Modern people cannot imagine their lives without smartphones. We use smartphones all the time. No matter whether you want to contact your friends, purchase something online, order a pizza, or just entertain yourself, you can always make a few taps on the screen and get what you want. All you need is just to choose the right apps. Smartphone users spend about four hours and 30 minutes on their smartphones every day. However, how much time they’ll be willing to spend on your app depends on many factors.
People want to spend more time interacting with apps that provide a great user experience (UX). In fact, UX is the main factor that determines whether or not your app is good. Mobile users want apps to load quickly, to be ready to use, and fun to interact with. When designing an app, you should make creating a great user experience your main priority. Therefore, you should take into account numerous details, thinking of how you want people to interact with your app, and planning every step of their experience. In this guide, we will consider some of the most important things that can make a difference when it comes to app design.
What App Design Is?
Designers and developers are two types of professionals who create mobile applications. App designers work on the visual appearance of an app, while developers make sure that the app will work properly and that the designers’ vision is properly implemented. Mobile application design includes both user interface design and user experience design. Therefore, designers should create the overall style of an app, choosing the right colors, fonts, and buttons, and they should also make sure that users will get the best experience possible.
What Platform Should You Choose?
Depending on your objectives, you may already know what platform you should design your app for. However, if you’re just starting out and you’re not sure what platform to choose, a good solution is to begin with a platform you’re already familiar with. For instance, if you’re using an iPhone, you may design your app for iOS. If you’re an Android user, start with Android. You may also decide to design your app for both platforms but we recommend that you be realistic about your capabilities, especially in the beginning.
Now let’s consider the tools you’ll need to design a mobile app. Once you’ve chosen a platform, you must choose the right tools that will help you achieve your goals. A good thing about app design is that usually, you can use the same tools, no matter what platform you design for. The most popular software used for app design is Adobe Photoshop, Sketch, and Adobe XD. There are also many other options, but these programs are used most often.
If you’ve already used Photoshop, you might think that it’s the best choice. However, when it comes to mobile design, Adobe XD or Sketch might turn out to be better options. The reason why you should consider using these programs is that they are tailored to the needs of people who work on prototyping and design tasks. They were created with the needs of UX and UI designers in mind so they might help you streamline the workflow. Keep in mind that if you’re working on a cross-platform design, Adobe XD is certainly a better choice, because Sketch can only work on macOS.
App Flow and Wireframes
Before you start to design your app’s visual appearance and functionality, you should think of its structure and the way users will control the workflow. Wireframes will help you plan and understand the way users will navigate the app and use it. Usually, wireframes have a simplified design so you can focus on usability and flow. Designers may use different wireframe tools, but many designers choose to simply use a pen and paper. If you need more creative tools or if you’re looking for collaboration opportunities, you may consider using Adobe XD or Sketch. These tools will be especially useful if you’re working with remote teams. Thanks to these apps, you’ll be able to quickly turn your simple wireframes into high-fidelity previews.
Prototypes and Mockups
Once you’ve finished working on your wireframes, you should share them with the development team. You may also need to discuss them with your client. After this, you can start to work on prototypes and mockups. This step will be simpler if you’ve used the same tools to create both the design of your app and the wireframes. Otherwise, it might take a little more time. You can also use tools that enable you to annotate your wireframes, including detailed information for the developers so that they can clearly understand what they should do. For instance, you can use UXPin, which easily integrates with Sketch. At this stage, you may also create shared libraries with icons, buttons, and other important elements because you might need them when designing other apps. Now let’s consider some simple mobile app design principles that will help you create a convenient and engaging app.
Tips on How to Create a Great App Design
Getting rid of the clutter is one of the most important things when it comes to app design. The reason is that you should create a seamless experience for your users, and your app should keep them engaged. Every icon, button, or image that you add makes your app more complicated so you must make sure that all elements are present in your app for a reason. If you need to display more elements, you can show them when users scroll the main screen or swipe it.
Simplicity is also crucial when it comes to the content of your app. Your app should include as little content as possible. However, it should also be effective. Therefore, it makes sense to look for professional writers who can write effective, informative, persuasive, and concise copy. For instance, it’s possible to check reviews of different writing services on Best Writers Online.
- Break tasks into smaller chunks
Some tasks might involve many steps and require a user to take numerous actions. In this case, you can simplify such a task for your users by breaking it into multiple subtasks. When designing mobile apps, you don’t want to force your users to deal with too much complexity at once. The best approach is to create step-by-step tasks so that every step will require just one or two actions. For example, you can choose this approach when dealing with payments or checkout tasks.
- Minimize user input
Keep in mind that typing on a mobile screen is not the easiest task. We recommend that you make your forms as short as possible, only including the necessary fields. Your app might also automatically format the input text, autocomplete fields, and dynamically validate values in them. It’s better to check the information immediately than to ask your users to re-submit the form.
- Use predictable elements
Predictability can improve your UX design, giving users more control, and helping them quickly understand what they should do. The visual appearance of every element should tell users how they can use it. For instance, they should understand whether or not a certain element is interactive even before tapping on it.
We also recommend that you stick with the most common navigation elements. For instance, if you’re designing an iOS app, you can use a tab bar, and if you’re designing an app for Android, use a navigation drawer. You can also expand the functionality of your app by using standard gestures.
- Make your design consistent
Consistency is extremely important. To create the best user experience, make sure that all the visual elements are consistent throughout the app, all the interactive elements have the same functions in all parts of the app, and the overall visual design is consistent across different products. We also recommend that you maintain design consistency between your app and website.
We also recommend that you keep in mind platform guidelines, such as Google Material Design Guidelines and Apple Human Interface Guidelines. When designing an app for Android or iOS, don’t copy interface elements from other platforms.
We hope that our simple tips will help you create a better user experience and a more beautiful design for your app. Make sure that your app is easy to use and that your users won’t feel overwhelmed by various unnecessary elements. Use elements they’re already familiar with, break complex tasks into simpler steps, and make sure that your design is consistent.
A good app design combines functionality and style. One of the most important tasks for every designer is to include as much functionality as necessary while making the design as simple and minimalistic as possible. This is a difficult goal. However, don’t approach app design as a one-time project. App development and app design are continuous processes so you should constantly improve your app, analyzing testing data and user feedback to improve user experience.
Tiffany Porter has been working as a Chief Writer at Online Writers Rating reviewing variety of writing services websites. She is a professional writing expert on such topics as digital marketing, blogging, design. She also likes traveling and speaks German and French.