The ideal mobile app design process
There is so much going on behind the scenes of the design for a mobile app. Mobile app design requires the expertise and knowledge of how different operating systems work and common design patterns and affordances that users expect to see in a modern application. As UI/UX designers, if we are successful at our jobs, we enable a smoother, more efficient engineering phase and mitigate a lot of usability issues once your app launches. This gives you an app that your customer will want to sign up for and use over and over.
Here are just some of the things that we often do during the design process. This list also doesn’t include things we do implicitly, like copyediting, image sourcing, and graphic creation.
Wireflows are a helpful design artifact that combines wireframes and user flows in a visual way. They are a fast and inexpensive way to understand the interaction design of your app and ensure that we have considered every touchpoint that a user will take from start to finish.
Just like anything, it is rare that the first idea will be the best, and exploring different design concepts early in the design phase allows us to quickly explore different ideas to understand what solution is the most viable. This can range from visual exploration to app layouts.
Wireframes are a core component of the mobile app design process. They illustrate the structure, function, and layout of all of the screens in an app and allow us to focus our efforts on ensuring the right functionality and features are present in the interface.
Visual Design is what most people think of when they talk about designing an app or website. It’s the part of the process where we make all the major decisions about typography, color, images, UI components, and other visual details. It’s how your brand is applied in product.
Mockups are the finished designs that most closely resemble what your final app will look like and help your app stand out from your competitors. It is where we take your visual design and brand and apply it to the wireframes to have a cohesive, beautiful app
Prototypes are cost-effective ways to simulate and test how the app will function and feel. They are generally created in a design software (we use Figma) and are used to share ideas with stakeholders, catch any bugs, and make handoff easier between design and engineering.
Usability testing is a method of testing the functionality and ease of use of a product where we use the prototypes to test your app’s functionality with potential customers. Research has shown that testing with just 5 people can identify 85% of usability issues of a product.
Just like in software development, design requires ample time for ensuring quality. Design QA includes labeling all of the design elements, checking for bugs and inconsistencies, and ensuring the engineers have a full understanding of what they need to build and how it should function.
At Echobind, we treat each project differently, which is why we use a flexible design process based on the needs of your business and customers that we uncover during the discovery phase. In an ideal design process, we show you work in progress early and often so we can incorporate your feedback in the designs. Designing a mobile app takes a lot of time, exploration, and skill to be done successfully and investing in design is one of the most important things you can do to ensure that your mobile app is successful.