Designing for apps is a fluid process. As time passes, system updates and new design conventions mean we have to master new techniques to ensure our apps remain in the forefront of the industry. As we evolve, so do our resources. Since releasing the Savvy Sketch iOS Wireframe Kit in June 2016, we've noticed a few opportunities to update the kit to meet designer expectations. These changes also come from our experiences using the wireframe kit on new projects.
Blog Posts Related to 'Design'
Many customers come to us at Savvy Apps with a set of unknowns and an unclear path to obtaining their goals. Through the years, we've honed our discovery process to solve this problem. We start by casting a wide net, gathering as much information as possible, and then whittle things down into actionable takeaways. In this article, we've outlined why this process, which we like to call a “discovery kickstart,” is critical for your app. We run through the three stages of this process and how each stage is structured to set your app up for success.
Late last year, we decided to standardize on Sketch as our tool of choice for creating low-fidelity wireframes. Previously we were fans of Balsamiq, mostly because it had a number of pre-built app elements that could be dragged and dropped into a mockup. While we enjoyed the polish and precision of Sketch, not having a similar feature required us to spend valuable time on creating and recreating the same elements in our wireframes.
Even today there are businesses and organizations that only have a web app or web experience. They’ve yet to create a native app that can be distributed in Apple’s App Store or Google Play though they realize the potential to reach new people or provide additional value to existing users. Savvy Apps regularly works with companies looking to add an app to complement their web experience. We've compiled this list of the most important considerations to address when moving from a web experience to a native app.
A quick way to ruin a user's experience is to mishandle the way your app requests permissions. These permissions, like access to location, the camera and camera roll, push notifications, and calendar are often needed for an app's core functionality. Without the approval and access to these system services, the app won't work as it's meant to, making it less valuable to users. That will also cause confusion for users, and runs the risk of losing them entirely.
Design thinking has come of age. People are now more aware of look and feel than ever. Great design is becoming an expectation, and those who provide that in their products and services have a competitive advantage. The same is true with apps specifically. Today's designers focus on more than just aesthetics and function. They are now considering the emotions people feel when interacting with their product, and how those emotions drive them to take one action over another. The value we see in design is now placed on tackling more complex problems, like the promise of a certain feeling rather than only utility.
A polished app experience is one of the elements that make a great app. These app experiences include depth, simplicity, intuitive rhythm, progression, and delight. As people who not only build but use apps, we sometimes come across work and concepts that inspire us or influence our thinking. By looking at high quality work, we all can be inspired to do high or higher quality work. More generally, there's something to be said about seeing how others in our industry overcome challenges. Whether it’s an app we've downloaded and use ourselves or a concept we’ve seen on Dribbble, here are some of the app experiences we have recently encountered that we consider inspirational.
We've talked about the tools we use for more advanced animations and interactions. Now we’re covering three prototyping tools that help designers like those on the Savvy Apps design team communicate how an entire app works and show all the flows in the app: Flinto Lite, Marvel, and InVision. These tools help designers realize user paths, with an emphasis on navigation, gestures, and transitions. Read along as we compare the key features for all three tools and highlight the best use scenarios for each.
Although a design process may vary by the type of project, personal preferences, team size, and other similar variables, as designers we find we keep coming back to a handful of tools. These tools provide us a solid foundation for planning and brainstorming, help us communicate our ideas clearly, overcome technical hurdles to create stunning animations, and even simplify our interactions with developers. From powerful new design software meant specifically for apps to the ever-useful pen and paper, these are the tools the Savvy Apps design team wouldn't want to work without.
App design specifications ensures an app designer's interface design and vision translates properly from the design to the development process. Yet design speccing is as tedious and time intensive as it is critical. It's prone to error, so we've tried a number of tools meant to simplify and speed up the speccing process. Many of those tools, however, fall short of making the speccing process easier and more accurate.