Mobile app design

The 4 Key Principles of Great Mobile App Design

Working on your mobile app design? Here are some tips from our expert app developers.

You cannot develop a mobile app without first going through a design phase.

Mobile app design dictates how your app will look and function. It is the foundation on which all coding and development is built. As you might have guessed, it is perhaps the most important element of a successful mobile app development project.

Getting mobile app design right, then, is vital.

Poor app design is going to result in time and money invested in developing a sub-par app, which nobody wants.

So, now the question is: how do you avoid bad mobile app design?

At Apps4U, we are specialist developers of quality and affordable small business apps. Our expertise in the industry means we know all about how to design a quality mobile app. With that in mind, here are our top tips to keep in mind when designing your app:

1. Focus Your Mobile App Design on Accessibility and Navigation

Mobile phone users love apps. They love them so much more than mobile websites.


Because they are easy to use, more accessible and faster to navigate than a website. This is a core idea that you must remember; the foundation on which your mobile app should be built.

This is what users want.

So if you want to bring in and maintain app users, you must be prepared to follow mobile app design that caters to this important factor.

Your design should revolve around satisfying a customer’s desire for an easy-to-use app. Forget high-concept functionality and embrace simplistic design that is fluid and flows intuitively.

Visualise a user with very limited app experience. How can you design your app to make sure they can easily find every element incorporated within it, as well as operate it without having to ask for help?

Obvious navigation, large buttons and minimalist design are all integral to this, as is quick loading speeds and contrasting colour palettes. Colour is an important factor in mobile app design, as it helps draw the eye to important information or actions.

2. Don’t Reinvent the Wheel

Here’s a tempting thought:

“I want my app to stand out, so I’m going to make it completely different to other apps”.

It makes sense, in a way. Create a design that is nothing like any other app on the market and people will remember your brand. The problem is: this will likely mean they remember you for the wrong reasons.

People have certain preconceptions about how apps should work and function. They know how a swipe should work, what should happen if they press a button, etc. If you start playing around with design choices — even as simple as inverting slider touchscreen input — it will throw people off.

Imagine you got in a car and everything was in the wrong place. The clutch was where the brake should be, the indicators were on the dashboard and the radio on button was where the petrol cap release handle usually is.

You’d hate it.

Make your app memorable, but do it through well-designed interfaces, branding and functionality that provides a better user experience. Don’t make it memorable for being a hassle to use and confusing your customers.

Stick to what they know, then make it better.

3. Visualise Your Mobile App Design

Having a design in your head is no good.

Something in your brain may seem great, but once you actually get it down on paper, it may not flow like you hoped. It’s also not helpful for getting feedback or handing over to a mobile app development company to build.

The 4 Key Principles of Great Mobile App Design
One of the key principles of top mobile app design is to visualise your app before its development, either through hand-drawn designs or images rendered on a computer.

Either way, the idea is to produce an outline design of how the app looks and flows. From this, you’ll not only be able to start development from a strong foundation, but also work out any kinks in the armour.

4. Incorporate Branding

A small business app should be an extension of your company’s identity.

Customers that have engaged with your brand before want to achieve an experience that develops upon the one they’ve already had — which means they are looking for the same thing, but better.

What this means is that your app should feel like it belongs to your company, with a strong focus on branding, tone and voice.

Take some of the most popular apps on the market.

Twitter follows its branding of minimalism, with very few functions, muted tones and fluid design. Audible, on the other hand, is all about quality literature and mass-availability of audiobooks, which means it features slick design combined with a focus on discovering new listening experiences.

Their apps fit with the identity of the business.

Make sure every aspect of your design fits your product and brand. Colours should match with previous user experiences — websites, stores, logos. Language used should be geared towards the type of voice your business has: are you casual, professional, or quirky? Fonts and stylisation should also follow the same model.

The idea is to ensure your mobile app design engages customers through association. This not only encourages trust from previous customers, but also forms that memorable aspect discussed in the previous point of this article.

If your branding is right, your customer will think of your app when they think of you. Or, they’ll think of your business every time they see your app’s icon on their phone.

Need help with your mobile app design? Our experts at Apps4U can support your app development project, assist you during your design phase and ensure the end result benefits both you and your customers.


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