It can seem very ambiguous and raise many questions for the companies that consider requesting it. What are the procedures? What are the artifacts? How many people are expected to participate, and what part will I play?
This article explains the rationale for each of the three primary stages of mobile application design, providing answers to all these queries and more.
What does It entail?
The process of designing mobile applications is known as mobile app development. Mobile apps can be used for a wide range of purposes, but they all share the need for the best usability, accessibility, engagement, and overall user experience. addressing all of the aforementioned issues, in short.
Comparing web design and mobile apps
We must keep in mind that mobile app design is somewhat different from mobile web design when designing to make sure we take the proper approach.
Let’s start by thinking about mobile hardware. Even though some device features, like the camera, can now be accessed by modern websites, native mobile apps have access to more hardware features, like fingerprint security sensors, which aren’t typically supported by the web.
Additionally, mobile app design can make use of the operating system’s ingrained features. The platform’s respective app stores (Apple App Store, Google Play Store), which provide a variety of monetization options right out of the box, including in-app purchases and subscriptions, could serve as a prime illustration of this.
Websites do not support animations as well as mobile applications do; in fact, some screen transitions can be easily implemented by developers. This is why using screen design tools for prototyping allows us to use transitions.
SVG is one feature we are unable to use when creating mobile apps.
When it comes to mobile app design, performance is a major issue. PNG files are embedded in the app development and loaded during the loading screen, whereas vector file formats require calculation. To accommodate the various HDPI and retina devices available on the market, we must export image assets in a range of resolutions because PNG files are not vector formats that are independent of resolution like SVG files are. Fortunately, designers can transfer assets in any resolution thanks to screen design software.
1. Business evaluation
Any mobile app development project must begin with the definition of the target platform (iOS, Android, or both), the development strategy, and the functional specifications. I can’t emphasize enough how heavily subsequent steps depend on the choices you make at this point, even though this may sound too technical for a start. To relieve some of the pressure and help you make an informed decision with confidence, I recommend working on this step with a certified business analyst who specializes in mobile design. To relieve some of the pressure and help you make an informed choice with confidence, I recommend working on this step with a qualified business analyst who specializes in mobile design.
You must first define your target audience in order to analyze their platform preferences, which depend on their location and income. You could win the audience with just an iOS version, for instance, if your target market is the typical US user. However, without a version of your app for Android, which is incredibly popular in Europe, you won’t succeed in expanding it to other continents.
You should think about the development approach once you’ve identified the platform or platforms you need to support. Your options here are:
- With native development, the app’s UX and UI are customized to the platform’s original guidelines, and it appears and functions exactly like any other factory app for that platform. High user satisfaction is guaranteed despite the high implementation costs associated with this development option.
- Due to the identical UX and UI design across all platforms in hybrid development, some users may initially feel uncomfortable. The cost of implementation is almost two times less than with native development.
- Cross-platform development provides a nearly native appearance and experience on either platform through UX and UI design. About 70% of the budget for native development is needed for this option.
- The primary goal of business analysis is the definition of functional requirements. The specifications for your project can be created from the requirements to create a detailed concept for your future app and list all the tasks it will be handling. The UX designers won’t even be able to begin their work without this document.
2. UX design
Your preferred vendor can start the actual design process once you’ve specified the functional requirements for your future app. User experience design is typically carried out in the first stage by a UX specialist working with a business analyst.
The team works to develop fictitious representations of the potential users (also known as personas) and the ways in which they will interact with your mobile app (also known as user scenarios). Although it depends on the functionality of your app, designing a mobile app typically calls for 5-7 personas with at least two distinct user scenarios created for each.
A UX designer can better understand the objectives users will try to accomplish while using your app with the help of personas and scenarios. This knowledge, in turn, enables the designer to give the user’s interaction with the mobile app in-depth representation in the form of wireframes, either manually drawn or digitally created.
The final UX wireframes, which typically consist of 40 mockups, are put through extensive, multi-round UX testing. Testing, which aims to get early feedback, makes it possible to get rid of UX problems while they’re still affordable to fix. I also strongly suggest that you participate in this testing so that you can see the preliminary findings for yourself (or someone from the project team on your side).
3. Prototyping UI designs
User interface designers’ work is based on UX wireframes, which typically take the form of monochromatic schemes. They convert the low-fidelity wireframes into a colorful, hi-fi digital prototype by fusing your company’s brand guidelines, platform-specific guidelines (the major ones being Google’s Material Design and/or Apple’s Human Interface), and the most recent mobile design trends. If you already have a web application with a similar set of functionalities, UI designers ensure that the mobile app’s appearance matches that of the web application.
The UI team contacts you when the prototype is ready and requests your feedback. At this point, be sure to express all of your questions and concerns. Even if some significant improvements or additions end up being expensive, they will still be at least twice as affordable now than they will be later, when they are implemented as code.
The design isn’t finished until your project team approves the final iteration of the UI prototypes, at which point you can confidently move on to development.
Keep your design project moving forward and avoid hesitation.
Despite the fact that I’ve covered the most typical decisions and steps in the mobile app design process, each project has unique details that may raise additional issues and necessitate additional actions on your part. Please don’t hesitate to contact our mobile design team for a consultation if you feel that the uncertainty caused by these choices is preventing you from launching your mobile app development project.