With millions of mobile apps being built and deployed, it’s hard to get an understanding of where the usefulness of most of these apps is. Developers today are stuck building for a function or a particular type of app, but it seems as if there’s a greater context missing on both the operating system side, as well as the development methodology.
User experience design is an important part of developing a mobile application, and though there is no substitute for a knowledgeable UX designer, here is a framework that can help guide the understanding of the user interactions for a given individual.
ROLE – What is the role of the individual you’re building the app for? Is the target customer an executive? A teacher? A stay-at-home parent? Understanding the role of the individual will tell you certainly things about them, and help to craft the persona and help serve as the basis for a demographic niche.
TASK – What is the target user going to be doing with the application, when they use it? Are they shopping, in need of a grocery list? Are they in the field, looking up maintenance information on a utility? Understanding the task they’re performing, while using the application, or the task on the application itself in the context of the Role, will better help to craft the interaction for the mobile application.
SITUATION – What is the situation that the user is in, given the role they have and the task they’re performing? Are they in a low coverage area? Are both of their hands free when interacting with the device? This, in combination of considering the role & task, will help to create the appropriate context and frame the user from three different perspectives.
Though there is considerably more that goes into a formal UX discussion, this framework should help get you started.