Application Design: the 6 tips you should always apply

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For an application to be successful, it is not enough to simply provide a great utility. However interesting your application may be, providing creative design in your mobile application is what will make your users real lovers of your product. However, trends in the application design are constantly changing and it is time to be permanently updated. Knowing what tools to use to generate the design of applications and what aesthetic elements can be applied to your product can be difficult, so we wanted to give you some tips that will help you design an application in a simpler and more attractive way.

Application Design Tips

Use prototyping tools

The UX-based or User Experience design can be key to the success of an application. A prototyping tool will allow you to create and test a version of your application consisting of the aesthetic and functional elements without entering yet into the most technical part of the development.

Because of the high cost of programming an application, functionality and aesthetics testing becomes necessary. Its importance is such that over the last few years we have seen a huge increase in the number of tools that allow the creation of prototypes and interactive designs. Designers and developers are beginning to use more prototyping tools, which helps them get an advance view of how their user interface will look and feel. There are dozens of wireframe prototyping and creation tools. We recommend InVision, Axure or Marvel as three of the most complete prototyping tools.

Choose the most suitable typography

Choosing the right typography has always been important. When designing a simple application, it must follow standards that allow the text to be displayed in a user-friendly way. In a more pretentious design, the intelligent use of typography will not only improve the user experience, but can become an element that defines your brand.

Keep in mind that, although smartphone screens have grown enormously in size over the last few years (even though the four-inch screen size seemed huge), we still use phones that fit in our pockets, far from being able to compare themselves with your computer monitor.

A mobile application can concentrate a large number of interactive elements on screen, trying to minimize the load of content that shows the user at the same time. Concentrating too much text or choosing a large size can lead to saturation. For this reason, it is advisable to choose a typography that is easily legible despite its small size. Avoid types with serifs or excess bold unless you want to highlight a particular element. You’ll make the texts look clearer and more pleasing.

Play with the use of blurred or shaded backgrounds

Using shaded or blurred backgrounds has become a very useful and recurring technique for highlighting screen elements. If you want to highlight an item such as a notification card or a button that shouts “press me”, you can try shading or blotting out all the items around it.

This effect will add depth of field to your application and invite the user to look at the highlighted element. This is a very subtle action, as the user is already used to seeing this type of effects in other devices and graphic elements. Very useful because it will help you guide the user and enhance the appeal of your app by providing contrast, effectiveness and dynamism.

More movement. Give more life to your app

More powerful devices allow more lively animations and greater freedom when creating applications, an aspect that influences both aesthetics and functionality of the application.

Static contents or screens that only allowed us to navigate up and down were left behind. Implement animations that surprise or make your app more interactive. Your menus can be displayed in different ways. Displays that change color as the user moves through it. Sliders, pop-ups, videos and moving images will change the way apps are made.

Moving images on a page instantly capture users’ attention and help you convey the message more efficiently.

Videos will provide a more dynamic user experience and successful delivery of content. They are already attracting attention in marketing, where more and more social media platforms are showing short videos and live streaming.

Design adapted to phones with large screens

The larger screen size on smartphones that reduce their size in exchange for deleting frames is trend. In a market with larger screens, the mobile UX is evolving to meet new needs while setting new standards for designers. Designing for larger screens requires adjusting the size of buttons, using a larger space with typography and structuring of adapted information.

Is it good for designing applications that grow more and more screens? From a purely aesthetic point of view, an increase in the size of the screens (along with the inseparable increase in resolutions that are already difficult to get below 1080p) makes it possible to introduce and organize more elements on the screen.

From a functional point of view, it is important to consider how users hold their phones. Until the launch of iPhone 6, Apple boasted that its smartphones were fully accessible with the thumb of one hand. This is unthinkable now, so we must consider bringing the most important navigation elements closer to the user’s thumbs. As many brands are already doing with their applications, consider placing the main menus at the bottom of the screen.

Incorporates useful and intuitive gestures

As mobile users began to change their way of interacting with touchscreen devices differently than they do with desktop systems, designers and developers have had to adapt the way they design interfaces.

Pinching for zooming was a new feature when the first iPhone was launched in 2007 and today it is the most common and intuitive way to expand or reduce content within the app.

The swiping, which consists of dragging an element sideways to see the object next to it, is just as natural as pinching, especially if we only have one free hand. If you use this technique, make sure the user is aware that there is something next to the element they are looking at. Place an arrow that invites you to slide or insert a small section of the adjacent object so that the user is aware that sliding will reveal the rest.

All the actions that the user will use to move around the app are gestures that must be defined when designing the user interface of any screen. The most common are touch, double touch, drag, slide, pinch, grab and drag, touch and drag.

Follow all these tips before and during the design process of your app. Consider the way your items are organized and easy to use. Making use of an attractive and easy-to-use interface will help you get more out of that great application idea you’ve had.

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