Last updated on February 27th, 2020
In the world of mobile development, app functionality and its features mean a lot. Still, there’s always a place – and a need – for an attractive design. After all, apps are also judged by their appearance, and quite often it’s the UI/UX design that makes people download the product. Vice versa, if the appearance doesn’t look as well-thought-out unity, even fast-running apps with unique features will be left behind.
In this guide, we’re going to find out what makes a great mobile design, review the essential tools and practices. Plus a few crucial tips on working with iOS and Android apps! Let’s get started.
Primary Skills Of Mobile App Designers
To put it simply, app designers are responsible for building the interaction of the user with the interface. It’s for them to decide what elements to add and where, and how exactly the whole product is going to look. And to make all this real, they should be capable of:
Working With Graphics Editors
UI/UX designers should know how to properly use Adobe tools – Sketch, Photoshop, and Illustrator. These basic programs serve various purposes, and designers pick them to process the task they’re working on. Mobile app UI design plays a vital role in overall success of an mobile application.
Mobile designers mostly use Invision or Mockplus for building prototypes, which means connecting the idea with its implementation.
Understanding User Psychology
While working on mockups, designers should take into account the user-friendliness of the interface and mind how convenient it turns out to be. For instance, experienced designers imagine how customers would act, building a tight connection with future users, and paying attention to their needs and expectations.
Designers understand how to combine various colors and know what result they will get in the end. Luckily, there are specific rules that help UX/UI builders to find the right selection of colors.
The process of combining text with the design is equally important. The improperly selected fonts may completely ruin the first impression, and users won’t be interested in running the app anymore.
This way, it requires a lot of hard work and skills perfecting to call yourself a qualified design-builder. And, what’s more important, designers should always know how to put these skills they acquired into practice.
The last but not least part to mention is soft skills that are often neglected. However, they still play an essential role. UI/UX designers don’t work in a vacuum; they continuously communicate with developers, QA testers, product managers, and clients themselves. That’s why designers should be responsible, open-minded, and eager to help – or change some parts of design customers don’t like.
Finally, professionals pay attention to the feedback provided by their colleagues and clients. They are always ready to adopt new rules, trends, and templates. After all, UI/UX is a continually changing field, so there are tons of possibilities in solving old issues in new ways.
Mobile App Design Process In Six Steps
Mobile app design process is complex and long-term task that requires attention to details. To better understand the process, let’s find out what exact steps designers follow.
There can be no victory without a great strategy. When you think “how to design an app”, you need to come up with proper planning. First, RA (requirement analyst) estimates the exact amount of hours required for building some unique design features. As mentioned, designers should also pay attention to customers’ preferences and ideas, finding a way to include them in app design.
02. Research Stage
It’s researching that helps to find the right approach to every project. Each new project differs from the previous one, having its own individuality. So designers should keep an eye on innovations in the world of mobile design, which ensures an impressive mobile app and great user engagement.
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A specification includes all tools and technologies designers will use when working on a project. After creating the specification, designers hand it over to the customer for their approval. Once the designing process is finished, this document will be passed on to developers.
Next, it’s the wireframing stage. A wireframe is a skeleton of the future applications that shows all essential elements of the final product and their placement. This process doesn’t take much time – designers instead spend more time on discussions.
05. Building A Prototype
Prototype mimics the final design of the application and reflects the interaction between users and the app. Some designers prefer to use Invision program for quick conversion of mobile designs into clickable prototypes. Then, they present the work to customers and collect their feedback. All the necessary changes should be made upon customer’s request. And as soon as these changes are approved, it’s time to move to the next part.
06. Pass The Project To Developers
With the help of such tools as Sympli and Invision, designers hand their projects over to mobile app developers. They start building the functionality of the app based on the design created by UI/UX developers. It includes both front and back-end parts – client and server side. Besides, devs also evaluate mobile design and provide their feedback.
Finally, if both customers and developers accept the design, the designers’ job is done. It’s time for them to move forward to achieving new heights.
3 Mobile Design Tips: What To Consider?
When designers are working on mobile apps, there are many details they should pay attention to. We’re going to concentrate on the three most important points.
01. App Navigation
It’s vital for users to navigate through the app without a bunch of instructions. The best navigation is always intuitive and straightforward. Well-thought-out UX brings more users, and they will be able to get the most of the product.
What’s the main principle? It’s not to overload the app with unnecessary elements. Users should not spend much time on figuring out how the app works and how to use it properly. They, instead, want a habitual model with eye-pleasing design. So a very creative approach does not work here.
02. Fonts And Typography
We’ve already mentioned how important fonts are, and here we’ll review this must-have skill in more details. Text is the very first thing users see when they start interacting with the app. So, it should be both readable and clear, and selected for convenient use. Pay attention to typography even when you design a logo for the app.
For instance, if the app is full of various visual elements, animation, etc., the text should be clear, visible, nifty, and elegant. Besides, the spaces between words and lines should be nailed.
03. The Color Scheme
Choosing the right colors is not an essential but crucial moment that simply cannot be ignored or neglected. So now is the time to mind the golden rule – don’t use too many colors, but don’t be stuck on just black and white as well.
Usually, web and professional graphic designers test different schemes to see how each of them works for the app. Also, while checking the product, QA engineers may leave a note or two regarding the color scheme. The right choice of colors influences how users will perceive the app, so it’s imperative to keep up with golden standards.
Design Peculiarities: iOS And Android Overview
Previously we’ve listed 3 issues to monitor when you’re working with UI/UX design. Now is the time to introduces some particularities of design-building the most popular platforms – iOS and Android.
First of all, the steps for building mobile design for these two platforms coincide. However, there are some differences to take into account as each of these systems has its own style.
You may already know that Google integrated Material Design as a style to unify interfaces. It contains specific guidelines mobile app designers should follow while working on Android applications. And it doesn’t matter if the design is built for a smartphone or tablet – rules are the same. Apps that were created with the help of Material Design instructions look more stylish; they don’t have any sharp angles. The design is generally more good-looking.
Human Interface Guidelines
iOS HIG has the same principle as offered by Material Design. But with one noticeable difference – it’s focused on iOS, not Android devices, following all the rules regarding how an iOS app interface should look like. For example, it’s essential to keep up with screen resolution for new and old iPhone or iPad models. The app should have relevant icons, color schemes, fonts, status bars, navigation elements, etc.
For now, that’s everything we wanted to discuss regarding mobile app design building. Working on iOS or Android apps is complicated enough – whether we’re talking about functionality or design development. And that, plus high demand for such specialists, dramatically influences the cost of app designing. That’s why you may want to choose the best team right away, and release your app in time staying within the budget.
Finally, we’d like to mention that both UI and UX creating requires the most serious approach and many efforts. This ensures that everything will be done properly, and thus gets us straight to another app with top-notch mobile design. If you’re not one who can do graphic designing professionally, don’t give a try; instead, hire a freelance graphic designer for professional yet affordable design works.
As you can see, there are many small but relevant details that help in building a product that attracts. From, UI and UX to color, typography and many other elements when utilized in a cohesive, and meaningful way render a design that the users enjoy.