Design: Always Judge an App by Its Design
Welcome back for Lesson 5. If you recall from the last lesson, I mentioned that more than half of mobile users will abandon an app in about three seconds if it is unattractive or not intuitive enough, so it is absolutely crucial that your design is clean, clear, and slick. Today, I will walk you through three options for getting your app designed, along with some design considerations you will need to make in order to get the highest quality design for your app.
Before we look at these alternatives, let’s start by defining design. App designs are any form of illustrations that show the look and function of your app. Interaction design, then, is your visualization of how users will interact with their hands—where buttons will be placed on the different screens, what screens will appear when buttons are clicked, etc. At this point, only a basic idea is needed to get started. What you will need to keep in mind throughout the design and development process is the user experience (UX). UX, or UX design, is all about enhancing the usability, accessibility, and pleasure gained from a product, with a focus on user satisfaction.
Option 1: Opt for a “Design Your Own App” App
There are several online programs, like AppMachine, that offer functionality to help you design an app by dragging and dropping user interface elements onto a virtual app display. These programs promise to make designing and developing an app a breeze—but the reality is that the majority of these platforms offer basic functionality, so it would be difficult to design or build a customized app, if your idea so requires.
Option 2: Sketch the Designs and Turn Them into Digital Designs
Remember those sketches you started in Lesson 2? Awesome, pull those out. This option involves you taking a shot at designing the initial screens yourself and then turning those sketches into full digital designs. If you have digital design skills or you’re willing to learn how to use programs such as Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, then you could go down this route. There are also many app design template packs available for purchase, and great prototyping tools like Invisionapp can help you create a clickable prototype that simulates how your app will look and feel.
Alternatively, after you have sketched out the preliminary designs, you could commission a professional developer to take the reins and turn your sketches into full digital designs. Starting the designs yourself aids the user experience because you would be designing a solution to a problem you know best—and if you wouldn’t use the solution, you can’t expect anyone else to!
Option 3: Commission an App Designer to Do All the Design Work
With this option, you would either hire an app designer or a team of designers and developers. It almost always works better to hire a whole team, but the downside here, apart from cost, is that the designer would be relying solely on your description of the app to design it, and this could easily come out not matching your expectations.
Whichever alternative you opt for, it’s best to start talking about app development when you have at least 80% of your designs completed. In our next lesson, we will learn how to make our app come to life!
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