Designing your mobile app – a journey

Photo by fauxels from Pexels

… And that first step sets the pace for the rest of your work.

It’s easy enough to imagine what the end product is going to do, or maybe even what it might look like – but putting it together in a way that lets you develop quickly and well.

It starts with putting down a list of features you plan your application to have, ordering them from the most important (MVP) to the nice-to-have. All these features must be presented to your users in the right order and in the right way, making them simple and easy to use. This is done through a variety of methods – from the order of screens and features that become visible as you use the app to the colors used.

We’ve mentioned some steps of app design befor, including splash screens and color schemes. We have prepared options in all of our templates and themes, but it’s still up to you to pick what you do and do not need.

It’s a cardinal rule to remember what your app does as the main functionality and who is likely to be using it. That helps you set the pace for yourself and concentrate on the things that matter.

For instance, if you are creating an innovative application for a startup that might be a bit confusing for first time users, your first step is figuring out the best way to teach your users what to do. Here’s a couple of ways you can do this:

Splash screens

A splash screen is the first thing your users see when they open your app. It can be minimalistic, showing your logo or another element; it can be artistic, keeping your users occupied as they wait for your app to load; it’s even possible to make it a short tutorial on the app itself.

Pop-up tutorial

Although most of us tend to skip through them (especially when re-installing an app that we’ve used before), pop-up tutorials can be a lifesaver. Some of us still remember the granddaddy of all tutorials, Clippy the Office Assistant, and there are a lot of bots available today that can simulate the better aspects of Clippy. It doesn’t even have to be a bot – a simple pop-up message that leads the user through the main aspects of the application is enough.

Clippy the Office Assistant was a staple of the 90s and 2000s.
Clippy the Office Assistant was a staple of the 90s and 2000s.

Best practice inspiration

If you’re aiming to disrupt an existing market, one of the things you need to do is analyze existing applications available for it. For instance, apps for rating and reviewing all follow a certain model – just think of Yelp! Existing customers are more likely to use your app correctly if you make it similar to the one they’re used to, at least when it comes to the gestures they need to use (like swiping or scrolling).

Of course, there are times when the app you’re making has a standard usage, like news. In that case, you’re pretty much set from the very beginning – just follow the template we’ve prepared for you.

In any case, the best thing you can do for your design journey is start with what you know. If what you know doesn’t cover mobile design, then maybe you’re better off beginning with a crash course in UI/UX – it’s worth it!

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