Tag Archive for: App Design

The 3 Reasons You Need A Professional To Design An App

If you need to design an app and do it right, you should hire a professional app developer. But you may be thinking that hiring a professional is too expensive. Or you’d prefer to go at it alone, thinking that designing an app is a simple process. After all, how hard could it be, as script kiddies on YouTube seem to pull it off — right?

As an established professional developer, we do understand the concerns about costs. Designing and developing a polished mobile app isn’t cheap. But can you afford to cut corners when hundreds of expertly crafted apps appear in app stores daily? And do you have what it takes to maintain and update your app consistently?

Furthermore, let’s consider the ever-changing landscape surrounding mobile devices. With the recent introduction of foldable devices, app developers must get to grips with responsive and adaptive design. How would you respond to this? Would you be able to innovate and design an app that runs well on older and newer foldable devices concurrently? Or would you need to compromise and only support one or the other?

As Apple, Google, and various hardware manufacturers bring new operating systems and devices to the market, developers need to keep up. Thus, when you design an app, you also need to think long-term about what changes and roadblocks you’ll likely encounter. So, do you want to handle these alone or let a professional studio such as NS804 deal with them instead?

These are some of the questions you should be asking when opting to design an app. But there are many good reasons why you’ll need to work with a professional developer, which we’ll cover in more detail below.

1. A Professional Developer Adheres To Best Practices

Let’s go back to the YouTube script kiddie example and how it pertains to app design. That young, wide-eyed YouTuber may come across as incredibly smart and knowledgeable and seemingly knows everything about the latest programming languages, frameworks, and mobile app development techniques. And his well-made videos and many positive viewer comments lend him an air of credibility.

Now, you begin to trust him as an expert in his field and decide to follow his video tutorials for your upcoming app. Everything goes smoothly — and in a matter of weeks — you have an app ready to submit to the app stores. You’re excited and wait in anticipation for your app to be approved. But that excitement soon turns to astonishment as both the App Store and Google Play reject your app.

Well, that’s a dreadful outcome but not surprising. It turns out that trusting that young YouTuber was a big mistake! While he was very convincing, he typically didn’t follow best practices, a matter seldom addressed by most content creators that position themselves as so-called experts.

The sad news is that these tech-related content creators have created the myth that anyone can design an app. However, that’s not true, as the mobile app development process is complex, challenging, and highly technical, which is the domain of the professional developer.

And given that both Apple and Google expect developers to adhere to their guidelines, app development is not the space for frivolous content creators that care more about their view counts. The same applies to freelance developers that see app development as a way to make a quick buck rather than creating apps that meet quality standards.

2. It Takes A Team Of Experts To Design An App

You may have many cool ideas that you want to make their way into your upcoming app. But cool ideas are not necessarily good ideas. For example, you may want your app to stand out and envision it having a visually striking 3D user interface (UI). You also want plenty of intricate animations and visual effects to spice things up further. Ultimately, you want your app to look like the best Pixar films — and then some!

While all that sounds great, have you asked yourself if it’s practical or feasible? And if not, wouldn’t it be wiser to consult a team of professionals to help you make the right decisions? After all, it’s all too easy to trip up and make mistakes when trying to design an app on your own.

If you were to approach a professional developer and present those ideas, you would quickly learn whether or not these ideas make sense. A professional developer would also have experienced UI/UX designers on hand to recommend better approaches and design an app with usability in mind.

They may recommend a cleaner-looking and more snappy UI that uses a bare minimum of 3D and effects. Not only will this help with user accessibility, but it would also run smoother on low-end devices. And even after you release your app, this team of experts will know how to respond to user feedback by implementing changes and improvements where necessary.

3. Dealing With The Intricacies Of Mobile Game Design

While a mobile app presents many challenges, things become considerably more onerous when dealing with mobile games. And that’s because mobile games are technically more demanding to make and require a multidisciplinary approach. Furthermore, the game loop must update every time the screen refreshes, which is usually 60 times a second on most mobile devices. Newer phones have higher refresh rates, which only ups the ante for developers.

Not only must developers design mobile games that run smoothly, but they must look, sound, and play great. Imagine if a single individual or freelance developer has to create the next hit mobile game — is it even possible? Well, it’s doable if it’s a simple arcade or puzzle game with little content. But those are seldom the types of games that engage today’s gamers and become massive hits.

The hard truth is that modern gamers expect content-rich experiences with dazzling 3D graphics. And this not only costs a lot of money, but it’s also something only a professional developer can deliver. And by professional developer, we mean a studio that consists of talented individuals with specialized skills.

We mentioned earlier that games require a multidisciplinary approach, which means you’ll need those with varied skill sets. Therefore, you’ll need a game designer, character designer, level designer, UI/UX designer, sound designer, lead animator, lead programmer, and writer. And you’ll also need several 3D modelers, animators, texture artists, motion capture actors, voice actors, programmers, and game testers to complete your game.

Depending on the size and scope of your game, you may need to work with freelancers. It’s common for game studios to work with established freelance game composers. Furthermore, you may need the services of brand identity, marketing, and localization teams.

The Bottom Line

It’s exciting sitting down with a pen and paper to write down a list of ideas and draw a wireframe of your app. And that’s a good starting point, as it will give you a basic idea of what form your app will take. However, it’s even better if you consult a professional developer to make your ideas fly.

When you design an app with the help of a professional, things will turn out differently. You’ll no longer need to guesstimate whether you’re on the right path. And that’s because the professional studio will act as a wise partner offering recommendations and solutions leading to an expertly designed app.

Contact NS804 today to learn how we’ll help you design an app that’s not only professional but also engaging!

Mobile App Design Process: How To Get Started

The mobile app development and design process can become complex if you rely on disparate teams or freelancers to create your app. But if you work with an experienced development studio, such as NS804, it’s a streamlined process. At least, that’s the case on your end. Even so, it’s still crucial to understand what this entails to best plan your next move.

And whatever you do, you’ll need to consider your mobile app design process from the get-go and in its entirety. Don’t write a single line of code or start hiring developers without doing the following first!

Start By Asking The Hard Questions

You may have formed a mental picture in your mind’s eye of what your app will look like and how it should function. Moreover, you may be using a popular app that’s left a good impression and want to emulate its better qualities.

But is it wise to invest time and money in an app based on the above criteria? The short answer is a clear no!

Instead, you need to identify what problem your app aims to solve. You can start by asking yourself what problem you’ve faced in your daily life and how an app could solve it effectively.

But don’t stop there. Ask a series of questions that will help you identify all the possible pain points users may encounter and how your tentative app will solve all of these. And while this seems simple, it’s the first and most vital step in the mobile app design process, so don’t ignore it.

Design Your App

Now, it’s time to design your app, but it will likely take the form of wireframes, a series of 2D diagrams that act as a blueprint. And you’ll ignore elements such as colors, fonts, graphics, and styling for now.

However, you may need to build a more elaborate prototype if requested by stakeholders before they greenlight the app’s development. If that’s the case, you’ll likely spend more time on the prototype’s user interface (UI) and user experience (UX).

But you also need to understand that app design never ends, as it’s an iterative process. Thus, you’ll do this near the beginning of the mobile app design process and whenever you give your app a UI/UX refresh.

Conduct Market Research And Competitive Analysis

At this point, you have a vague idea of what form your app will take. But you’re still unsure if there’s a market for your app. And even if there is, you don’t yet know what will make it appealing to users. Furthermore, your brand positioning strategy and business considerations will impact the direction of your app.

So, you’ll need to conduct market research and competitive analysis that help answer the following questions:

  • What pain points are users regularly experiencing?
  • Does my app address these pain points?
  • What will make my app appealing to these users?
  • What market am I entering? (e.g., entertainment, productivity, social)
  • How competitive is the market segment that I’m entering?
  • What are the top performing apps in my category?
  • What makes my app better than these top performers?
  • What sets my app apart from those released by competitors? (not necessarily top performers)

And you can take things a step further by building user personas and asking the following questions:

  • What type of person will use my app?
  • Where does this person live?
  • What are the demographics of this person?
  • What pain points does this person regularly experience?
  • What are this person’s likes and dislikes?

The Bottom Line

Whether you’re an appreneur or an organization releasing your first or hundredth app, you always start with the mobile app design process. And that’s because you need to know how your app will look and function early on.

Furthermore, you need to know whether your app truly addresses users’ needs and if there’s a sizable market that will make it feasible. Contact NS804 to learn how we’ll help you create best-in-class apps by following tried and true practices!

The 5 Features a Business Needs in an App

The adoption of mobile phones alongside high internet penetration rates dictates new developments in smartphone usage. Already, mobile apps are dictating new frontiers in web experiences by offering chatting, browsing, and payment services.

Mobile apps are transforming legacy communication patterns by providing digital avenues for communication. A classic example is the chat apps: WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Instagram Direct, Line, Skype, and WeChat.

Research shows that mobile applications could generate up to $930 billion in revenues in 2023 alone. Already, shocking estimates show the power of mobile apps, reinforcing the talk of why it’s critical to get started with mobile apps. For instance, users spent over 3 trillion hours on mobile apps in 2021 alone.

The ever-changing face of mobile applications and the desirability of mobile apps to young demographics make it a target for tech-savvy enterprises. Most importantly, young developers are embracing application programming as a new frontier of mobile usability.

While apps are crucial in transforming legacy enterprises and shaping customer experiences, it’s critical to identify particular features that make apps desirable.

Important features a business needs in an app:

1. Usability

Usability is a critical consideration in any app development exercise. That means that developers must approach any mobile app development process with usability in mind. The app must be creative, simple, and easy to navigate. Most importantly, the app must focus on robustness and intuitiveness by incorporating the things people see in apps.

2. User-friendliness

Always aim for a user-friendly app design that’s simple to navigate and highly responsive. Navigation and responsiveness are the cornerstones of any successful app design work. Therefore, ensure that your business app is user-friendly and responds well to the evolving user needs.

Some tricks to make your app user-friendly include:

  • Focus on your target audience
  • Offer superior design
  • Prioritize user security
  • Optimize graphic and font size
  • Make wise use of push notification
  • Aim for intuitiveness

A user-friendly app is highly adopted and has higher retention rates.

3. Chat and call-back

Your business app must incorporate chat and call-back options. Business communication is forever changing, making mobile apps the go-to platform for business communications. Alongside emails, chatbots, and web portals, mobile apps offer a unique avenue for users, mostly clientele groups, to communicate and interact with brands.

4. Intuitive user interface

All apps must incorporate an intuitive interface, and proprietary, discretionary privacy. Users must own their information and privacy for apps to make meaningful sense to prospective users. The fact that enterprises are accelerating their app adoption efforts means that enterprises must find new ways to retain customers. One of these ways is by offering discretionary privacy solutions, including the possibility for privacy notifications in mobile apps.

5. Payment gateway

Payment gateway integration is a no-brainer for any business app. As a business owner, you are involved in the “money” business. That means that your services and products are sold or leased out to customers, making payment gateway integration altogether important. Therefore, a payment gateway is a critical feature of your business app.

NS804 – Aiming for Excellence!

Other vital tips for business apps include:

  • User experience is your ultimate objective
  • Always aim to deliver a superior typography
  • Aim for smooth edges, soft app elements, and creative color
  • The logo is the centerpiece of your brand positioning. Keep it first.
  • Remember to keep users updated. Users must not feel lost.
  • Be accommodative in scope. Let your app encompass many features and functionalities.
  • Aim for an interactive design. You can do this by testing, fixing, and testing once again.

At NS804, we guide businesses in mobile app development.

Contact NS804 to get started on your business app development journey.

Mobile App Design Do’s and Don’ts

Mobile app design may seem easy, but it’s not. An inexperienced or overconfident developer may think they can cobble together the mobile UI at the last minute. But that results in a clunky and unintuitive mobile app that only offers a frustrating and poor user experience. That’s why many of the best app developers have at least one UI/UX designer on the team that focuses exclusively on design.

But what if you’re an appreneur or startup that’s new to mobile app development? Perhaps, you haven’t had the time or funding to hire an experienced UI/UX designer. Or you possess some design skills of your own but don’t quite know how to apply these to your mobile apps. Please don’t fret, as we’re about to reveal several handy tips to help you out!

Mobile App Design Must Do’s

Your app’s success largely depends on how well you go about creating a fantastic user experience. Therefore, it’s crucial to be detail-oriented and have a checklist of the following must-do tasks. 

1. Study The App Market And Latest Mobile UI Trends

The app market is very dynamic and changes constantly. And what was popular two years ago may no longer appeal to today’s audience. That’s why you should study the top trending apps in the marketplace carefully and consistently.

Start by using the storefronts themselves, and see what apps appear in the top spots. Google Play makes things even easier for you, as it shows an estimation of downloads of every app.

Then, download and try out several of the most successful apps to see what makes them tick. More importantly, pay close attention to their mobile UI to determine whether they offer a satisfactory user experience. And study all their UI elements, such as the app bar, checkboxes, buttons, menus, and other interactive touch targets. 

Spend time spotting notable design trends in all of these. See if they’re using rounded or square corners on checkboxes and menus. Moreover, see if they use flat shading, glass effects, gradients, shadows, or 3D UI elements. And take inspiration from any impressive mobile UI animations, motion design, and other visual effects.

2. Keep Your Mobile UI Clean And Functional

Given that the mobile app market is incredibly competitive, you may want to outdo your rivals. Perhaps, you’re developing a music-making app and plan to offer more features than BandLab or FL Studio Mobile. But the reason these apps are so successful is due to their ease-of-use and clean, uncluttered mobile UI.

And if we take a deeper look at FL Studio Mobile, we’ll find that it’s a significantly stripped-down iteration of the desktop version. The desktop version is a professional suite used by producers behind many hit songs. It’s also a fairly complex tool with a bit of a learning curve, especially for newcomers to digital music production. Furthermore, its UI may seem overwhelming to many and have them searching through the manual.

The developers behind FL Studio knew that this comprehensive production suite would never work on mobile. So they created a simple, inviting, and colorful UI without the bells and whistles found in the desktop version. 

Therefore, instead of offering users everything but the kitchen sink, give them only the bare essentials. A clean, minimalist mobile UI that allows users to quickly and intuitively create professional-sounding songs will win the day. You can always add more features later, specifically when users ask for these.

3. Reward User Input With The Appropriate Feedback

Your mobile app design should focus squarely on what users want. And nowadays, users prefer snappy and responsive apps that look visually stunning. They also need apps to immediately register their actions and provide visual cues that this has happened successfully. That’s why it’s crucial to have a well-implemented input and feedback mechanism with every app you ship.

So how do you about creating such a mechanism? Firstly, you should make your app as tap-friendly as possible. Ensure that all buttons and other touch targets on the screen are easily identifiable. The last thing you want is users repeatedly tapping on a checkbox or menu that doesn’t register their taps because it’s too small, not positioned correctly, or incorrectly conveys its intended use. 

And secondly, implement mobile UI animations and transition effects to show that the app has registered the tap. A button may display a blink effect soon after a finger tap, or a menu item may quickly slide sideways and fade after a swipe. And if you work with a UI/UX designer or an experienced app developer such as NS804, they’ll come up with many more imaginative ways to enhance your input and feedback mechanism.

Mobile App Design Don’ts

Creating amazing apps that will keep users engaged is very difficult but rewarding work. Yet even the most experienced developers can ship substandard apps if they make the following mistakes.

1. Implementing Poor User Flow 

There’s nothing worse than users trying out an app and then quickly giving up in frustration and subsequently uninstalling it from their phones.

So why is this such a common occurrence, and why are so many appreneurs and developers getting it wrong? A primary reason why this happens is due to poor user flow. Either most developers didn’t correctly map out the sequence of events that users will take after running the app for the first time, or they didn’t consider user flow at all.

Whether you’re developing an m-commerce store, mobile game, or social media app, you’ll need to create a frictionless user experience. Start by mapping out the user flow from the welcome screen through to every page users will access. You may use flow charts to create an intuitive user flow that won’t drive users to a dead page or take actions that will frustrate them.

2. Interrupting And Annoying Users

Don’t ever take your users for granted just because they seem to be enjoying your app. It’s all too easy to lose users the minute you interrupt them when there’s no reason to do so. The last thing that users want is to respond to a feedback survey when they’ve only been using your app for a short period or while trying to complete a task.

Keep in mind that most users are still evaluating your app during those initial hours of usage. Thus, you want to make a good impression by ditching annoying popups and surveys during this critical stage. Instead, give your users enough time to make a proper assessment of your app before asking for feedback, ratings, and reviews.

3. Using Complex Words And Terms Unnecessarily 

Most mobile app users are not computer scientists or programmers, so avoid using complex words and terms they don’t understand. For example, your latest app may have impressive artificial learning (AI) algorithms that track down hard-to-find ebooks. You may want users to know about these algorithms by adding their names somewhere within the app or mobile UI, but that’s unnecessary.

It’s better to allow these algorithms to do their work behind the scenes. Users will realize that you’ve created a great app by how well it tracks those ebooks. After all, they don’t care about the inner workings of your app or want to memorize technical terminology. If anything, you’ll likely lower user engagement or even lose users if your wording is too technical or if you rely on marketing catchphrases.

The Bottom Line

Most of the best apps closely follow solid mobile app design fundamentals. Much work goes into creating a mobile UI that not only looks great but is clean and intuitive. But it’s also crucial to follow the latest design trends that will make even the most renowned UI/UX designer look on in envy. Contact NS804 to learn how we’ll help you develop phenomenal apps that look and feel great!