You’ve come to the correct place if you’re looking to create a beautiful, useful mobile app UI. I’ll walk you through the fundamentals of mobile app design in this guide. Then, I’ll go over how you and I can develop the specifications for our designs and how to put them into practise. Last but not least, I walk you through the crucial testing of your concepts and a few subsequent processes.
Are you tempted to start the designs straight away? I experienced similar feelings when I first began working as a UI designer more than 10 years ago, however I firmly advise that you review the theory before getting started.
Why? because the fundamentals of design are crucial. Design principles, often known as heuristics, are a set of flexible rules that designers can follow to enhance the calibre of an interface design and, eventually, shorten the turnaround time. You must pay attention if you’re considering a career as a UI designer.
To restate, the following subjects will be covered in this manual:
- UX Design Guidelines
- What Are We Building During the Design Process for Mobile Apps?
- How Do We Build It? The Design Process for Mobile Apps.
- Next Steps for Testing Your Designs
1. Principles of UI Design
When it comes to designing for mobile, Chris Mears of The UX Review offered the following advice:
“Waiting time is one of the primary uses for mobile. However, that does not imply that you should waste your users’ time. Research the primary actions that users want to complete on your app, and make those the interface’s focal points.
The structure principle, the simplicity principle, the visibility principle, the feedback principle, the tolerance principle, and lastly the reuse concept are six of the most popular user interface design principles.
The Principle of Structure
The Rule of Simplicity
Simple, everyday chores should be made simple by the design, which should also communicate effectively and simply in the user’s native tongue and offer useful shortcuts that are meaningfully tied to more involved processes.
The principle of visibility
The user should not be distracted by unnecessary or superfluous information by the design, which should make all alternatives and materials required for a specific operation available. Users aren’t overloaded with options or confused by extraneous information in good designs.
The Principle Of Feedback
The design should employ simple, straightforward language that is known to users to tell users of actions or interpretations, changes in state or condition, errors or exceptions that are pertinent and of interest to the user.
The Principle of Tolerance
The design should be adaptable and forgiving, lowering the cost of errors and misuse by allowing for undoing and redoing, but also minimising errors whenever possible by accepting a variety of inputs and sequences and by interpreting all appropriate actions.
The Principle of Reuse
In order to minimise the need for users to rethink and recall, the design should reuse internal and external components and actions, keeping consistency with purpose rather than merely arbitrary consistency.
In the publication Getting Out of the Office: Testing Mobile App Prototypes With User, Hannah Alvarez of UserTesting provided the following guidance for UI beginners:
“Have you ever heard the phrase ‘Measure twice, cut once’? That notion also applies to the creation of apps. By user testing your prototypes, you can make sure your app design is on the correct track and save money by avoiding time-consuming revisions. Before you start writing any code, you may work out any design wrinkles, saving your team the time and headache of having to make adjustments later on. Additionally, before your product launches in the app store, you’ll already be aware of how users will react.
I’ll demonstrate how to apply these guidelines to design a practical and attractive mobile user interface in the sections that follow. Our UI Design Course at CareerFoundry will teach you everything you need to know about using UI design principles to develop stunning and useful mobile app designs if you’d like to delve even further into these design principles.
2. What Are We Building Through the Mobile App Design Process?
A word (or several words) is presented to the user each day until it is memorized, allowing them to increase their vocabulary in a specific language. This is my idea for a language learning app.
The app will be called “French Word A Day.” The plan is to eventually create a number of similar apps for different languages, but because I’ve been studying French for some time already, we’ll start with that one.
We must be aware of what we’re designing before we begin. We don’t yet need to break out the pen and paper or launch Sketch. Just the overall app functions need to be outlined. Here are the primary roles I’ve determined after some consideration:
- The user will need to be sent the new terms via a notice, therefore we’ll require an onboarding panel that requests their permission to do so.
- Home Page – The user should be able to buy a variety of language courses, thus we’ll need a place on the home screen where they can do that and also activate any already purchased lessons.
- Monitoring Progress – The user should be able to monitor the development of each active lesson.
- When viewing a lesson, the user ought to be able to see a list of the words they have already mastered for that lesson.
- The user should be able to view words that they have already learned. Included here should be the definition, a visual representation, the part of speech, and an audio pronunciation.
There will undoubtedly be a lot more features in this programme, but for the sake of this tutorial, this list is plenty.
Chris Messina, Lead Developer Experience at Uber, offers the following advice for designing for mobile devices:
“These days, comprehension of user behaviour and context is crucial. People are always on the go, busy, and involved in numerous activities.
To explore how to meet people where they are and to break down your service into smaller micro-tasks that may be cobbled together over time rather than done all at once, consider developing your app or service using simply messaging as your delivery channel.
3. How Will It Be Built?
We’ll start out by drawing out these various app functions on paper with a pencil. Once these designs are complete, we’ll go to Sketch and begin giving them life.
Due of its design focus on user interfaces, Sketch is the ideal tool for the task. Additionally, it has some handy built-in capabilities that enable you to set up and preview your mobile designs on your device. Later, more on that.
Here are 12 mobile app design tools for UI designers in case you wish to check out other resources.
Developing Our App
To understand how the user navigates the software, we first want a straightforward flowchart.
This aids in our comprehension of how the various app screens communicate with one another. After that, each screen will be individually sketched.
We can now launch Sketch and begin putting our designs into action!
Making sure the user consents to get push notifications from us must come first. We’ll introduce them to new terms every day in this way.
Let’s begin applying these guidelines for user interface design. We want to make sure the onboarding process is as easy and effortless as possible because it can easily feel like work.
In order to examine how other applications handle requesting the user to allow push notifications, I quickly looked at various onboarding teardowns. I saw something extremely clever that Foursquare is doing here.
Asking consumers to enable notifications or use their location may occasionally catch them off guard. Therefore, Foursquare places the notification bubble on top of an explanation.
Now we have a solid foundation to work from when designing. We’ll launch Sketch from here, choose the Artboard tool (A), and then utilise the iPhone 6 preset in the inspector window on the right. We’ll go to File >> New From Template >> iOS UI Design to add typical iOS components like the status bar. All of the frequently used iOS components are included in this file.