In recent years, mobile app development has gained massive attention due to the increased penetration of apps on mobile devices. Today, millions of apps are available in app stores and have become an integral part of mobile devices. According to a survey by Statista, downloads for mobile apps will reach 299 billion by 2023. These statistics by Statista indicate that most mobile users love to use mobile apps over web apps. Moreover, Statista claims that over four million mobile apps are available to combine Google Play Store and Apple App Store.
By keeping in mind the current hype for mobile apps, many business owners are planning to create apps for their business growth but don't know how to design a successful app. You might be wondering why some apps stand out among other apps on the app stores. The answer is interactive design. Mobile apps with attractive designs have gained more attention as they offer better design elements for the target audience. "How to design an app" is the most common question you may ask when you plan to build your own mobile app.
In this article, we'll unveil what app design is, its importance in app development, Android app design, iOS app design, the steps of the app design process, and tips for designing a better design. Let's dig deeper into the details of an app design:
What is App Design?
App design consists of all the visual elements of an app to specify how the app will appear to the users. An attractive user interface helps to grab the attention of the target audience. Mobile app design integrates the UX and UI elements of an app to specify the look and feel of an app. A mobile app design encompasses a color scheme, font, and other design elements. At the same time, the user experience (UX) specifies the app features and use.
If you have planned your app idea, it's crucial to plan a high-quality design to keep your users engaged. No matter which niche you are targeting, keep app design your topmost priority. So, it's important to consider design from the beginning of app development. Investing time in design will save you money and result in high ROI for your app. Now, let's unveil the importance of a good app design for your business's success.
Why is App Design Important?
In recent years, the app development industry has flourished. According to an estimation, mobile apps with interactive designs have earned $111 billion. So if you want to create a mobile app that can generate revenue for your business, it's crucial to get the right app design. Moreover, a sleek mobile app design is crucial for a user-friendly interaction between your target audience and the mobile app. But if you ignore design during app development planning, your mobile app will get negative user feedback resulting in a bad reputation for your brand. Moreover, mobile apps with poor design will frustrate your users, and they will switch to the best options available in app stores. And, of course, this will be a nightmare for you to lose your users, sales, and turnover.
On the other hand, an app with more intuitive design options will provide a better user experience and help to increase conversion rates. If your app has a user-friendly user interface, your app users will get a sense of accomplishment by completing the tasks quickly, and it will help them feel connected with your app. So, the biggest challenge for you is to get a design for your app that your users will love and come back to your app repeatedly. If you deliver a mobile app with a sleek design, your users will find your app an integral part of their mobile devices. The point worth noticing is that the app design requirements vary for different platforms, such as android and iOS apps.
Before hiring an app developer for your mobile app development, you need to choose a platform to specify the design for your app.
Most business owners prefer to design an app for multiple platforms to make their app available on Google Play Store and Apple App Store. You might be wondering why it is crucial to decide on an app platform for your app. So the thing is that the app development process is different for iOS and Android apps. Moreover, you need to understand that market shares for Android, and iOS apps are different.
iOS apps have ruled the US market, but Android apps are popular globally. So, your target audience will help you to decide on a platform for your app. Now, we will unveil the important things to keep in mind when designing iOS and android apps. Let's begin:
iOS App Design
If you have selected an iOS app, there are several things to consider. If you have kick-started to turn your app idea into reality, this platform is the best option for you. It is a reliable and easy-to-use platform for mobile apps, making design bug-free through easier debugging. So, mobile app development with this platform allows designers to fix bugs and add new updates to the apps without any problems. Before hiring an app designer for an iOS app, you should focus on the design requirements of Apple users to make the user journey more interactive. They prefer an intuitive design with the latest features and compatibility across multiple platforms of Apple. This means an app should be compatible with iPhones, iPods, iWatches, Macs, etc.
Android App Design
Unlike Apple, Android has an open ecosystem. So, designers can find more flexibility in creating an android app. Moreover, the beauty of this platform is that you can create your own app by seeking guidelines from the Google knowledge base. This platform is the best option for you if you are starting your business, as it is less expensive to design and publish an app on Google Play Store.
Like iOS apps, Android apps should also be compatible with other devices, including wearables, Auto, and more. So, you will need to consider the app stores for different when designing an android app.
App Design Process – A Step-by-Step Guide
After choosing a platform, you are all set to start the design process for your app. App designing is not a difficult task, and it only requires a lot of hard work and dedication. You might be wondering about the steps involved in the app design process. We are here to put an end to all your worries. Here we are unveiling the step-by-step guide to designing an intuitive design. Let's begin:
Step 1: Find your App idea
The first step of the mobile app design process is to find an app idea. This step allows app designers to specify the reason that can add value to the existing business process. The noticeable thing is that mobile apps have become a crucial part of users' lives, but you need to make your mobile app stand out from the competition by adding distinct features. Choosing the right app idea and adding useful features will help you create a successful app. Before specifying the app niche, app designers may ask you questions about your potential customers, their activities, problems they face in their lives, and the possible solution to that problem through your app. Moreover, app designers will conduct in-depth research about:
After getting the right app idea, this is high time when an app designer looks for the best UI/UX design to get an idea about how people will interact with your app. Moreover, app designers will conduct user and market research to clarify the user requirements and how your app will look and work for your potential audience. This in-depth research will help designers get user feedback and add features to the prototype according to the specific design requirements of users. For market research, you can use existing data, but the most beneficial practice is to take reviews from your potential customers for a smooth development process.
User feedback is another crucial thing to consider for the app design process. At this stage, app designers will conduct surveys and interviews to clarify the users' design requirements. An app builder must consider user feedback before starting the design content of an app.
Market research is crucial in the development process for competitor analysis and tracking the latest design trends. Through competitor analysis, you can figure out your competitors, their market share, and the prominent features of their mobile apps. For example, app designers can redesign your mobile or web app after getting ideas from your competitors' apps.
Step 2: Validate your idea
Now, it's high time when you need to validate your idea to check the viability of your app. For this purpose, the best practice is to deliver your elevator pitch in front of a mirror. If it makes sense to you, it will make sense for the others too. You can make your idea with clear communication or ruin it with a muddled explanation. So, before presenting your idea to an app builder, we recommend you explain it in front of your family and friends and ask for their suggestions. Your close ones are the persons who will genuinely guide you about your app.
You may encounter some points you haven't considered before. Moreover, you can present your idea to strangers to get a clear vision of what you are creating.
Step 3: Choose your app features
Choosing your app features will help you to decide on a design. This step is the first step toward your dream! You are all set to imagine how you want your app to work.
Choosing features for your mobile app will provide you with a clear vision of your app. At this stage, you are wrapping up your idea on paper to bring life into it. The noticeable thing is that in the first two steps, you need to focus on the feasibility of your app instead of thinking about app monetization. In the beginning, app monetization is not your concern. At this stage, you should think about the best options to make the best user experience through your app features. Let's say you are interested in creating an Android app for social networking, and you can start writing the following things on paper:
- User account
- Different ways to log in to the user account, such as password, Google, or Facebook
- Options for the users to add username, profile picture, and bio
- Options to add a profile picture from the device library or direct from the camera
- Push notifications
Step 4: Make a design prototype for your app
After writing the features of your mobile app, the next step in app development is to plan mobile app design with the best UI elements. This step will help to specify how your users will interact with your app features. At this stage, designers use a pencil to sketch your app. They consider the following app design elements when drawing sketches:
When sketching the design for your app, it's crucial to divide the main screen of your app into sections. Focusing on the app screen is crucial as it is the core component for your app working. The directions of the app screen set by the designers are general, but you can imagine the working of your app with the help of these screen sketches. When designing an app screen, the app designer is concerned about the number of sections to adjust all the features. Let's say you have a food app, and there would be a screen for the checklist of all the available food items available, another screen for the ordered food items, and a screen for the general settings of the app.
Once you have a clear roadmap for the app screen, it's high time to move to the next step. The noticeable thing is that this screen sketch is final, and there is a 100% chance that the mobile app designer can make necessary changes when the process moves forward.
After getting an idea about the app screen, it's time to focus on the main navigation of your app to move inside the app. Your mobile app designer may decide to add a tab bar at the bottom, or he may add a slide-in side option for the navigation of different sections.
In this regard, you can also suggest your favorite navigation ideas by following the navigation bar of your favorite mobile apps. You will need to choose an intuitive and easy-to-use navigation option for your app to make it look more natural and user-friendly. We recommend you avoid a navigation style that makes it hard to move into the app screens.
Color is a crucial app design element that can make or break your app. So, be cautious when selecting a color scheme for your app. When selecting a color scheme, make sure to choose colors that are suitable for people with color blindness problems.
It is crucial to consider font size to make your app look more professional. So, keep the font size proportional to the app images to avoid clutter in your app design. An app with proper font size will create an attractive interface for your users.
App icon or logo
App icon or logo is crucial to consider for an intuitive design. So, you should design a self-explanatory and memorable app icon that can appeal to your users and clearly explains the app's purpose.
Usability deals with how easy it is to use a product/service for its intended purpose. The usability of an app is a broader topic commonly known as the User Experience (UX). The UX of an app describes how the target users feel when using it. In the app development process, it depends on an app designer how to satisfy app users by creating an intuitive design. For example, mobile app designers can add intuitive UI elements to the app to make the user experience delightful. In this app development step, app designers focus on increasing the usability of an app by adding more attractive UI design elements.
At this stage, app designers decide the visuals for each screen and arrange all the user interface elements on the user screen. There are many other design factors to consider to optimize the usability of an app. Let's say your user is holding the phone in one hand and trying to click on a button near the screen, but his thumb can't touch this button. So, it would be a disaster on your end when you didn't comply with your user's needs. So, these are all the things that your app designer should consider when designing the user interface of your business app.
So, the best practice for app designers is to take some time to study the best examples of attractive user interfaces to turn your app into a profitable product. The noticeable fact is that the app design will not be perfect on the first try. The best practice is to get practice feedback from the users by giving your mobile app in their hands.
Onboarding screen sequence
Adding onboarding screen sequences can help app developers to educate their users about how to use the app. So, planning an onboarding sequence can allow you to win more users by educating them about the app features and settings. This design option is crucial if your app has complex features.
Use design tools
Instead of using paper to draw app design, the best practice is to use design tools. There are plenty of design tools available that you can use in the design process to mock up the design of your app.
App Design Tips for Better User Experience
An intuitive design will help you to win more users for your mobile users. An app with poor design options will eventually reduce the number of app users. After going through the steps of the app design process, we are unveiling the app design tips to make the design of your app more intuitive for your users.
Tip 1: Keep your app design simple
The first tip for design is to keep your app design as simple as possible. The reason is that most app users feel hesitation when using Android apps with complicated design elements. So, the best practice to declutter your app design is to keep it as simple as possible. The magic of simplicity is that a simple mobile app design will help users to reduce the cognitive load on their minds.
Tip 2: Focus on your target audience
Next, we recommend you focus on your target users when designing an app. Let's say you want to develop an event planning app, so it's an app that users will use occasionally. So, for a mobile app rarely used by users, the best practice is to keep the design as formal as possible. The reason is that bright colors with messy visual elements will make these Android apps look unprofessional. But if you are designing an app for daily use, we recommend you keep it informal and appealing for the users.
Tip 3: Design a forgiving user interface
The third tip is crucial to consider to win the users' hearts. It is a common phenomenon that people make mistakes and want to reverse them. So, it's important for designers to design a forgiving user interface that allows app users to skip or go back to the previous screen. So, a flexible user interface with intuitive UI elements will help the development team to win the users' trust and loyalty.
Tip 4: Know about the user habits
Before designing a navigation bar for your app, you need to focus on the user habits regarding how they scroll their mobile devices. Most mobile users only scroll up and down to access the app features. So, adding a lot of features will make your app complicated for users.
Tip 5: Use a distinct color scheme
Use a color scheme distinct from other phone colors and design one tab to make the app design simple.
Tip 6: Add call-to-action buttons
Design options for app users when they access your app for the first time. For this purpose, you can add call-to-action buttons like "Sign up" or "Sign in" to access the app. But the noticeable thing is that when creating an app for the Apple App Store, these options will lead to app disapproval. The reason is that most users are not interested in disclosing their details to access your app features.
Tip 7: Use White spaces
Using white spaces is the most recommended design trick to declutter your app look. This mobile app design makes the app look simple and easy to navigate. Apart from the white spaces, note that other design standards will also apply.
Tip 8: Consider all user base
Consider your app users in a broad view when designing an app. According to an estimation, one from eight people suffer from color blindness, so you need to use a color scheme that is appropriate for all your users.
Tip 9: Add animations to your app design
Adding animations to your app design will make your app more attractive to your users. So, don't worry about your app development scope, and add exciting animations and features to make your app more appealing to your users.
Tip 10: Get user feedback
After the app is released, the best practice is to get feedback from your users to unveil the loopholes in app design. For this purpose, you can collect user reviews from Google Play Store or Apple App Store.
How Much Does It Cost to Design an App?
The cost to design an app depends on factors like size, features, app complexity, app development team, and other design options you want to add. There are three categories for app size that are helpful in the cost estimation of app development. Let's unveil these sizes:
- Small Apps:
A small size app consists of 5 – 8 screens and is designed for a single platform. The cost to design a small-sized app is below $2000.
- Medium Apps:
Medium size apps consist of 10 – 15 screens and are designed for hybrid platforms like Google Play Store and Apple App Store. The cost to design a medium-sized app is between $200K-$600K.
Large-sized apps, also known as native apps, consist of 20+ screens and are designed for hybrid platforms. These native apps require complex integration, so the cost to design a native app is higher than other app development. The average cost to design a native app will be over $1M.
So, after going through the cost estimate to design an app, we recommend you try app builders for simple and medium apps.
Using app builders will help you to save app development costs and focus on strategic planning to promote your app. The best app builder that can help you save money is AppMaster. Even if you want to design a native app with more customized features, we recommend you take the AppMaster tool. The reason is that a native app requires integrating more complex features that can give you only AppMaster.
Can you design an app for free?
After going through the cost estimate, you might be looking at the ways to design an app for free. Is it possible to design an app for free? The answer is an absolute yes. Yes, you heard it right. You can design your app without spending a single penny with the help of an app maker like AppMaster.
This popular app maker allows business owners to design an app with drag-and drop features. You only need to customize it according to your specific app design requirements. When using an app maker, the noticeable thing is that you have to purchase a subscription plan to publish your app on the Google Play Store or Apple App Store.
Can I develop an app myself?
The answer to this question is yes. You can develop an app even if you have no coding skills. Thanks to app builders like AppMaster, which have revolutionized the app development process for business owners with no coding knowledge.
With this no-code app development platform, you can develop an app for your business. You need not hire a development team because you can build an app using the drag-and-drop options of these no-code platforms. Let's unveil the distinct features of the popular no-code tool AppMaster that can help you in app designing:
Allow web app building
App maker like AppMaster allows small business owners to scale their business through a web app. With the help of this no-code tool, you can design a mobile app and a web version.
One Click Publishing
After designing your app with AppMaster, you are all set to publish your app on app stores in a single click.
AppMaster provides a free cloud option for deployments. So, after designing an app with this platform, you can host your app on a free cloud of AppMaster. Moreover, you can host your app on your servers or other clouds if you want.
After going through this handy guide, we hope you are well-versed in the mobile app design process to design an intuitive app for your target users. In this article, we have discussed the steps of the app design process, proven tips for an intuitive design, the cost of app design, and the best practices to cut down the cost of app development. To cut down the cost of the app development process, we recommend you try an app maker like AppMaster instead of hiring app designers and developers. The best thing about AppMaster is that it will allow you to build an app with drag-and-drop options. Moreover, this no-code app development platform provides source code that you can access.
Try AppMaster to bring life to your app idea!