Best practices for mobile event app design

There’s no doubt a mobile event app can add real value to your event — before, during, and after the crowds clear!

September 23, 2022

- 4 minutes

There’s no doubt a mobile event app can add real value to your event — before, during, and after the crowds clear! But where do you start in designing an app that people will use and enjoy?

As a leader in event software and technology, Canapii makes it easy to design a custom event app without the guesswork. Let’s explore best practices to apply in your mobile event app design so more people will use and benefit from it.

Visual design best practices

Strong visuals encourage more people to use your app. They reinforce your brand and the overall vibe of the event, both of which can help improve recall and participation. Let’s look at some visual design best practices to consider.

a hand and a mobile event app

Icon placement & design

In any given app, the placement of icons and buttons can mean the difference between a great user experience and a frustrating one. This is especially true for event apps, where users may be in a hurry to find specific information or features.

Make the icons large enough to improve accuracy when tapping each icon. Good icon placement makes an event app easy to use and navigate, especially for first-time users. It can also help save time by making it easy to find the app’s most-used features. On the flip side, bad icon placement can lead to confusion and frustration, and cause users to give up on using the app altogether.

Use of photos

With an event app, you can easily upload event-related photos and share them with your guests. Plus, they can add their own photos to the app, so you’ll have a complete record of the event. And if you want to get really organized, you can even create photo albums within the app so everyone can see all the shots from different angles.

Photos add context to your event and bring it to life. Make sure you enable features that allow for photo uploading.

Colors & theme

Colors and themes are key parts of event branding. Ideally, you’ll be able to design a mobile event app that allows for custom color schemes.

Take every opportunity to brand your event. No area is too small to overlook, especially when it comes to your event platform.

mobile app different designs

Personalized experience

When it comes to events, today’s audiences expect a personalized experience, and an event app can help.

Through the app, you can collect data on your attendees’ interests and preferences. This data can then be used to create a custom experience for each attendee.

For example, you can easily keep track of who’s attending which sessions and send out reminders for upcoming events. Learn more about what they’re interested in, what they’re engaging with, and what they don’t like so you can meet them wherever they are.

You can also let them create their own schedules or agendas, sign up for specific alerts, and more.

Use of animations & micro-interactions

Using animations and micro-interactions go back to good event branding. These small but mighty details help to pull your event brand and vibe together. They create personalized and humanized connections with your audience, help to set the tone and mood of the event, and catch your audience’s attention.

They’re also helpful in making the app appear more responsive when moving from one task or interface to the next. Let your audience know you haven’t left them in the lurch.

Tips for mobile event app user experience (UX)

Visual design represents a smaller slice of the overall user experience (UX) pie. Here are some additional tips to keep in mind:

Useful & intuitive experiences

An intuitive event app is one that is easy to use and understand. It should be designed in a way that makes it easy for users to navigate and find the information they need.

An event app needs to be intuitive in order to be successful. Think clear and simple interfaces that streamline navigation and take users on a logical path from one item to the next.

No website experiences

A mobile event app can be designed as a website experience or as a native app, where everything happens within the app ecosystem. Aim for the latter — this allows the user to download the app from their app store and use it like a regular app.

Native apps are more reliable than web-based apps. They can work offline and don’t rely on a network connection. They are also faster and more responsive than web-based apps. They can take advantage of the device’s processing power and access features like the camera and GPS.

Make user interfaces invisible

Ideally, your content IS the interface. Anything else is just extra noise in the eyes of your users. Only show them what they really need to use the app to its potential. A cleaner interface makes your content even more impactful and increases the chances people will use the app.

Simple navigation

If an event app is hard to navigate, people will be less likely to use it. A mobile event app that is easy to navigate will allow people to find the information they need more quickly and easily. Simple navigation is also less frustrating to use, and people will be more likely to return to it in the future.

animation of a group of individuals working on an app

Build for one-handed usage

Most people use their smartphones with just one hand. This means that as you’re designing your mobile event app, your users should be able to navigate it in a way that feels natural.

An event app needs to be built for one-hand usage because most people attending events are likely to have their hands full. For example, they might be carrying a drink, holding a plate of food, or carrying a purse or backpack. If they have to use both hands to open and navigate the app, your UX just became more difficult and frustrating.

One-handed usage is not only convenient for users, but it also makes the app more accessible for people with disabilities. Building an event app that can be used one-handed will make it more inclusive and user-friendly.

Linking to relevant pages

If you’re including links in your event app, make sure you’re sending users to relevant pages. There’s nothing worse than clicking in circles, and it could cause your attendees to feel negatively toward your event.

Think carefully about how your users will “travel” through the app. Make it easy for them to locate information. Take it a step further by considering what they might want to know next.

App speed

A slow app can lead to frustrated users who are less likely to use the app again in the future. A fast app provides a better user experience overall and can help ensure that your event runs smoothly.


Sending event notifications can help your attendees get more from the event and never miss a minute of fun. But be mindful about what you send and how often — too many notifications can cause attendees to ignore them!


Earn trust with your app from the very onset. Share what data you collect and how you plan to use it.

Also, ask repeat users to rate the app, ideally when they’re not already performing tasks within the app. Good ratings and reviews can encourage more people to download and use the app.

Hide show passwords

If you’re requiring a password, design your app to keep your users logged in as much as possible. Typing tiny passwords on a tiny screen can be cumbersome and frustrating, especially if users have to request a new password. Offer the show/hide password option for them to see what they’re typing so they can keep moving forward.

Creating your mobile event app the easy way with Canapii

Canapii’s event technology is built for user-friendliness without reinventing the wheel. Take advantage of done-for-you features that are easy to customize and enhance your event. See more when you schedule a demo!


Gemma Edwards

Co-Founder at Canapii

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