in Design

Tips for Creating Great App Design

Mobile development is without a doubt one of the biggest things happening out there right now and, as with all modern software development, design is a big part of it.

Now, as always, the basic rules of design apply to mobile applications as well as in any field. But it cannot be denied that mobile devices present their own suite of characteristics that create certain problems that designers must figure out. To that end certain rules to be followed have been created as mobile application development has moved along. Here are some of the most important.

1. Mobile app design is based on grids

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Even though you may not be able to see it, every surface has a grid that is there to guide you. When adding elements to this grid it is very important that you pay close attention to the margins and padding that come along with it. Make sure you keep your design neat and clean by keeping widths and heights consistent with the margins and padding throughout your whole application, any deviation from the standard should be well thought of.

2. Colours and their schemes are your friends

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The way in which you employ colours in your application can help make your application truly stand out from the crowd. First off, remember that the colour scheme you employ should not be a matter of personal choice, but one that reflects the colours of your client’s business as well as possible. Furthermore, all designers should have a firm grasp of how certain colours are generally percieved, of the difference between shades or tints, of the way their colour selections can influence viewers or of the ways in which they can employ colours to create hierarchies or organize the space on the screen.

3. Think about a general scheme, create it and stick to it

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You should always take special care to have a general view on your design. Don’t let yourself get caught up in details and diverge from the original plan.  By losing sight of your original plan you could end up with an application that lacks a unitary design and will receive negative reviews from the users.

It’s always best to create your elements early on and repeat them the exact same way throughout your whole design. Think of it like using CSS classes in HTML. Also, pay close attention to the current trends in design, by not being able to keep up with them you risk becoming outdated and users will quickly lose their interest.

Your client’s logo should be an important part of your design, but it is not necessary for it to be its centerpiece. Yes, a well placed logo can help users better identify with the brand, but slapping in a vintage-y looking design in the middle of your flat style UI can look ridiculous.

Last, but not least, don’t be afraid to use design in order to better organize your application’s content. By making the information you’re trying to convey more visually appealing, you make sure it has a better shot at reaching its target. More so, a very large number of current applications aren’t much more than lists presented to users. It’s the designer’s job to make those applications interesting and engaging.

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4. Choose your design wisely

Before settling on a design scheme for your application, browse around, see what the competition is doing and keep informed of the goings on. There’s a set of guidelines  for Android, Windows and iOS for you to follow and there are a number of design libraries that can help you out with choosing the best layout for your app:

 

5. Make the most what the development team has given you

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I’ve already touched on this when I said a well thought of design can work wonders even for apps that are basically just lists. But your design might well have to go beyond that. Mobile users are usually known for the fact that they’re an impatient bunch, they don’t have the time or the inclination to wait around, even if sometimes it’s inevitable. That’s where your design comes in, give them constant feedback, let them know something is happening and they’re not just dumbly staring at their phones. Also, and I cannot stress this enough, try to postpone the dreaded sign up and rate in store pop-ups for as long as possible. Wait until your user is engaged before you slap them with an action that disrupts their normal activity and that they most likely are not keen on doing.

Anamaria

I read, I write, I sleep.

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