A Guide to Design a Mobile App Based on User Intent

There is more to designing a fantastic mobile app and how it looks — considering user intent as crucial as developing an app. 

When most people think about designing an app, they actually think about the aesthetics of the application. Moreover, much more goes into developing a good app than just the way it looks. 

Approaching design from your users’ point of view can help you build an app that is more user-friendly. 

In this article you’ll learn about:

  • What is user intent?
  • Why does user intent matter in design?
  • The science behind user intent
  • Types of user intent
  • The importance of knowing user intent 
  • How can utilize user intent
  • How should navigation bars be organized

Let’s get started!

What is User Intent?

As its name implies, user intent is what a user is looking for when conducting a search query via a search engine. User intent is all about when the keywords used in search queries, but goes beyond them, and trying to understand the context and intention behind those words.

Neil Patel says, “user intent” is the goal someone has in mind when typing a query into Google. Whenever a user conducts a search query, there is a certain intention behind the search like they want to grab knowledge, or may be looking to buy something or for some information from the trusted sources.

To top it all, every visitor has a reason to visit your website or mobile app. They may have some requirements that they are trying to satisfy with their sites or apps. In other words, user intent means the purpose for being on your website or application.

Why does User Intent matter in design?

To understand what information the user is looking for can help you to create a subtle mobile app. If a user finds they can easily navigate an app, they are more likely to return to your app and make a purchase right away.

To make sure your mobile app is designed to meet the needs of your users, you should follow the following types of user intent:

  • Informational when the user is looking for information over a keyword.
  • Navigational when the visitor is trying to find specific information on websites.
  • Transactional when the search query shows the user’s intention for purchasing a product or performing a different type of transaction. 
  • Investigation when people are searching for advice from an expert or options for a possible future purchase. 



The Science Behind User Intent

There’s a logical science behind the discovery of user intent. There are two search goals, which are described in the user intent:

Goal #1: When a user is looking for bright, general, and limited information about a topic.

Goal #2: When a user is looking to find some vital information related or by using generic keywords. 

The specific users always have narrow search intent; they always search for limited information on the topic. On the other hand, the exhaustive users still have a broader scope. Plus, they will continually search until they get favorable search results. The University of Hong Kong discovered the various facts and science behind the user intent in 2006. 

Types of User Intent


To use a product-centric approach can be valuable when you have products and services, which are separated into groups. It’s possible to create a navigational category based on each overall product type. This can also help users get a better understanding of the category before honing in on a specific product. 

For example, Colorescience, a makeup brand, is having four clearly defined categories. With the help of this, Colorescience can organize its products in a way that users can easily understand. However, a brand that comes in more categories that don’t offer goods may want to take a completely different approach. 


If a business targets different target markets with varying needs, it’s easier to organize navigation bars by type of customers. You can create sections for each specific group of customers. It will make it easy for them to find the information that applies to them individually. Ultimately, you are saving your customers’ time by giving them one path to all the information they might be looking for. 

Notably, this technique is not for all. If a business has a lot of overlap between groups, setting up navigation bars can make it more difficult for customers to find out what they are looking for. It is recommended to employ this technique if you have distinct target markets. 

The Importance of knowing user intent

Users don’t know exactly what they want. Sometimes they know only they want help figuring out what they want. It makes figuring out user intent particularly challenging for marketers and product manufacturers. 

Undeniably, empathy is one of the most important traits of anyone who is a UX professional. However, it is a subtle and essential barrier to applying empathy to design that lies in our perception of the user. 

Instead of trying to develop empathy for a group average, it’s easy to relate visitors’ needs and intents that individual users might have while interacting with a system. It lets you create flows that fulfill those needs while throttling the number of distractions and competing messages. 

How can you utilize user intent?

After knowing the types of user intent, it’s easy to identify how each user navigates through the application. An excellent method to accomplish this is by analyzing the data from the User Flow Report in Google Analytics. This report acts as a “graphical representation of the paths users took via your website, the kind of source, the various pages, and where they exited your application.” 

When it comes to analyzing the report, it will surely be easier for you to see how to improve your mobile application to see a better experience. Once you have pinpointed how users are moving through an app, you will begin to identify the issues that need to be corrected. One of the most common mobile app design features that require improvement is – navigation bar.

How should navigation bars be organized?

By using User Flow Report, you will begin to find the established navigation patterns of your users. This information is key to designing a navigation bar that will surely benefit your visitors. The navigation bar is to your website what the table of contents is to a book. It helps your users to easily find what they are looking for. 

If you want to set up the navigation bar, you need to create a content hierarchy. Especially, organizing content into categories and subcategories. The goal of such categories is to help users find what they are looking for. Make sure that they are clearly defined and easy to understand. 

Also, you need not stray far from the ordinary on this step. Users like consistency. They want to be able to easily find what they are looking for on your mobile app. If your setup or wording differs much from what users are familiar with on other sites, they will choose to look elsewhere. 

Final Thoughts

User intent is the foundation of robust designs of the mobile applications. It goes beyond competition and search volume to understand the users’ psychology and purpose behind each query. At the end of the day, you design a mobile app for your target audience and not search engines. Thus, it’s essential to optimize the overall user experience of your mobile app to grab more audiences. 

Need help designing an app based on user intent, then contact any of the leading companies for mobile then contact any of the leading companies for mobile app development near your region to get clear your queries

2 thoughts on “A Guide to Design a Mobile App Based on User Intent”

  1. Amazing write-up!
    it is very interesting and Easily explain.
    Thank you and good luck with the upcoming posts.

  2. Very valuable information, it is not at all blogs that we find this, congratulations I was looking for something like that and found it here.


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