should be the priority.

New Users From A New Experience

In 2017, it is expected that 2.51 billion people will be on social media[1]. This is around 70% of all internet users[2] which means that rather than give the user another registration form and request yet another password - we can just use their social media account to verify and get the data about the user that we need. Using Facebook, Twitter or Google sign in will not only increase user creation rates, but also increase the user retainability.

For those that don't want to share their social media data with your application - it is still important to remove the password altogether. Users can now verify emails and phone numbers in seconds rather than hours, which means using a simple email (or phone number) and verification code combination will remove the hassle of needing a password.

Using these features for sign in removes the complicated hassle of signing in on each device which can be much more painful when the user does not have a consistent family of devices. For the user who has Android and Apple devices - this becomes the perfect sign in procedure.

A Consistent UI Across The Platform

Google has been working on its' material design and over the years they have rolled it out over all of the platforms they work on. There is a consistent UI on their Android apps, as their iOS apps and their web apps. This consistency is great for the user who is using the Google services on different platforms.

However, it is noticeable that the apps by Google tend to neglect a lot of common design practices in iOS which contribute to a familiar experience. For example, swiping back from the left edge of the screen. I believe in 2017 that apps will begin to gain a common UI over all of their platforms but it will also be important to keep the experiences and interactions that are associated with the platform. This will be great for the user who will be familiar with your product over all of their devices.

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