You may create the most useful application in the world, but this won’t make a lot of sense in case the app looks not really good and is difficult to use. A well thought-out design is as important as the key features of an app! But before we will tell you what good design means and what stages the design process includes, let us explain the difference between UX and UI.
What Hides Behind UX and UI
UX and UI are the main terms when it comes to app design, so it is important to know the difference between them. UX, or User Experience, is all about usability, reaction, credibility, interaction, and so on. Good UX means that the users’ needs are met quickly and easily, and plays a crucial role in user retention. In turn, UI, or User Interface, includes visual design, colors, layouts, fonts, animations, etc.
So, in short, UX is how your app works, and UI is how it looks. It is logical (and our experience proves this!) that it is essential to start with UX, and move to UI only when the “design carcass” is built. Otherwise, your app design will turn into a true mess. So if you hire a team and then discover that they work the other way round, it is a sign that you should probably start looking for someone else to do this job.
Stages Of the App Designing Process
You already know that UI goes after UX, but let’s take a closer look at the stages of the app designing process.
It is essential to start with a research to define your potential users. Also, learn everything about your competitors and their products — this information will help to find out what users expect from your app and to avoid the mistakes. Then, it is time to visualize the information architecture, or IA. IA is a UX diagram or simply a sketch which can be later generated into wireframes.
The second stage of the app designing process is devoted to the wireframe development. Wireframe, or WF, is a technical instruction for a UI designer and a carcass of the future design based on that UX diagram which was created during the first stage. WF can also be used to give a task to the developers and to create the project documentation. Keep in mind that the designers must agree upon WF with you, as on this stage it is pretty easy to make corrections and changes, find unnecessary elements, etc.
So, when your team sends you a WF, pay attention to the following things:
- What can you see on the pages? Does your app need these elements?
- How are the elements arranged? Will their arrangement be convenient for your users?
- How your users will interact with the app interface?
UI. Design Concept
After you and the team agree on the Wireframe, it is time to move to the most creative stage of the app designing process — the design concept development which includes working with fonts, colors, and other interesting things. To cover every design aspect, it is important to experiment with the concept on several Wireframe screens. One of them must be maximum informative and full of elements — this trick will provide a full understanding of what your app will look like.
Mockups are the final product developed by a UI designer. While UX diagram and Wireframe screens are the carcass of the project, Mockups are the skin. They must also be agreed upon with you, and you should pay extra attention to these points:
- How is the content displayed?
- Do the text and background look good together?
- Do you like the colors? Or do they evoke unpleasant emotions?
- What’s about spacing? Remember that some elements can be emphasized with extra space around, but too much empty space is an extreme which may spoil the overall app design.
- Is everything fine with the navigation?
After you confirm the Mockups, the app designing process becomes rolling — the design is implemented, the feedback is collected, the design is improved, the improved design is implemented, and so on… So, now you know what stages the design development goes through and what things you need to know as a customer. And if you still have any questions about UX, UI, Wireframe screens or any other design nuances, we are always ready to help you — just fill the contact form below to get in touch with us!