Genie-in-a-bottle:
3 Wishes To Make Your Mobile App Design Work For You

Smartphone ownership is growing rapidly around the world, so it’s no surprise that the mobile app industry is on easy street. Even a decade ago, could anybody imagine that the number of smartphone users would surpass three billion by the beginning of 2021, and it definitely wouldn't stop there.

China, India, and the United States are the mobile front-runners, with each country easily surpassing the 100 million user mark. Finally, much has changed in how we spend the day. Studies point that the average American checks their phone every 12 minutes. One in ten mobile users check their phones once every four minutes.

We go for the phone in the office and at home, while eating and taking a bath, in bed and even in the car. What’s more, these words might also be read from a mobile device right now.

And just what are we all doing there?.. Well, back to the previous statistics, 88% of our mobile time is spent on apps.

Great news for those who own an app or have plans for mobile app development, isn’t it? But if you are to succeed, two things are bound to happen.

  1. Users gotta download your app.
  2. Users gotta use your app. Or at least not to remove it after the first try.

Let’s leave under-the-hood-development-part out of this for now and focus on the issues that are vital for the users first (and usually the last) impression - user interface (UI) and user experience (UX). Basically - your app has to look good and it should be easy to explore. Sounds simple, right? But in order to reach the top, three conditions must be met. So what wishes should be made in order to tie a ribbon around your mobile app?

Let our UX/UI designer Anastasia Surta dust off the magic bottle, here are your 3 wishes to reach the genie ears.

Wish 1

I wish a Freud's Couch and a sounding board

So you have an idea. And we have all the necessary tools to put it on track. But where do you start? In the beginning, there was the word, they say. And they are definitely right. Tell us anything you can. Express your goals, hopes, and expectations, and then we’ll show you the options for their implementation.

Here, it is important to stress two points to form your app concept:

User requirements

Who the application is gonna be for, what issues it should solve, what its mission in terms of the target audience is, etc.

Business requirements

Your product image from the business point of view. What functions it should perform and which way the user is supposed to see it. If this is a startup, then additional information is required:

  • What niche will the application occupy?
  • What tasks should the product solve?
  • How will the mobile app be monetized?
  • How will the application position itself in the market? What is its Unique Selling Proposition (USP)?
  • Who are the main competitors?
  • What are the best practice examples on the market?

By the way, why don’t we start discussing your project right now?

Project conceptual
                        stage
Experts' ability to listen and to ask the right questions is an important skill at the conceptual and design stage of the project

Wish 2

I wish I had good mobile application developers that know what to do

Congratulations, we’ve collected all the necessary data, and now the concept of your app is ready. What do we do next?

Building architecture and navigation

At this stage, the main task is to think over the information and navigation architecture. From a simple pen and a piece of paper to using such advanced tools like Balsamiq Mockups, Sketch, Photoshop and InVision - no stone goes unturned in order to make a full and comprehensible picture for you. Plus, it’s time for custom scenarios and user stories well-thought-out from the first touch to the target action, i.e. the application workflow is simulated.

How is the user supposed to interact with your app? This is where the User Flow Diagram comes in. It illustrates the logic of the product and shows all the possible ways to interact with the interface, the roadmap of these interactions.

Then the PieSoft team makes flowcharts to visualize these stories and scenarios and create low-detail mockups of the mobile app's GUI. Once we are done with the sketches of the interface and the transition diagram, they are waiting for your approval.

User roadmap
A roadmap uncovers a web of connections between items – most of them unseen at the first glance
User flow
User Flow is a powerful tool for UX planning

Prototyping

After the idea is approved and the architecture of the mobile application is discussed, we create a low-detailed prototype in order to determine the priority and location of interface elements on the screen, and provide an easy-to-access location for them.

High-level prototypes are to be discussed with you individually or within the team meeting. Since this approach takes a little time, they can be quickly corrected.

Only after that, detailed, clickable prototypes are created with the necessary dynamics, animation and microinteractions for user testing.

At the prototyping stage, we work closely with the developers in order to understand which design elements can negatively affect the cost and timing of your smartphone application, what solution should be dropped or replaced with a simpler but equally effective one.

Mobile app prototype testing

Interactive prototype is a valuable tool since you can interact with them as with a ready-made application. Thus, it is possible to test the interface following the user’s flow, collect detailed feedback and figure out how interesting the product is for the target audience. At this stage mobile application development services offer you to run a series of tests to determine the ideal user journey.

Mobile app prototype Mobile app prototype and testing
Prototypes of varying degrees of fidelity are built to capture design concepts and test on users

Now PieSoft app development services are on the way to make the product more engaging, set up its stylistics and fine-tune microinteractions with the product design in mind.

Actually, it makes sense to discuss the interface style of your application with the designers from the very beginning, when the app concept is being articulated. And that’s what we usually do. PieSoft specialists conduct a visual research, make up a mood board with all the relevant examples to help you find the style most closely matching your idea. Of course, the results obtained at this stage are not final, but this information will be of great help during the further mobile application development.

The second good reason to return to the stylistics issues is when the prototype is ready. Now our designers are fully prepared to provide you with a set of solutions based on the analysis carried out in the first phase and according to the current situation.

Does your company have a brand book? Great, then we’ll quickly set down a few screen options in the relevant style. If not, it’ll take some time to draw a couple of interface variants and send for your approval.

Now you can see the results, discuss important points with the mobile app development team, and make the necessary adjustments. After the design is approved, the product goes next to the front-end and back-end developers.

Wish 3

Don't leave me, guys

Your application is ready to realise? Great news! But the designers keep on working, cause there’s one important issue to be settled down.

There are two main places where the overwhelming majority of mobile users and mobile apps meet . As we all know, users with iOS devices download iPhone apps from the Apple App Store, while Android app users download from the Google Play Store.

You don’t have to be the head of a mobile app development company to see the difference in aesthetic between Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store. Here are the main points:

arrow_forwardFirst impressions

The first thing one can notice rambling each store is the difference in which graphic elements count more than others.The App Store places your app’s screenshots ahead, while the Play Store focuses on app icons in search results.

arrow_forwardIdeal Product page

The App Store and Play Store have differing opinions on the perfect page for your product. The first continues to place greater emphasis on screenshots vs the main focus on your header image by the second.

arrow_forwardUniform vs. Irregular Icons

Apple is well-known for a minimalist brand look affecting the device UI as well as the App Store. There is a unique form of rounded square for all iOS icons keeping the total store picture clean. Compare it to the Android icons that allow for opacity levels and cutouts creating irregular shapes.

Content for app stores
Preparing content for app stores is equally as important as the development part

A competent description for your mobile application and its main functions, well-chosen screenshots revealing key features and benefits of the app, eye-catching icons - these are the areas where mobile application development agency must concentrate its efforts now.

As you can see, smartphone app development is an exciting journey that is best spent in a good company of creative, attentive and experienced developers.

Already have an idea? Don't keep it to yourself! Take it up with the PieSoft experienced team.

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