Posted in Design
Just because you've designed a couple of high-quality websites back in the day, doesn't mean you will be able to do the same with mobile apps. This is a whole different business, and you better be ready to learn and adapt on the fly if you want to make it in this tough business.
Deadlines are getting crazier with each passing day, which means you really need to pay attention on what to do, and what to avoid in order to focus your energy. If you move too slowly, others may steal your customers right in front of you. To make sure this stuff doesn’t happen, we wrote this article, which will help you distinguish mobile iOS apps UI/UX design do’s and don’ts. Take your time and read it now, it can save you a lot of time later on.
A Piece Of Paper Is All You Need To Start
This might sound strange to a lot of people, but in the initial phases of the mobile app designing, you won’t even need a computer. At this point, it is much more important to get your creative juices flowing, instead of focusing on each small element, such as fonts or colors. Looking at the big picture is crucial to get the project going in the right direction. And if you mess up, just throw it away and start all over again. At the end of the day, it’s not the colors and fonts that will sell your app. The most important thing is to make an app that people would actually want to use for its functionality.
Do Not Neglect The Screen Size
Sure, mobile phones are getting bigger by the day, and if this trend continues, who knows how large the premium devices will be. Still, even though the phones are huge now, it’s nothing compared to desktop or even laptop monitors. This might sound silly, but you’d be surprised to see just how many developers forget about this fact. They do everything they can to pack their app with as many options and features as possible, but ruin it in the process.
To avoid this fatal error, what you need to do is focus on the “mobile first“ strategy. Try to make your app user-friendly for phones with smaller screens first. This necessary step will force you to change your perception of what’s important, and will help you a lot in the process. Think of it this way. When you decide to go on holiday, try choosing your smallest backpack for the trip. You will quickly learn what are the essentials. The same principle can be applied to iOS apps. The most important things should always be available one touch away, and you can hide the rest among other frames.
Do Not Underestimate Teamwork
Often times designers and developers don’t see eye-to-eye on many things. However, it just happens that most of the time, they are trying to say the same thing, but get lost in the terminology. But when they finally get to a point where they completely understand each other, everything starts to run like a well-oiled machine. It is just unfortunate that it’s in the human nature to always be somewhat defensive about our work, and listening to other people’s ideas, especially when they are not experts on the subject at hand. If you just let down your guard, your company will profit like never before.
It Is Essential To Prototype Everything
There is nothing like a prototype to let you know you are headed in the right direction with your project. Remember, a prototype is not a finished product, but it can tell you all you need to know about your concept. There are many programs that can help you with creation of your first model, and make those drawings “come to life“. They do this by implementing images, gestures and transitions to your original ideas. There isn’t a single particular program that is the best for this, so select the one based on your needs. Certain websites, such as Prototyping Tools, have lists of all available tools, as well as pros and cons for each one, making your selection a whole lot easier.
Always View Your Work On Mobile Screens
When you design for the Web, it is very easy to follow as your design comes to work. With mobile phones, not so much. If something looks good on a mobile screen, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will function properly, so it is crucial to test it along the way. To make things even more difficult, you have to pay attention to different screen sizes and resolutions. Fortunately, some tools are here to help you along. The most famous one is LiveView, which is being used on iOS for quite some time now. Other options include Skala or Sketch Mirror. Our advice would be to constantly check on your work, as it is quite easy to mess up the contrast ratio and the sizes of graphics and texts. If you don’t spot this at the beginning, it can be a lot harder to fix it later on. Once you are happy with the design, make sure it works properly on every iOS version, and on every device, as they differ in size and pixel density.
Do Not Stop Evolving Your Product
Plain and simple, there is no such thing as the final product. Everything in the digital world is susceptible to changes, and you must go with the flow, and upgrade your app whenever you can in order to stay relevant. No app is perfect, and users will sooner or later find something that bugs them. There is nothing wrong with a bit of constructive criticism, it can only make your app better than ever. If you have an open mind about it, you will not have a problem to accept you’ve made a mistake, and it will force you to fix it. It’s a humble pie that it sometimes just the thing we need to keep us focused.
Key points: Designing a mobile app is not an easy job, and there are a lot of things to think about. Still, if you are humble, and prepared to work as a part of a team, no goal is untouchable. Don't forget to test your product, use prototypes, and listen to every feedback. And remember, just because the design process is completed for now, it doesn't mean your job is finished. Always be on the lookout for ways to improve your product. If you don't, the competition will.
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