Designing a mobile app brings in many benefits, and understandably it can be a formidable challenge for new designers. With a mobile app, there is a unique platform for brand awareness through in-app reminders of what is new with your brand.
A mobile app would enhance your mobile marketing strategy and create product and brand loyalty. The best mobile apps add value to a user’s life even more. It is an excellent tool for building a community.
Mobile apps also help you get leads and increase conversions for your website. It provides better engagement and communication with your target market, as well as with your employees (if you have employees).
If you are considering designing your mobile app, and you may not know how to go about it, let us help you. In this article, we would be discussing nine steps that would help you design your app like a Pro.
1. Vision is essential in mobile app design.
The design of your mobile app will start as an idea. Draw your vision for the app clearly on paper. Unless you have a great artist with you that can draw the vision straight to a digital device, a simple pen and paper will do. No special effects or frills. Just the basic concept of the app.
You can opt to write it down or draw it out. You will need to translate your vision into words. If you cannot express it in words, the designer will have to work with intangibles and much guesswork to understand your vision.
Express a compelling story or plot in 1 to 2 sentences. The effective design of your mobile app will start with the translation of the words into your visual representations of your thoughts. It will help in the design of each wireframe. Part of an effective interface has an easy-to-understand setup and layout.
In this first step, you will determine whether your mobile app is free-to-use or a paid application. You also decide as early as now whether will have in-app purchase available.
2. Conduct your market research before designing a mobile app.
This step is done beforehand to determine the number of competitions out there, and you would need to do this to answer a few questions that would help you in designing your mobile app.
Conducting market research would determine what the needs are of your target consumers. It would also determine whom the app is specifically for, the anticipated issues and problem, and, most importantly, the needs that your mobile app is providing a solution.
Design your mobile app to meet demand and add value to your consumers.
3. Form your app’s graphic design.
In this step, you may need help from professionals because you will be using original works in designing your mobile app. Take advantage of the different platforms where you can hire professional graphic designers to prepare elements for your mobile app. If, by chance, you decide to make the design for your mobile app personally, keep in mind the existence of copyright laws.
4. Mobile app design needs planned-out wireframes (app’s storyboards).
With your ideas written down and your visuals drawn out, you will now make a visual guide on what each wireframe would contain and how it would look like. The wireframes of your mobile app are the basic pages that users will access when they navigate your mobile app. It is the basis for the development of the final product.
5. Create a landing page for your mobile app design.
In the process of creating your mobile app, you will need a venue to showcase your mobile app and present the initial design of the mobile app.
It is also a way to connect with people and engage them in a conversation. It is optional, though, because most developers opt to market their apps through their Mobile App page. But a landing page as you are designing your mobile app is worth considering.
6. Check the backend of the mobile app.
We now need to put functionality upon the wireframes you have prepared. If you are reading this, then there is a high probability that you have little training on delineating your servers, APIs, and data diagrams. You may use tools that are available to help you. Some tools can even do it for you. Along with the tool, you would need a way to collect data about app usage.
Remember to point out on your wireframes the changes you have made so that anyone who would be helping you on the project will see the changes.
7. Build a mobile app.
Now it is time to take your ongoing project to the proper designers and developers. They will work with you to bring to life your ideas and wireframes. Monitor the development and design of your mobile app closely to guarantee consistency to your vision, idea, and design for your mobile app.
While the build is happening, there are templates and plugins that you can use for your mobile app. The same way that you can incorporate plugins in the development of your website is the same concept in the development and design of your mobile app.
8. Check the model of your mobile app.
It is time to critique your model. At this stage, you will need people that will test the model and provide truthful criticisms upon the design of your mobile app. While providing observations and criticisms, keep in mind the needs of the users, and follow that train of thought.
The aim is to ensure that the core functions work before adding other designs. You will be able to test whether the navigation of the app works and how the navigation functions concerning how different people use it. You will also be able to check the needed revisions.
9. Launch your mobile app at the store.
To launch your mobile app at the AppStore, you will need to:
- Register for an Apple Development Account (available for around $99/year).
- Prepare the metadata and app title with App Store Connect
- Upload to the AppStore the latest version or build of your mobile app by using XCode
- Review the App Store Review Guidelines
- Prepare for a review made by Apple
- Publish your mobile app once you get approval.
With Google Apps, you can opt to use Google’s application development kit for your mobile app or its Android App Bundle. It is easy, and you will need to see this for the rest of the process.
Conclusion: Designing a Mobile App is Easy and Fun
Designing your mobile app gives a sense of accomplishment of being able to build something from the ground up. The excitement also increases when you know that the mobile app will have a global presence somewhat and realizing that people are experiencing the labour you have poured on to the design of the mobile app.
But once your mobile app is published and ready for download, the reviews and feedback will begin to come. That is when the work starts again.
You will begin to implement improvements on the app carefully because the audience is so diverse and the needs so vast in variety that you will need to take each one and sit down and discuss the necessary adjustments.
Again, the design of your mobile app will make a difference for a company that may need it. Soon, you will see a lot of promotions and improvements done upon the mobile app.
Update yourself with top mobile app dev trends as well, so you keep increasing as a mobile app designer.