5 Ways To Improve Your Mobile App User Experience With Illustrations

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Illustration is a visual communication of a text, concept or process. When we apply illustration on websites, mobile apps or other digital products, it can improve the user experience by helping visually explain a range of services, introduce new features, and bring vibrancy to the interface design that please your user.

The recent trends of brands and startups using illustration for their mobile app is one of the popular practices to happen to the digital world. Headspace app is one of the great examples that using stylish branded illustrations comprehensively across the mobile app. The illustrations play as a key element for almost each screen that give their users a consistent and delightful mobile app experience.

Headspace app screens design

Here are the 5 ways to improve your mobile app user experience with illustrations — and perhaps you may consider applying them in your mobile app product.


Onboarding is the most popular way to use illustration. When a user installs and opens your mobile application for the first time, it’s a critical moment to introduce what your app does and keep the user going to the next log in or sign up section.

Onboarding illustrations

How can illustration help?

Using custom illustrations to highlight the key features and benefits of your app will be a great way to engage your users and present the app look and feel better in the first place.

Artitor – Online illustrations for websites and apps

App Permissions Request

If your mobile app requires permission from users, such as push notifications, access location or contacts, make sure that they understand why you need the permission and what value they get. Users are more likely to agree to app permissions when they get asked after or during important tasks where permission is needed.

Request contacts access illustration

How can illustration help?

With the help of friendly and functional illustrations, it eases the tension and increases the trust when the user get asked for app permissions. As most of the people perceive images faster than words, so it’s always better than just a few words to ask for permissions, right?

Error/Empty States

When users encounter error or search content with no results found on your app, a well-designed error/empty state will let them know what’s happening, why it’s happening, and what action should they do next.

Illustration for search with no results screen

How can illustration help?

By adding a delightful illustration along with clear copywriting, the empty screen will become something more personal and engaging. It also reduces stress and have positive impact on the user experience.

Reward System

If your app has a reward system that designed for users to keep track of their progress or how much they achieved their goals, you will definitely need some visual elements to encourage them along the way. Some examples are fitness app, coffee loyalty app, food delivery app, etc.

How can illustration help?

Instead of only using icons, a set of custom cheerful illustrations can bring encouragement and positivity into the different levels of your users’ rewards journey. It gives a consistent visual experience with humanistic approach to the progress.


Some mobile apps may need to use infographics to present data-driven content, like medical app, nutrition app, gardening app, etc, it’s important to make it easier for your users to comprehend your message than with text and chart only.

Illustration for plant growing app

How can illustration help?

Visualising data-driven content with functional illustrations can help your users receive the message and data faster, and make the app experience more fun and enjoyable.


Today, more than 1 million different apps are available for users to download and use, so your app probably need to be attractive enough to get their attention first. Using custom illustrations could be a smart way to impress your users on a deeper emotional level. Let’s create something memorable, interesting, and unique to your mobile app.

We hope these UI design tips can inspire you to design better user interface for your app project. If you enjoyed this article, please share it so that other UI UX designers and startup founders can find it! 🙏

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5 Ways To Improve Your Mobile App User Experience With Illustrations was originally published in Muzli – Design Inspiration on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.