According to a survey by Adweek, smartphone users spend up to 86% of their time daily using applications. With more than 8.93 million mobile users in the tech ecosystem, it can be concluded that the demand for applications is at an all-time high.
However, how to design an app that catches users’ attention is not an easy task. The processes involved in a mobile app design can overwhelm developers. Nonetheless, the mobile app UI design process can be much more straightforward with the correct information. This article is the ultimate guideline you need to build a successful mobile app!
Stages Involved in Mobile App Design
This section will explain the six stages involved in mobile app development.
1. Know the App Project
Without knowing the app project, you cannot effectively execute a mobile app design. At this stage, you are required to meet with your team of developers to gather extensive information about the app. Some of the things you need to know about include:
- App development timelines and costs
- The mobile application design strategy
- Prime functionalities and features of your app
- The technologies you wish to integrate into your app
When you have a transparent and open conversation with your team about your application, it becomes easy for your app designers to come up with a design that matches the market’s trends and requirements. It even becomes more accessible for your team to work on other app details, including typography, correct colors, suitable layouts, and fonts.
2. Develop a Wireframe
The next step is the app UI design. Create a sketch that appropriately describes your application’s feel and flows. If you don’t know where to start, begin with the primary screen and move to sketch profiles, dashboards, and matches. Another name for this sketch is a blueprint. And it can be adapted and refined to finish the interactive layout and ensure your brand’s story is told clearly.
On the other hand, a wireframe is the visual depiction of the sketch you have designed. It usually factors in the interface elements adopted in the app, using the design’s interactivity and priority. A wireframe usually consists of boxes, words, app icons, and lines. Sometimes, it also contains descriptions. All these are then used to explain the target audience patterns and flow. They are also used to determine the app’s layout.
The wireframe is usually deemed a project’s backbone. This is because it helps to examine the design decisions and connect the pages. This step is crucial because the wireframe validates your idea and brings it to life. Some tools to develop a wireframe include Omnigraffe and Adobe Photoshop.
3. Build a Prototype
After creating your wireframe and having a clear idea of what your application will look like, the next stage will be to build a prototype for your app. This involves turning your sketch design into a compelling interactive model. Some tools generally used for bringing wireframes to life include Swift, InvasionApp, and XCode.
You can use any highlighted tools to develop a prototype that feels, works, and looks like an actual application. The primary objective of a prototype model is to make your application look and feel natural to your end-users, investors, and shareholders. It also helps your developers to have a clearer perspective of your intended application’s UX, which will help them when finalizing the application.
4. Finalize the Visual Design
Finalizing the visual design is the next step in a mobile app design after developing a prototype successfully. Visual design is described as the graphic expression which helps developers to develop the app’s visuals and create a unique look and feel that will compel the end-users. This is another crucial stage in all mobile app design guidelines (according to Topflight Apps experience). This is because it drives the UI/UX designers to develop a product that is successful, consistent, flawless, functional, and identifiable via visual language.
Using previous stages, such as the wireframe flows, predefined goals, and feedback from end-users that used your prototype, finalizing the visual design stage will maintain your application’s essence. It will also enhance your application’s functionality by setting conventions, rules, and expressions already in use by iOS and Android applications. These include UI components, colored navbars, and more. Every challenge that may stop optimal user experience is usually dealt with at this stage.
5. Begin The Development Process
Typically, this stage begins after the visual design has been finalized. The developers adopt the prototype to write codes. The app is usually filled with bugs during this process. So, another team of developers will test the app and authenticate its functionalities and features. It is advisable to use an agile methodology if the application is complex and constantly changes to satisfy users’ requirements. Doing this will ensure a large app can be broken into small modules. This will lead to progressive development and ensure versatility in the planning and testing.
6. Utilize, Repeat, and Maintain
In this phase, your application has been finalized and is ready to be launched. While it’s best to choose a suitable day for the app launch and release it on preferred operating systems, there’s still more. You must continue to make changes and adjustments according to users’ needs, even after the launch. You must also ensure the app is adequately maintained by adding new features and functionalities.
The reasons why it’s crucial to maintain your app includes evolving users’ needs, app development trends, and emerging technologies. Additionally, you must have effective customer support to answer users’ queries and complaints. Launching your app on the various app stores is not the only thing to do. That’s where the real work begins. This is where you build trust and your reputation with your users. This article at the link will introduce you to even more detailed information about this process. Developing a mobile app is a long-term investment, not a short term.
Building a flawless, effective, and successful mobile app is not something you can do alone. You would need experts who can help through the highlighted steps. While this guideline has been able to help you break down the development of mobile apps into simple steps, make sure your onboarding process is effective and hire experts that will help with your mobile app design!