“Every mobile application is made a success through its functionality, code and calculations, regardless of how it looks and works”, this sounds like an absolute fluke, I agree.
After all, today when we talk about mobile applications there is an immense need for an exceptional UI and UX as much as a perfect backend code. In fact, UI/UX and visuals are the reason why some mobile applications become an instant hit in the market and some are never downloaded in the first place.
“Good design is like a refrigerator—when it works, no one notices, but when it doesn’t, it sure stinks.” –Irene Au, Damian Jolley, UI Designer
Being a part of the mobile app development industry we realise that as a matter of fact, mobile app stores provide the space for displaying screenshots and videos of your applications so the users can have a first look at the amazing graphics of your mobile application and be tempted into downloading it. Nobody is playing the basic snake game or working on a grayscale rudimentary calculator anymore.
So, what makes your mobile application visually and functionally appealing is the UI and UX of the application.
These Acronyms uphold the performance of your Mobile application but what do they actually mean? UI is the User interface and UX stands for User Experience. For the fundamentals of it, the app UX design process steps are more concerned with user retention which is experience based and more subjective whereas, the UI design development process is consists of the visuals and graphics of an app. UI is a sub-part of UX in a Venn.
Although the UI/UX design is an art, the mobile app design process of creating the graphics of an application is more systematic and technical than Art. We, at Appinventiv, follow a series of steps for the app design process. This entire process of designing the Mobile application’s interface can be broken down into 3 major phases:
- UX Design/Wireframing
- Visual Design
Step 1: PLANNING
- Define the problem
The first step to a mobile app UI design process at Appinventiv, problem definition is a statement to address what issue is being solved by the app you’re making. For instance, My next mobile app is going to address the issue of difficulty in searching for the various courses and workshops available in my city. Similarly, Value proposition is a statement that explains what this app does. For instance, This app helps you in finding all the relevant courses and workshops around your city.
- Do Market Research
At Appinventiv, market research is carried out in the form of a competitor analysis. It consists of studying what the competitors are doing and how well their market strategies are working out. Market research will give you a hands-on idea about the USP of mobile applications made in the same domain by your direct competitors are. It will also let you in on the details of what the negative and positive points of their applications.
- Identify Target Audience
The mobile app design and development changes according to the final functionalities of the app itself as much as it changes as per the Behavior and needs of the final User. For instance, an app aimed towards children will have smoother edges and softer colour palette as compared to a strictly business centred mobile application. So identification of the end-user puts a great impact upon the final UI of the mobile application.
Apart from this, at Appinventiv, user persona and stories are created to help the designers in corroborating their end users and understanding their needs and behaviors.
User personas and User stories are made to answer the following questions:
- What is the user demographic?
- What is the goal of this application in relation to this user?
- What is the motivation of this user to use this particular kind of application?
- What is the frustration that is caused by other such applications and how we are targeting those point in this application?
- How this application meets the needs of this user?
- Make Information Architecture map
The next phase is to map down the key features are to be incorporated into the mobile application. This map can be in the form of a flowchart, hierarchical design or a Scamper diagram. The aim is to successfully interrelate every feature that is being listed down. This document, at Appinventiv, helps in the conveyance of all the information about the application features in a simple unidirectional way.
Step 2: WIREFRAMING
- Never Miss Wireframing
A wireframe, in a layman’s language, is a visual representation of the interactive designed crafted above, provided only the main elements are taken into consideration. It is the process of deciding which interface element will appear on the main page, based on the priority and interactivity of the design. While many people use Sketch or Omnigraffle, we still rely on Photoshop to build wireframes.
Wireframing can be done as a Low Fidelity Mockup or a High Fidelity Mockup, depending upon the customer needs solely.
The Basic idea behind wireframing is to make an information structure an create an interaction pattern out of it. This is the first step in which the mobile app UX design process gets materialised and can be taken forward.
This phase, at Appinventiv, holds immense importance to validate the idea from the design point of view and making the client get a clarity of the idea, who approach the mobile app development companies with the urge to ride in the uprising Uber for X wave.
- Prototyping is Important
After the wireframe of the application is finalised, at Appinventiv, it is made into a clickable prototype. This is done to get an idea about the user intuitiveness with the UX of the application. Platforms such as Proto.io helps in building the primitive framework which can be sent across a closed audience for real-time feedback about the UX. If there are any changes to be made, then the design is re-iterated among the design team and the decided changes are made and the App UX is finalised. It is an ardently important stage of mobile app development; prototyping can help a company raise funds prior to completion of actual mobile application
Step 3: VISUAL DESIGN
- Make Style guides
For the mobile app development process as well as the web app design process, visual language development is a very important step. Branding refers to the feel and theme of the entire application which resonates in harmony with the brand logo and image in the market. A mood board is designed based on the colour palette of the design theme and feel it needs to convey and in the end, a style guide is formulated with the selected typography and colour schemes. This makes the first step towards concrete designing of the UI of the mobile application. But the UI is also highly affected by the current trends of the time.
- UI and Final Prototyping for good
Designing the space, colour, shapes, movements of the elements put onto every page of the mobile application together make up an amazing UI. A final prototype is made with all of the features incorporated into the app design and sent to the development team for coding.
After this one iteration, an MVP is made and send to the client and if and as there are changes required, they are made in the final design of the application. This process remains more or less the same for Android as well as iOS app design process. No right product can be delivered in one try. The changing mobile app UI design trends, user preferences, emerging technologies, and other factors make it usual for a designing team to iterate their design repeatedly to make your mobility solution more market-fit. But this doesn’t mean it would be like a relay race in a circular track.
There is of course Art in graphic designing as well but when it comes to mobile app designing, there is structure and series to it. If we go to a bigger and better app, this structure keeps getting more detailed and complex. There can be motion design incorporated in your apps which can make them come alive. Similarly, many other things can be incorporated into the app as per the client requirements. We, at Appinventiv, make it a point to always deliver on the lines of perfection and this process helps us in doing so.
For knowing more about our services, visit us at Appinventiv.com.
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