How To Improve User Experience Of Flutter App

In this post we will talk about how to improve user experience of Flutter app. Having a working mobile app is one thing but giving a pleasant user experience is a whole another thing.

You could have a pretty design of colors, fonts, icons and images and even the functionality correct. Yet, the users can still feel uneasiness while using your app.

So, what can be done to give that finishing touch to your Flutter app? How to improve user experience?

DecisionMentor app

Improve Flutter App Experience Using Visual Feedback

One of the biggest mistakes developers make when building Flutter applications is that they ignore user interactions.

An interaction can be anything like tap, double tap, long press, swipe or text-type. It is very important to show a visual feedback when user performs such interactions.

Make Use Of Ripple Effects

A ripple effect helps to produce visual experience for touch response. You can make use of ripple response in button taps, long presses and even swipes.

Flutter InkWell Demo
Flutter InkWell Demo

Here you can see some examples of ripple effects and glow effects you can use in your Flutter app.

In Flutter, widgets that follow Material Design guidelines display a ripple animation by default when tapped. However, you can also create and customize your own ripple effect animations using the InkWell widget as well.

Checkout: Adding InkWell Splash Ripple Effect To Custom Widgets In Flutter

Show Loading Where Needed

Another mistake developers make is that they forget to show a loading indicator when something is happening in the background.

For example, a user might have clicked a button which is sending a request to the server. While response hasn’t yet arrived from the server, if the user is not shown any loading message or icon, then the user can get confused. From the user’s perspective, nothing happened even after button press.

It can lead to user tapping on the button multiple times which can cause further issues.

So, some form of information should be given to the user in such scenario. A loading indicator icon, or a text message saying “Loading”, or a complex animation; it doesn’t matter what medium you use. Just do not ignore the user after such interactions.

Show Proper Response Messages

Whenever the user performs an action like submitting a form or saving an item or deleting it, do not forget to show the result of such actions.

When user tried to fill a form and submit it, if there were any errors, show those errors. Do not make the user guess what might have happened.

If a delete action was unsuccessful in the server, show a message like “Unable to delete at this moment”. If there is any specific steps user need to perform before hand, present that information to the user.

Similarly, even if the action was completed successfully, show a success message.

You can use a Toast or a Snackbar for these purposes.

Checkout: How To Create Toast In Flutter

One important thing to note when showing response message is to be careful how much information to show. You should not show the entire Stack trace to the user when something failed.

Also, be careful not to give away any credentials in such messages.

Use Smooth Transitions And Animations

When you use cool transitions and animations in your Flutter app, it will definitely bring that feeling of “Wow” to any user. Just be careful not to overdo these things though. As it might hurt when you show off too much 😛

Smooth Navigation Transitions

In you Flutter app, a common activity that happens frequently is definitely the navigation; moving from one screen to another.

By default Flutter’s MaterialPageRoute has a default fade-in transition. It looks quite boring compared to the CupertinoPageRoute transition.

Cupertino Page Route Transition
Cupertino Page Route Transition

By adding a simple transition effect, we can create an impressive visual experience to the user. You can create different types of transitions during navigation in Flutter. You can slide things to the left, to the right, up and down.

Keep in mind that you choose a good transition speed for this purpose though. Too slow or too fast can be annoying to the users.

Checkout: Everything you need to know about Flutter page route transition

Use Cool Animations

By default, Flutter comes with a support for a wide variety of animations. You can make things fly, rotate, transform, vaporize, jiggle, bounce and everything else that you can imagine.

Furthermore, you can also try out the cool animation tool Rive with Flutter.

There is so much that one can do here. Why not play around with Animations then?

Checkout: Button Animations In Flutter using AnimatedBuilder

Improve User Experience By Improving App Performance

Another reason your Flutter app is not performing well or feels laggy could be related to app architecture design itself. Keep some of the things below in mind when building a Flutter app.

Reduce Excessive Widget Rebuilds

A big performance drawback beginner Flutter developers face is due to overuse of setState function. Since, each setState call rebuilds the entire widget and it’s children, be careful with this function.

Rather use widgets like ValueNotifier, StreamBuilder and FutureBuilder which can help you target rebuild of only required widgets.

A proper State Management framework use also helps with this.

Make Right Use Of Future Async/Await

Async operations can greatly improve any software applications. When used properly, we can push a lot of things to background thread. You can reduce excessive loading indicators and pauses in your app using async actions.

Also, app speed can greatly improve when you learn to perform actions on multiple threads.

So, check and see if there is room for async operations in your Flutter app to improve performance.

Fetching Data From Server

When building any data driven application, mobile apps need to fetch data frequently from server.

If the app architecture isn’t well designed, you might see issues like making duplicate calls to fetch data from server.

For example if you put the fetch request inside the build function of a widget, every time the widget gets built, it will reload the data from server. To prevent this from happening, you should make sure data is loaded only once by using the initState overload method of a Stateful widget.

Another similar thing we can do is to keep objects in memory using State Management techniques so that frequent calls to server are avoided.

Furthermore, make sure you are using pagination when fetching data from the server as data overload can slow network requests.

Wrapping Up

In this post we looked at different ways you can enhance your Flutter application. To give the best user experience, applications need to consider both the visual, functional and performance related aspects. This post tried to cover all such aspects.

If you think there is something more we can do to improve the user experience of Flutter applications, feel free to comment and let us know below.