Designing your first mobile app can be both exciting and frustrating, with so many details coming into play during and after the design process. With your first mobile app, you’ll want to be as organized as possible, and in constant contact with your client and team to ensure that the app you produce is of high quality, and focuses on excellent UX. Here are some tips for designing your first mobile app that will greatly increase your productivity and product quality.
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5 Tips For Designing Your First Mobile App
If you’re designing a mobile app for a client, the first thing you want to do is get the client to spell out their expectations exactly and in writing. You don’t want to leave any room for error. Be sure to ask pertinent questions like “what do you want your app to do?” and “what is your target audience?” and “what is our timeline for completing the project?”.
Staying in contact with the client throughout the design process is a must. Clients will often change their minds on certain aspects of the project once they see it in a mockup or wireframe, making edits costly if you’re farther along in the process.
Keeping in contact with clients is simple with cloud sharing and storage services, conference calling services, and other applications. Be sure to inform your client of your preferred communication methods, and keep them updated with changes to the project as they come.
Unless the client is (or you are) targeting a specific user base, such as only iOS users or only Android, your design should be focused on responsiveness. Each platform has different standards for your mobile app to function properly.
If you’re designing an app for Android, and you want to make it iOS compatible, there are different standards and rules for Apple’s operating system that you’ll need to take into consideration so that Apple users won’t become frustrated with your app.
Keep in mind that the more diverse your user base is, the more useful your app will be. Designing for everyone is a good way to increase your app’s reach and therefore increase downloads and shares.
Responsive design can also increase web traffic, as it will allow your brand to be accessed either through the app or through your website, despite the platform it’s being accessed from. With a responsive design, the site will load correctly on any platform, eliminating frustration from slow-loading pages.
User experience is an extremely important part of the design process. It is a process by which you determine what your users will experience when they interact with your product, or in this case, your mobile app.
Generally, a good UX starts with a few simple questions from the designer: Is this app useful? Does it serve a function? Is it simple to navigate/perform well? Think of what you like your mobile apps to do and how you expect them to perform.
If your banking app doesn’t load correctly, you’re probably going to become frustrated with it. That’s a part of UX. If the app doesn’t load correctly or navigate well, users will generally become frustrated with the way it performs, and likely uninstall it.
That’s why we address these issues before the app is published to a store. Focusing on UX during your design process will ensure you’re looking at it from the users’ point of view and designing the app to fit their needs and expectations. Remember that a product is there to solve a problem for its customers, and if it doesn’t do that, it’s not a useful product.
If you want to keep a customer updated while simultaneously designing with UX in mind, then you need to use wireframe software like Axure in your design process. These excellent tools make the design process simple and streamlined by providing a roadmap for the project.
Having a blueprint for your project is the best way to design a responsive app while keeping the client happy. You’ll be able to show the client every step of the process, gaining valuable feedback throughout. This feedback will help you make edits as you go, preventing the costly and time consuming post-release updates and edit.
Wireframe tools often include cloud storage and sharing and even minor team sharing tools, so truthfully a wireframe is much more than just a design tool. Think of it as the central design hub from which you can make changes, share with clients and team members, and iron out important details.
Proper organization is an important attribute of any successful project. Disorganization creates confusion and frustration in both the team and the client. Staying organized can mean the difference between delivering a quality app on time and delivering a sub-par app outside of the deadline.
Staying organized starts with organizing files and projects. A wireframe tool is a great way to stay organized, with cloud storage and easily accessible tools for the whole team. You can also utilize your own cloud storage, such as Google Drive or Dropbox.
In addition to tracking files and projects, keeping track of your team is part of staying organized. Be sure to stay in constant contact and hold each team member accountable for their part in the project. Make sure you’ve made everyone aware of the client’s standards as well as the company standards, so everyone knows what is expected of them.
As long as you stay organized and use the right tools, designing a mobile app can be a fun project, and the reward of seeing those downloads each week is enough inspiration to being developing your next app. Keep your team and clients updated, stay organized, and use the right tools, and you’ll have a successful mobile app in no time at all.
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