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//   by Nicolas Finet |

A Beginner’s Guide to Mobile App Design


What comes to mind when the words “mobile app design” comes up? You may think of the style, colors, designs, and other things you can easily spot with your eyes. However, it goes beyond what the mind can see. At this point, you’ll be introduced to UX, UI, and IxD. These are User Experience, User Interface, and Interaction Design, respectively. These three factors impact the mobile app design. If mobile app design is not new to you, you may already know this. If you don’t, then this article is for you. We will be discussing here how important user experience and user-friendliness is when it comes to the design of a mobile app.


What is User Experience?

User Experience or UX focuses on the user. More specifically, UX pays particular attention to how the users utilize the mobile app and how they interact with it, and before and after they use it. UX is one of the key components of mobile design. The app does not only have to be beautiful and have a good design, but it also has to be able to deliver more to the user. UX should be able to enhance the experience of the user with the latest technology.

To ensure that your mobile app has a good UX design, the first thing you have to do is to know your target users well. You have to know their motivations, needs, and design preference. Along with these, the interface, interaction, and content are also focal points when it comes to designing apps, most especially in the improvement of user experience.



What is User Interface?

Now that we’re done with the UX where our main concern is the users, we will move forward to the User Interface or UI. With UI, our focus is the device itself. Mobile devices include smartphones, tablets, and phablets, among the many. The focus of UI is on the things that are happening on the screen. Along with this are the parts that the users can access and those that they cannot. UI is often linked with graphic design. However, these two are not always identical. With user interface, it is directed at content design and text, as well as the consistency of the designs and other resources.


What is Interaction Design?

Interaction Design or IxD is where UX and UI approach. What interaction design consists of is the interface’s mode of operation that is being designed, the flow of the interaction, and the response of the device to all these. An example of this is if you will be making use of a slide to access, a single touch, or a double touch. When we already know the experience of the users, the design of the interface is also being adjusted. That is why it is important to know the target users because that is where we know the designs to be applied.


Who are the Professionals Behind Mobile Apps?

Those of you who are new to mobile app design might assume that there is only a single profile behind designing, a traditional designer. However, with all the complexities of the technology and the interaction with the different kinds of mobile devices, mobile app design is not a simple matter. There are so many things to be done in a mobile app design. You have to take into account the design of the native app, the web app, and the responsive web. Therefore, there is a need for a number of professional profiles, and that they ought to do a great job at it. There has to be a UX expert and a UI expert. For this part, we will be discussing how these two are alike and how these two differ.


What is a UX Designer?

The UX designer focuses on the user experience and has a profile that is more technical. The process of the design thought executed by the UX designer puts together both creative and critical thinking. The skills of the UX designer revolve around the needs of the users. However, the first step is always to study and analyze the users first so as to have an accurate perspective. The design of the app should focus on the interaction of the users with the app and its structure. One of the most critical aspects of this designer is the app’s sections and its task flow or the interaction of its section and the apps functionality. The UX designer should have a specialist knowledge that is more advanced on the creation of wireframes and prototyping. Along with this is the analyzing, gather of information, and gathering feedback from the designs. Some of the other professional profiles that match that of the UX designer are the program managers, content strategists, information architects, and functional analysts.



What is a UI Designer?

The UI designer has a more creative profile because the focus is more on the design of the interface. The thought process carried out by the UI designer is a combination of creative and convergent thinking. In short, the designer thinks about how to combine all of the app’s little parts. Just like the UX designers, the UI designers base their skills on the users’ needs. However, it also depends on the devices’ and the users’ requirements. These two ought to conform to both the human and digital environment. The designer is strongly influenced by the latest trends in app designs when working with the creative part of the process. Some of the most important issues for the designer are the colors and the icon, as well as the typography of the app. These three aspects affect both the readability and user-friendliness of the app. The UI designer has advanced knowledge in creating mock-ups, bringing the graphics to life, and designing the layouts of the project. Some of the professional profiles that match that of the UI designer’s are the graphic designers, brand designers, front-end developers, and the web designers.



There’s no need to choose among the professional profiles that we’ve discussed above when it comes to creating your development team. Most of the design professional are equipped with the skills and the specialist knowledge to carry out these roles unless the work is a highly specialized one. But at the end of the day, choosing a designer won’t be that difficult of a task.


Author’s Bio

Nicolas Finet is a co-founder of Sortlist, one of the most trusted media planning agencies in the UK. He stimulates Sortlist’s strategy in line with the strong market and business insights he possesses. He is thrilled about developing my digital marketing skills and achieves my objective of disrupting the whole Marcoms industry.

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