May 1, 2024
min read

How To Design A Mobile App?

App designing is arduous. It involves a series of well-defined steps, from initial idea conception to market release. However, by following a structured approach (with our help) —documenting your idea, conducting research, creating wireframes and prototypes, designing the UI, developing, testing, and finally launching—you can ensure a successful app that meets your business goals and user expectations.

These days, we experience a boom in mobile apps. It seems every brand is eager to launch their own app. Why do they want apps? The main reason, with mobile apps unlike websites you have full control over your audience’s attention. Besides, apps tend to have higher conversion rates. Additionally, users spend more time on apps. Convincing, right?

Uni is at the center of innovations, having a knack for developing simple but effective mobile apps across various industries. So we’ve prepared a brief outlook of how to design a mobile app. Hesitate if an app works for you? We’ll prepare a demo, showcasing app’s capabilities and benefits.

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Put Your App Idea On Paper

Before you get down to the proper mobile app designing tutorial, let’s crystalize the basics and declutter the idea. Focus on strategic priorities rather than particular elements and frameworks. Sounds difficult? No worries - we’ve outlined the entire process.

Choose the Method For Your App That Best Suits Your Business Needs

Before app designing starts, set the goals for your app. An app is not a trendy feature but an effective business tool. So first things first, you must decide whether a native app, web app, or hybrid app is the best fit for your business goals. Consider factors such as performance, budget, and user experience.

In particular, native apps offer the best performance and user experience but are more expensive and time-consuming to develop. Web apps are easier to develop and maintain but may lack the performance and features of native apps. Hybrid apps offer a balance, providing cross-platform functionality with moderate performance and cost.

Setting the Scope

The next step to design an app is to define the scope of your app, including its key features, functionalities, and overall purpose. These questions might help to find answers:

  • What are your app's fundamental objectives?
  • For what purposes do users need your app?
  • Who is the audience you are trying to reach? How you can do it?
  • Which features and functionality are crucial in your app?
  • What graphic design elements are there in your app?
  • How to make your app unique? Which features make users choose it over thousands of rivals?

After all, setting the scope will lead to prioritizing features, setting milestones, and determining the app's minimum viable product (MVP). It will pave the way for focused and efficient development in the future.

Conduct User And Market Research

Analyze your target audience and competitors to understand market needs and user expectations. For that purpose use surveys, interviews, and market analysis to gather insights. This marketing research proves your app is user-centered and has a good product-market fit to show considerable return on investments in the future.

Write Your Product Requirements Document (PRD)

If you design an app, draft a comprehensive PRD outlining all technical specifications, features, user stories, and acceptance criteria. It’s not as intimidating as it seems. Every hour spent formulating this document will benefit your development team. It will ensure that everyone is aligned on the project's objectives, reducing misunderstandings and errors.

Create a UX Wireframe

How to design an app easier than it can be? A UX Wireframe hurries to rescue. It’s literally a rough sketch, mapping out the user flow and app layout, however, dont’ underestimate it. It guides through the app's structure like a beacon for ships. So it helps identify potential usability issues early on.

Initially, you can do wireframing simply on paper, but as your sketches get more complicated and thorough, opt for digital wireframe tools like Sketch, Figma, Adobe XD, or services such as Axure, Pidoco, iPlotz. They make things easier. As a result, you’ll create detailed wireframes that demonstrate how users will navigate through the app and ensure their paths are effective.

Create a Clickable Prototype

Once all initial blueprints are made, let’s get down to clickable prototypes as one of the following steps to design an app. Prototypes simulate and test the user experience to gather feedback from stakeholders and users, especially before investing in full-scale development.

Prototyping tools like InVision, Marvel, or Axure are useful, however, some designers stick to good old Figma for this. It’s up to you to decide. However, try the functionality of both methods to find the appropriate one.

Create UI Design

User interface (UI) can be defined as any elements with which a user interacts in a mobile app. Although UX wireframing and UI design are similar, don’t confuse them. UX primarily focuses on the functionality of the app, while the UI is more concerned with its appearance, in particular, which elements should be used.

Now once you've tested and adjusted your wireframe, it's time to design a mobile app UI. You have to deal with the visuals, including color palettes, typefaces, buttons, photos, illustrations, and so on. Also, you must try a variety of designs to determine which ones your users respond to the best. Moreover, keep interaction in mind.

Add Interaction For Your UI Design

The interaction in UI will ensure a seamless and engaging user experience with intuitive navigation, visual appeal, and responsiveness. Adobe XD, Sketch, or Figma will be handy to add animations and transitions that make the app feel dynamic and user-friendly.

Develop Your App

It's time to give your developer or development team your blueprints. Developers will write the code for the backend and frontend components and ensure that they act as intended. Choose the right technology stack and follow best practices for app development. For example, Agile methodologies iteratively develop and test the app to save considerable budget in a case when something goes wrong. And it will believe us.

And voila—you have a working app now! Check if your goals are achieved and you can proceed to another development stage—testing the features.

Test Your App

How to design mobile app that works flawlessly? The answer is testing. No matter which testing method you choose (we assume that a set of them), you’ll need to identify and fix any bugs or issues. Usability testing, functional testing, and performance testing to ensure a high-quality app are at your service in this case. Moreover, you can automate the workflow with AI-powered testing tools and frameworks like Applitools, TestFlight, or Selenium to automate and streamline the testing process.

Anyway, development is a complex process, so you’ll need to house a developers’ team or outsource with service development agencies. Both ways have their advantages and drawbacks, but it’s the topic of a separate discussion. If you want to learn more about the collaboration options, we’re here to discuss.

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Release Your App

Creating a marketing strategy, submitting your app to app stores, and promotion are key activities at this stage. Monitor user feedback and be ready to address any post-launch issues, as you need to be sure that your app meets the app store guidelines and follows best practices for app store optimization (ASO). If all is done right, it will increase the app’s visibility and downloads.

Although this stage is final, it doesn’t mean the developers’ work is done. You’ll need updates and patches to keep the app running and reduce any arising security issues. So prepare to maintain and upgrade your app timely. Despite the difficulties, we’re sure it will benefit you in hundreds of ways.

Uni is on guard to excel in your business performance with mobile apps. Want to talk about how mobile app leverages numbers?

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Dmytro Dzandzava
Delivery Manager
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