More than design in mobile apps then web design skills in terms of process practice. As a graphic designer will must learn design shifts we will need to make as a designer. Designing for apps requires a deep knowledge of devices. The knowledge and features and services the phone, watch or tablets have, these can include the GPS, and built in app services such as the calendar and contact lists.
Designers are constantly having to learn new design paradimes such as the smart watch, originating with knowledge of print design, the graphic design world has changed significantly in 20 years. Requiring us to learn the interactive medium, a more sophisticated way. A lot of the design paradimes came in the form of print. Simply looking like this from 1997:
Here we can see a standard top nav menu, links to products. We can also see Apples hierarchy by amount of screen real estate. Clear distinction between functional navigation and more finer display of actual products in the image nav below.
It is important to note that when we design for apps we must escape the web design structure is necessary and advance projects from different mental approach to full understand the mobile decisions to deliver appropriate experiences. . You also need to have to knowledge and the tools and constantly be willing to challenge the way you think.
Adapting to the World of App Design
Some key points for becoming an app designer are:
- Change the way you work: implement “Lean UX Cycles”, which involve constant iteration in a never ending cycle. Another technique worth putting into practice is designing for mobile prior to moving to large screens. This ensures you only include what is necessary and exclude any “fluff”.
- Understand development: the success of an app is determined by the level of collaboration between the designer and developer.
- Use a variety of operating systems: e.g. iOS, Android and Windows devices.
- Prototype everything: this helps evaluate an app with user testing.
- What you see is not always what you get: apps must be tested on a mobile devices to see how they loo and function.
- Apps are never finished: apps are digital products that evolve over time.
Here are some links to some helpful prototyping tools:
Links from this week’s pod:
A Simple Introduction to Lean UX
PalmPilot wooden model
Designer’s Toolkit: Prototyping Tools
Pop prototyping tool
Design Patterns for Windows
Android App Patterns
iOS design Patterns