App creation is a process that consists of different equally important steps and requires vast resources and a ton of creativity. To design a successful app, you need to put your users first, as they will be the final judges of whether your app is valuable or not. Therefore, you need to create a truly memorable experience while not sacrificing any functionality – a goal that sounds really challenging. So, in today’s article, we will guide you through this difficult, yet exciting process of how to create an app and make it the next trending thing in the App Store and Google Play.
The starting point of your app design journey should outline your main vision and the concept of your app. Everything begins with an idea but it will simply not work if you don’t build an appropriate strategy and don’t conduct detailed research into your target users and the market. Therefore, here are some of the steps you need to take before jumping straight to app design.
Coming up with an innovative yet feasible app design idea is one of the greatest challenges of the whole process. You need to think of all the aspects that can make your app design attractive but still have value for users in their everyday life. Look at what’s trending right now and how you can stand out among countless apps on the market.
After you’ve got your concept right, you need to shape your app development strategy. Here are the things you need to consider:
Requirements gathering is essential for defining app design, how it should function, and its primary purpose. Therefore, here’s what you need to consider to build a successful mobile app with enhanced user experience:
Now when we’re done with defining strategies and requirements for your app design it’s time to figure out how to conduct this process in the best way and to convert your app into a truly impressive and functional one. The next stage of app design creation is to understand how to build an app with the most efficient screen space use.
How you use a smartphone’s screen space in your mobile app design is essential for user-friendly navigation. 49% of people use only one hand to hold and navigate through their phones and prefer to use their thumb for this. Therefore, you need to consider this fact during the creation of navigation to put the most important buttons within the reach. Considering the large size of the modern portable devices, the bottom part of the screen is the most reachable and is the most suitable place for the menu bar. Placing it in the bottom and leaving room for the content in the top area of the screen reduces the cognitive load considerably.
Also, placing the essential function buttons at the bottom part of the screen enables the possibility to introduce a vertical scroll for additional content and a horizontal scroll for showing similar content. The swipe-up gestures for closing an app or going back are now replacing the conventional home buttons.
Splash Screen welcomes a user when they open your app and sets the mood for their whole experience. A splash screen gives an app some more time for setting up before the user can go straight to exploring it. This can be setting the operating system or loading some basic data but it can’t take longer than 3 seconds. The splash screen represents your app, so you can’t mess it up; it should be simple, yet well-done and contain high-quality animation. It must be entertaining enough but you can’t overdo it as you don’t want to overload your user with unnecessary information – both visual and textual.
If users are confused with your app, it can lead to them uninstalling it, therefore you need to avoid any ambiguity and make every screen of your mobile app serve a purpose. The empty state occurs when there’s no data displayed on the screen and this can happen in two cases: when the user opens an app for the first time or when there’s an error. In the first case, to help them out in the onboarding process and to minimize confusion, you should include the basic information about the main app’s functions and how to work with them. In the case of error, you need also to explain to the user what’s happening and indicate why the download has failed. So, even if they face an empty state, they always need to understand what they should do next instead of just closing and deleting the app.
After defining how your app will be structured, you now are ready to splash some colors into it and create your unique design. At this stage, you might turn to the latest design trends and consider which style will suit your purpose and target audience best. So here are some of the essentials you need to know.
The design thinking process is widely used by software development companies and even Harvard University introduces it to classes for students in Design majors. This technique aimed at coming up with innovative design solutions and stimulating creative thinking. Here are the main steps for it:
Design Thinking Process
Research user preferences, what they need – both implicitly and explicitly – and analyze how they behave. By conducting interviews and research, try to understand your user, listen, and most importantly hear them.
Use the data gathered to understand the main problem that needs to be solved or find the opportunity that can make the way for your app’s success.
Elaborate on various solution options for the defined problem or on how to best seize the opportunity you discovered.
Narrow your options to the best one and transform it into a wireframe or a prototype to see how it’s working and introduce improvements to it.
Put your design to the test by inviting users to try it out to refine your design solution and gather additional data.
During the design process, it’s important not only to create a visually beautiful design but also to build it with a purpose. Putting emotions into your app design can be a key to creating an app that users are attached to and reducing the percentage of people deleting it after some time. The creative interface elements are aimed at giving positive emotions to users and making an app more entertaining, so think of the right application of colors, animation, and app navigation elements. However, all these elements need to be perfectly balanced, so don’t overload every screen with a ton of creativity but rather aim at creating a certain look that will make people feel and relate to it. UI elements that’ll help you to achieve more emotional design:
How to create an app design that will keep users is making it minimalistic? A simple design that doesn’t overload people with excessive information is what modern users look for in an app now. So here are some elements that can make your app design easy for users to perceive:
Of course, when it comes to building a successful app design it’s largely dependent on the user’s experience. The visually stunning but simple and functional design is what you should aim at but there are also some other great ways of making the experience with your app truly exceptional.
App design doesn’t have to be limited to the mobile device’s screen functions but can also integrate the possibility of using a mic or camera. Voice interface can assist users in navigating your app; they can easily use various app functions or interact with them without additional effort, simply with the voice commands.
Introducing camera features to your app opens numerous possibilities. It not only adds more features, like credit card or product barcode scan but also makes it more engaging and entertaining for a user. One of the latest technological trends in Augmented Reality which offers a spectacular mobile experience and expands mobile app’s functionality. You can take a look at Instagram or IKEA app – they’re some of the most successful and famous apps to use this technology.
There are a lot of ways to build an app that makes users’ experience far more fun and interactive. By applying game elements to your app design, you can push users gently to certain behavior and trigger certain emotional responses. For example, if you’re creating a banking app, you can introduce fun rewards for people spending more and create a mascot that will guide them around it.
Another important part of the interface design is interactive elements. To enhance the user experience, you can be creative with buttons, tabs and loading bars, switch buttons, etc. However, they should always be designed to be simple and recognizable for users.
To sum up, there are numerous trends in app design now but they’re changing constantly with ever-evolving user preferences and the development of new technologies. But the main principles on how to create a perfect app remain stable: the well-thought-out design creation strategy, interactive engaging UI, and, of course, enhanced user experience.
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