We all know, mobile app user acquisition and retention begins with how attractive the UI design is, and how engaging app UI to create the best UX. Designers have passed through a roller-coaster of the evolution of app UI design along with the advent of mobile devices and designing tools.
Yes, in the early days, the designing process has a few steps, and designers have a handful of designing tools. Today, complexities have increased a lot in the designing process. New roles have invented in the app design process to meet increased expectations of clients and end-users.
Intricate app testing and follow up of Agile Development methodologies are solid endeavors to make the app more consumable, cost-effective, and converting at the end. New terminologies seemingly announce solid betterment in our mobile app design process.
However, at the core, mobile application designing process remained unaltered. Many designers or mobile app development agencies have renamed the steps of the process. Some have added sub-steps in it to make it more comprehensive to non-tech or some tech-savvy patrons. The same is true for novice app designers just entered into the field.
Here, I attempt to describe the core & common steps of the app design process to follow in your next project.
App Ideation Step in Mobile App Design Process
The idea is phantom of something, which might turn into a real product tomorrow. The idea may inspire in the mind of a client or client-side team. It may be an offspring of thoughts and business knowledge of developers of the development team.
Keep app idea malleable to shape while brainstorming process. Keep the following points in mind while participating in idea generation and brainstorming sessions for idea revisions.
- Financial Viability
- Technical feasibility
You can get the help of Trello like tools in the ideation process.
App Specification Step in Mobile Application Design Process
Once you successfully finished with ideation process getting approvals of the majority in the team, now it is time to write your idea in a document, which is called project spec or specification.
App spec document writing also open lacunae remained in your ideation process. So, don’t afraid of filling the gap immediately. Take it positively and correct the errors left in it. Of course,don’t overwhelm on it, just be logical in this step because the majority of clients expect project spec documents as the base of estimation and project proposal preparation.
Wireframe Step in App Design Process
Wireframe, in other words, is a low-fidelity mock up to provide primary app information architecture as well as UX design scopes to discuss. Wireframe offers opportunities to designers and developers participating in the process to place-
- Experiences of the platform conventions
- Skills on controls and interface paradigm
- Domain-specific knowledge
- Deep insights into the target audience and goals of the app
These all mingle into a strong foundation for the app architecture. Wireframe enables us to visualize what is missing in app design like inconsistent navigational schemes, counter intuitive app flows.You can take help of Sketch or Omnigraffle like advanced tools or stick with Photoshop.
Preparing wireframe options based on idea and spec is tough. It involves hard work because you have to specify what you want and dive into gritty details of how you can execute it. It is a good thing that you involve client-side in preparation and approval process of a wireframe. It can cut many forth & back steps during the rests of app designing process, right from the beginning.
Prototype Step in App Design Process
The prototype is an advanced step to wireframe preparation. So, going through the wireframe process before jump into prototyping makes sense. App prototypes enable development and client-side team to visualize a bare-bone version of the app to test your hypotheses and get the stamp of approval from all.
Today, Invision & Marvel like tools can convert your low-fidelity wireframe options into interactive apps simulating the final products at a glance. If you want to divide between visual design and functional prototype, the Framer and Figma are excellent choices.
Visual Design Step in App Design Process
Now, with approval of a prototype, client and developer-side teams have a visual product to validate their app idea for final visual design. The proper visual design of your app creates a visual framework to provide coherent and consistent experiences. It also helps in engaging storytelling in your app.
You can differentiate your app from the rests of your competitors based on the visual design because it clarifies what is unclear in the app and leaves a long-lasting impression in the mind of onlookers/end-users.You can use Photoshop or Sketch like visual design tools with advanced features and functions to create pixel-perfect app design for the next phases of your app design and development process.
App Development Steps in Mobile Application Design Process
Many differentiate the roles of designers and programmers here, once the visual designing process is accomplished.However, they oversee the significance of the participation of the programmers during ideation to prototyping steps. Without the help of the rests of the development team, a designer alone cannot decide which design option is practically viable and feasible for programming further.
Similarly, without the active involvement of designers during the rests of the development process, giving the app an enjoyable user experience through various interactions, navigation, and screen flow.
Designers can help programmers to select right color schemes, layouts, animations, and app interactions. UX design is not a job of only designers or programmers; both have to collaborate to place UI elements, decide white spaces, alter designs from screen-to-screen, and define app interactions to covey the app messages efficiently.
When you design an app with beauty and functionality, an amalgamation of both resulting in a great design that can attract onlookers at first glance. If you are striving for a great app designing team for your next project, think about SysBunny to be your app designer partner for once and see the differences.
Hemant Parmar is a veteran mobile app consultant. He is co-founder of the company. Thanks to his prolonged exposure to mobile application development projects for myriads of niches and industries, he is capable of providing high-end mobile app development consultancy. He is devoted to providing honest and transparent consultancy services for clienteles looking for righteous guidance to augment their niche services/products using the latest mobile technologies.