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Mobile Apps Design: The Full Guide

Creating something unique and innovative requires the right amount of knowledge and implementation of a trendy step-by-step process.

The first step to creating a mobile app that will do well and gain popularity starts with the app design. To develop a successful mobile app in modern times, it is essential to understand and learn the layout and functions used to create the best mobile app design.

There are many things that need to be considered while designing your application, such as identifying who the users are going to be, what problems the app is going to solve for its users, what strategies the competitors use to boost their mobile app, and so on. Missing any of these factors in the designing phase could create problems. But worry not, because this article contains all the relevant information, steps, and tips & tricks to ensure that the best mobile app design is created at the end. 

Mobile App Design: Understanding the Basics

Before the application development phase is reached, the blueprint of the mobile application layout of development will be based must be created.

This process is called App Design. This design shouldn’t just be aesthetic and visually appealing; it also needs to have a proper and effective layout and perform specific functions.

The best way to carry out the app design phase is by basing problem-solving capabilities. Identify the problems and issues beforehand and create the design to tackle those challenges. Finding and countering the audience’s problems is the most efficient way to design a mobile application.

Modern mobile apps comprise two main elements that make them what they are. 

So, what is an app design?

User Experience elements are also categorized as UX and User Interface elements, also known as UI. A designer can identify the required solutions and create an application structure that accommodates them through proper research. Artistic factors of the application are also essential and help create a strong appeal through colors, fonts, and imagery.

Understanding the UX design 

User Experience or UX Design is the interaction between a customer and a product or service. Every element that impacts the user experience, what the user feels when using the mobile app, and how comfortably the user could complete the desired function falls under app UX Design. This can range from how the colors, fonts, and interface of the apps make the users feel to how straightforward it was for the user to accomplish their desired task through the mobile app.

Through app UX Design, the designer tries to create simple, efficient, logical, relevant, and overall delightful experiences for the users to continue to use the mobile application.

It isn’t easy to create an app UX Design that ensures a pleasant experience is provided to the app users. Thus, the designer must combine extensive market research, app development, design, and strategy to create satisfying user experiences for the company’s mobile app and products, services, and processes. They need to build a bridge between the company and the customers to connect. This connection should allow the brand to understand its customers fully and meet their requirements and expectations accordingly. 

UX Designers who understand the importance of UX principles know how essential it is to answer the questions of usability and how logical, self-explanatory, and easy to use the application is. They also need to ensure that the app design solves an existing user problem, due to which the application is highly desirable. The designer should also make the mobile app as accessible as possible to make it easy to access all the app’s functions. 

Understanding the UI design 

User Interface or UI design is a process through which the designers create interfaces in computerized devices or software that entirely focus on the mobile app’s visual aspects and style. The best UI app design is one that the users consider user-friendly, simple and easy to use, and pleasant. 

The access points created for the users to interact and engage with the application are called user interfaces. A Graphical user interface, a Voice-controlled interface, and a Gesture-based interface are the three main interfaces in mobile app UI design.  

Graphical user interfaces or GUIs represent the visual representation on digitally controlled panels that display all the mobile application content and make it accessible for the users to interact with. Through voice-controlled interfaces or VUIs, the users can simply use their voice to interact with the mobile app and complete their tasks. They are also referred to as smart assistants, and Siri or Alexa are good examples of VUIs. 

The android app UI designs are highly critical for successful mobile apps because users are strict in judging the app design and deeply care about likability and usability. The aesthetic elements of the app mean nothing if it cannot seamlessly allow the completion of the task it was initially created for. And for this exact reason, the mobile app UI design should follow the concept of invisible design. The app design should have a natural flow that the users don’t focus on it and seamlessly perform their tasks. 

 Importance of UX principles

Hick’s Law

If the mobile app design gives too many choices to the users, they will consume more time to make the desired decision. Therefore, the app UX design should contain the optimal number of stimuli, such as a perfect solution to their specific pain point, on the application.

Parkinson’s Law 

In creating an effective and productive app design, the layout and instructions of the app should be clear enough to facilitate the users being able to perform their tasks quickly and without errors. 

Kiss Principle

A scientific concept that stands for ‘Keep it simple, stupid.’ Unnecessary complications and complexities should be avoided at costs when designing the app. The users only care about using the mobile app design and making it applicable to their own lives. 

Consistent Branding

No application will thrive without unique aesthetic visuals that complement each other perfectly in a consistent manner. Hence, the designer should maintain a consistent style, color, font, and other visuals when designing the application. The icons, typography, graphics, and even minor details should be consistent. 

Color Theory 

Color theory is a part of the app style guide, a collection of guidelines that the designer uses to create effective color schemes that help the app design distinguish it from others in the market. Successfully doing so will provide the mobile app design with a unique identity, allowing it to gain a spotlight and attract users through strong appeal. 

If the designer has adequately followed the UX principles mentioned above, the application design will provide a seamless and productive experience, minimizing their Cognitive Load. The cognitive load represents the stress, frustration, and exhaustion the user experiences when using the application to complete their tasks. That’s why the designers need to create an application that strictly follows the UX principles to have a pleasant time using the mobile app and effectively complete their tasks. 

Application Designs For Different Platforms

Tablet vs. Phone 

The difference between mobile and desktop platforms has been widely discussed, but it needs to be understood that there is a better comparison. Mobile and table are pretty similar devices since they have comparable functions and share significant differences. Tablets have a wider interface, making it easy for users to tap small targets that would be difficult to hit accurately on mobile because of their limited space available on the screen.

However, ample space also means that the users will be using the tablet in landscape mode, significantly impacting the application designs if the designers do not make the app responsive accordingly. 

Android app design on mobile phones is used in portrait mode, so the app needs to be responsive accordingly. There are specific app designs for different device types that the designer must address. Failing to do so will result in an application design that is unfit to serve the users and provide effective and productive solutions to their problems. 

iOS vs. Android 

It is widely understood that Android and Apple will never be friends and have very different ways to do things. It’s no surprise that they have different guidelines and rules that strictly govern their mobile platforms.

The mobile operating systems have created many recommendations that increase the chances of the app design being approved to aid designers in creating aesthetic and fully functional iOS app design and android app design. However, it’s evident that iPhone app design is far more strict than Android. Therefore, the designer should pay extra attention to the rules and regulations set by Apple when creating an iOS app design.

One major factor to consider is the difference in the device resolutions of these two platforms, which can significantly impact the app design and how it appears to the user. Therefore, the designer must keep in mind the resolution they are working with and ensure the app design is highly responsive to each set resolution by both mobile platforms. 

Trendy App Design & Development 

No one can stop the rapid progress of technology which brings advancement in every piece of digital tech. It can be challenging to keep up with the latest trends and happenings, but designers can create cool app designs that reach the top of their category. However, everyone wants to reach the top, and such fierce competition has created many hardships that app creators must endure.

Not being up to date with the latest app trends will render your mobile application obsolete and not attractive, making it impossible for them to perform well. In short, the designer should highly focus on learning the most current trending app designing techniques before starting the app designing process to achieve the best results.  

Augmented Reality is the future of designing mobile applications and facilitates the creation of a top app design. It has proven more practical than virtual reality since it requires no additional equipment, such as the VR goggles, to be accessed by the users.

Modern mobile devices are capable of hardware and software to handle such technology. Other revolutionary technologies like the 5G and Machine Learning are also trendy in modern times. Companies widely use them to create cool app designs that have a success rate in the digital world. Designers to create a top app design should ensure that the application allows the users seamless access to trendy functions and technologies. Users are always looking forward to something new and will flock over to the mobile application that offers them what they want.

Adding new trends and technologies isn’t enough. Suppose the mobile app design introduces these technologies in a complicated and complex way. In that case, the users will not understand or be able to use these functions and pleasantly complete their tasks.

Proven Guidelines to Creating Successful Mobile Apps

With a better understanding of the basics of the application design and what characteristics, elements and factors drive it to success, let’s discuss the precise mobile app design guidelines that the best app designers use to create applications that quickly gain recognition and popularity. There are three main app design steps discussed in full detail below to prove invaluable for developing a booming mobile app. 

Base the App Design on the Requirements of the Users

People have been spending more and more time on their handheld devices in modern times. Before, computers were mainly used to access the internet and interact with brands and businesses through their websites and other applications. However, as smartphone technology advanced, people shifted their focus from computers to their phones. They could access the internet, browse any website, or download applications anywhere with their phones. The audience for mobile applications is increasing by the day, but unfortunately, apps haven’t maintained a comprehensive standard for accessibility like the Web did for websites. People constantly complain that their app experience and interactions are getting worse by the day, rendering them incapable of completing their daily tasks. Therefore, the best and the most successful applications deliver maximum app accessibility to their users that allows them to comfortably and seamlessly carry out their operations. And through these six crucial tips, app designers can ensure that the application being designed is considered easily accessible by the users. 

TouchPoints & applicational gestures

With higher resolution, mobile devices can display multiple interactive elements with which the customer can operate the application according to their needs and requirements. However, it must be kept in mind that all of these interactive touch-points are displayed on a small screen. When designing an app, these touch-points must be distanced and large enough for users to easily interact touch, and target them. 

Tap targets in the application should be designed to interact with them confidently, especially when the operations and tasks need to be completed quickly. Clever and effective app designs ensure that the touch-points of the application are at least 9mm high and wide with an inactive space surrounding the tap target. Designers should also keep in mind that there are left-handed and right-handed users and so should place these buttons in locations that are easy to access for both of them. 

Many mobile applications offer efficient and productive gestures that can speed up the task completion process. However, some designers seem to get carried away and develop complex gestures that do the complete opposite of what they were initially intended to. Gestures that allow users to interact and operate applications and are easy to execute should be considered when designing an app. Complicated gestures will prove challenging for people, especially those suffering from dexterity or motor impairments. 

At times, users might accidentally trigger a gesture-based operation. This is quite common because mobile apps can’t compute intentions. Meaning, the process initiated by the gesture should be reversible so that the user can quickly go back and fix the mistake. Companies to offer further flexibility to their users and gain popularity and loyalty have started to use customized gestures. Users are free to create their most comfortable gestures and dedicate them to completing a specific function of their choosing. For example, the gesture of blinking twice in front of the selfie camera will automatically take a picture. 

Consistency is the Road to success

Another design rule to keep in mind that ensures high accessibility of the mobile application is the consistency in layouts and templates. Components, features, processes, and interlink pages should follow a similar design and layout so that the user can efficiently work across the different parts and areas of the app design and complete their tasks.
Through consistency, users can be inspired and encouraged to efficiently use the app in an accessible since they become familiar with the design and layout of the application. Many world-renowned expert designers have called consistency the key to creating a seamless and smooth cross-channel user experience. It allows the users to feel more comfortable and in control while operating and executing the tasks. Accessibility allows users to efficiently complete tasks that require the user to use more than one application platform smoothly.

Designing a Comforting & Relaxing in-app Experience

The first impression leaves an unforgettable mark in the subconscious of an individual. Meaning, it’s essential that the app design creates a soft and welcoming first impression in the user’s mind that makes them feel comfortable while offering a glimpse of what this application can do. To follow the proper mobile app design process, the designer should keep in mind that showing too much might overwhelm and scare the user away, and showing too little might undermine the application’s capabilities. 

To please the desire to create a trendy, modern app design, designers will pay a lot of attention to the populated part of the app while neglecting the initial design that the users will first encounter. This practice usually ends with an uninteresting encounter that drives the user away. To avoid the from happening to the app design, professional creators use several ways to make good use of this space and provide the user with a modern, unique and interactive experience. 

One-hand or thumb-friendly design layout

One thing is shared amongst the top-performing applications in the modern world of smartphones. The one-hand navigation or thumb-friendly layout. The ability of the app design to be navigated single-handedly or by the user’s thumb. Not every user enjoys the two-hand requirement that many modern applications demand, which leads to irritation and an eventual uninstallation. 

The app creator should design apps while keeping in mind and considering ways one-hand navigation can be integrated into the application. One easy way to achieve this is by placing all the actionable elements, buttons, and touch-points in the screen part that the user’s thumb is naturally reachable. Another way is to simply make the tap targets large enough to be accessed by the thumb. However, make sure that two buttons are not placed too close to each other since it will lead to misclicking, which will disrupt the satisfying experience. 

Clutter can easily be avoided in-app designs if the right line spacing is used. The ideal size for a tap is between 7 to 10mm. Keep in mind that the top of the mobile screen will always be hard to reach, thanks to the increased sizes of smartphones that are now in use. This could also be used to take advantage by positioning destructive actions, like deleting sensitive data, in hard-to-reach places to ensure costly accidents don’t occur that can ruin the experience of the application. 

Integrate easy to navigate visual design 

The best design isn’t filled with trendy, animated pixels that bring vibrant colors to the application layout, but it’s the one that is properly organized and allows a smooth navigational experience for the user. The mobile application design that the users find hard to manage will discourage them from exploring all of the pages of the mobile app. Meaning, the users won’t discover the brand and business. A good design ensures that the users can navigate the app seamlessly and are inspired to explore its content. 

The concept of the Serial Position Effect dictates that people tend to recall the first and last items in a series. The ability to recall things and items is significantly affected by its position in the series. While it’s easy to remember the first and last elements of the pattern, the human brain finds it difficult to remember the ones in the middle. Due to this reason, app designs following the latest trends favor a top or bottom bar dedicated for navigation purposes instead of the old and traditional hamburger menus that used to enlist the tabs that allowed the users to access other app pages. The most critical items or tab buttons are placed on either the left or right side of the navigation bar to make them apparent and easily accessible. 

Another common yet impactful practice the modern designers use for mobile apps is visual hierarchy. This concept dictates that the size and presence of icons and buttons should be directly proportioned to their importance. The more important the function is, the bigger the touch-point, and it should be put before the less important ones. Doing so decreases the chance of essential functions and tap-targets escaping the users’ vision. 

Design an Everlasting Application

No one can stop the trends from changing and technology from evolving. Change in everything is constant and undeniable. This change in trends controls the customer behavior and their desires. Companies that adapt to these changes will be the ones to survive and thrive eventually. Brand identities need to be flexible enough to shift and change according to current trends to maintain or even create a stronger appeal and attract the audience. Therefore, the designers should learn app designs that are new, innovative, and, most importantly, flexible. Doing so will ensure that the application will cater to the current user expectations and requirements and be flexible enough to adapt to any change in the trends.

A successful app design will be adaptable enough to adjust to the incoming trends and changes even if it causes an increase in the app development costs. The app design that can evolve with the user’s needs and wants will be able to maintain its relevancy and continue to provide the user with value. This process is called custom app development in general, regardless of the design or development phase.

Content plays a vital role

Businesses tend to underestimate the power of words on the readers and how they can be used to encourage or convince them to perform the desired action. Similarly, words that are used to create the application’s content have a significant influence on the users and their behavior while interacting with it. While creating the phone app design, the person should use simple and easy words to understand while avoiding the ones that are complex and irrelevant to the application. Sentences that are short, precise, and fully convey the message that is well understood by the user and allows them to complete their tasks effectively should be used. 

Another powerful element at the designer’s disposal is Typography. It allows the creator to design a more user-friendly app while enhancing its accessibility. Users have admitted that they keep some applications because they are so simple and easy to use. Designers who are experienced enough can integrate powerful features of the app with simple and sleek designs in a natural manner which allows the users to enjoy the smoothness of the mobile application. 

Never copy others

There’s a huge difference between being inspired by and copying someone else. It’s not worth copying the designs of others. They can most definitely be used as a source of inspiration to create new app designs, but copying the layout, panels, pages, and even the content is strictly off-limits. Every mobile application is unique and has its own charm. Besides, the audience, information, objectives, and other relevant information used to create app designs differ from business to business.

Different requirements demand different applications. Designing an entirely new and unique app focused on the users’ requirements will prove invaluable compared to a design copied from another source. Plus, when something is being copied, the chance of creating something fresh and innovative dies.

Design the trend setter

People love using proven guidelines and patterns used and tested by others because it significantly decreases their chances of failure. But trying the way that has already been tried won’t allow the designer to create an innovative, trend-setting app design. To create something new, the designer shouldn’t be afraid to take risks and experiment with different aspects of the mobile app. Designers can even use an app designing app to find new ways to create app designs.

Andromo – App Building Made Creative & Easy

Take advantage of the advanced operating systems

Why work the work that Android and iOS are already providing?! The native app user interface design features and functions are already well recognized by the users. With Andromo App Designer, simply leverage the operating system’s features and functions, integrate them into the mobile app design, and reach optimal results since the users are well informed and familiar with them. 

Aesthetic and seamless screen transitions

Users will not spend all of their time on one page of the application and will want to go back and forth on the different tabs and pages available to achieve their tasks. Using Andromo, add creative and naturally felt transitions to your mobile app styles and allow the user to move from one page to another smoothly. 

Artistic and purposeful app icons

Many app designers and brands underestimate the desire of the Millenials to maintain a clean home screen of their phones. People asking how to design a mobile app should know that 21% of the users delete mobile apps with ugly application icons. Through Andromo, ensure an enticing application icon that accurately depicts what the application does and is visually appealing on the home screen display. 

Eliminate or create interactive loading screens

Nobody likes to wait for things. And the boring loading screens in mobile apps are a major turn-off, especially for the millennials. However, with Andromo app menu design, have everything loaded beforehand, so there aren’t any pauses irritating the user when completing a task. 

Avoid Repetitive Notifications

71% of mobile users uninstall mobile apps due to their annoying notifications. Andromo App Builder ensures that this software’s app designs will only deliver meaningful notifications to the users using long intervals.

Creative, Compelling, & Constructive Ready-to-Use Template Designs

Integrate intuitive with usability

Customers don’t like long, complex process structures that are slow and consume too much of their time. Using the pre-designed Andromo app layout design, reduce the customers’ effort required to use the mobile app to complete their tasks by neatly organizing, breaking down large tasks, saving user progress and information for later use, and setting smart defaults.

Create interfaces invisible to the user’s eye

App layout designs with unnecessary information, designs, color, and text can overwhelm the users. Andromo facilitates aesthetic app templates free from unnecessary information and elements, provides appropriate breathing room, uses simple headings and sentences to avoid confusion, maintains a color contrast and combination that feel pleasant to the eyes, and ensures that the user receives a delightful and satisfying experience.

Overadding is overwhelming

Users might feel burdened if they are presented with too much information as soon as they launch the app. Applications that create informational clutter never do well. Andromo’s app design ideas provide a stress-free and relaxing UI by reducing clutter, breaking down long forms into pages, and limiting information input so that it doesn’t exceed its system’s processing capacity, saving the app from sudden crashes and allowing it to complete tasks accurately. 

Highly engaging & interactive navigation

Many applications fall victim to unattractive and complex navigation that keeps users from fully exploring and discovering it. However, beautiful app design Andromo templates inspire users to discover every page of the app, make them easily accessible, accommodate every need, and effectively use icons and graphics to help users understand each menu option.

Designed to facilitate one-handed operations

Layout apps for android that require both hands of the users to complete their tasks successfully have been created with faulty app templates. Andromo app design templates are easy to use and can be conveniently be operated with a single hand, making them suitable for multitasking purposes. 

To Conclude it All

While it isn’t easy to create a modern app design that will gain recognition and popularity in today’s online digital world, it also isn’t impossible. A simple app design that satisfies all the user’s requirements can be achieved by following the guidelines that have been tested and proven. With a good grasp of the concepts of UI and UX elements and their defining principles, an app design can be created that will be comfortable and relaxing to use. The latest app development trends need to ensure a strong appeal infused into the app design to attract users. To provide a perfect in-app experience to the users, keep them in mind while creating the app design. This way, whatever is created will best serve the needs and requirements of the users. 

Application Design built with Andromo automatically consists of all the important factors that significantly attract the users and provide them comfort and relaxation through its experience. Andromo App Builder is constantly updated and contains app design features following the current trend. It allows the designers to integrate software functions with the hardware, insert aesthetic and natural transitions between app pages, create beautiful app icons, and equips them with fancy app templates that prioritize the functionality and productivity of the app.

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