We live in an app-driven world. Consider how many mobile apps you use daily. According to eMarketer, the average US adult spent about 3 hours and 25 minutes on apps daily in 2018, and that time is expected to increase by 11 minutes this year. Apps account for up to 90% of the time spent on mobile devices. But what does this mean? Well, apps have essentially become the place we hang out virtually on our smartphones and tablets.
As a developer, if you want users to spend time on your app, you need to focus on creating a captivating user interface (UI). Thankfully, there are many app design tools out there that make the process easier. In this article, we’ll look at some of the best app UI design software out there.
Adobe Experience Design (XD): Adobe XD was built for Android and Microsoft Windows 10. The app allows you to bring your app idea to life by creating a wireframe and a prototype. It is incredibly easy to use.
You can do a lot of things with Adobe XD. The tool shows you how your app will look on different screen sizes and allows you to adjust your design to suit these platforms. You can use Adobe XD to animate your design, create voice commands as well as add plugins and integrate other apps. Adobe XD is the perfect tool to breathe life into your app idea – from creating a basic layout to designing a full prototype.
Android Studio: This is one of the UI designing tools provided on the official Android platform. As you can imagine, Android Studio is used to create Android apps. However, you can run it on Windows, Mac or Linux.
You can use Android Studio to create a layout of your app and preview how it will look on different screen sizes. It comes with many other features including an APK analyzer, a code editor, an emulator (which can be integrated with Google’s ARCore platform) and much more. Android Studio provides all the tools that you need to make programming your mobile app UI. However, you need some programming knowledge to be able to use this tool.
Mockplus: This is another excellent app for designing your mobile app UI. It is designed to allow you to create an app mockup with ease. You can use this tool to develop both Android and iOS apps.
Mockplus is easy to use. It has a drag-and-drop design. There are thousands of icons and up to 200 components to choose from. It also supports fast testing. You just need to scan a QR code to test this app on your native device. Although this tool has a short learning curve, it comes with a lot of advanced features that give you control over the UI of your app.
Sketch: This popular tool allows you to design the UI of your iOS app and create a prototype. Sketch is a lightweight tool with simple functionality. You can export the codes and preset design of your app to another platform. While it does not support photo editing, it provides just about everything else that you need to get your app idea off the ground. You can add animations, choose from hundreds of plugins and bring your prototype to life with Sketch. This tool does not only allow you to create a basic prototype but an interactive one with proper content. You can even export your prototype to clients straight from the Sketch platform.
Proto.io: This is an iOS UI design tool, and it also works on Android. Proto.io was designed to allow you to create a high-fidelity prototype of your app. You do not need any coding experience to use it.
Proto.io is the right tool to take your app idea from the early stages to a clickable prototype. It can be used to develop apps for different platforms; from smartwatches and phones to desktops. It has a drag-and-drop design and a vast UI library to get you started. This tool supports animation. You can sync your work to Dropbox or Google Drive and even send it to your device for realistic testing. You can also share the app with colleagues and clients. Proto.io is one of the best tools for working out the UI ideas for your app and testing it.
There are many equally good UI designing tools out there. However, these are some of the most popular. Here are a few things to keep in mind before you start working on the UI design of your mobile app.
1. Take the time to develop the idea of your mobile app before you start building it.
2. The UI of your app must have a consistent structure and user-friendly design.
3. Take the time to test your app UI thoroughly before you release it.
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User experience (UX) and user interface (UI) are central to the success of mobile apps. Without a proper interface, users may not be able to utilize the features of your app fully. Ultimately, a poor UX can result in low user retention and engagement. It is safe to say that all apps that have a high conversion rate invest a great deal of time and energy into improving their UI and UX. There is no way people will patronize an app if it wasn’t designed to be easily usable and provide an enjoyable experience.
Companies are increasingly recognizing the value of UX. In an interview with Fortune last year, Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia explained the importance of considering customers when creating products. He described this as “design thinking.”
“Design thinking is another way of saying empathize with the customer,” Gebba said. “It’s consideration for the person you’re designing for…What it means is you’re going to spend the time and effort to understand the needs of the person you’re designing for such that you can create something that’s valuable to them.”
While user interface describes the outer/surface design of an app that users interact with to control it, user experience refers to every aspect of a users experience with an app. Therefore, creating a UI that users can operate intuitively is one of the elements of UX.
User experience is one of the underlying factors that separates successful apps from all the others. According to a study by Forrester, companies earn $100 for every $1 spent on improving their UX. And that’s not all. Research shows that users don’t mind paying more to get a better experience. A study by Walker concluded that by 2020, user experience would be the main factor that differentiates brands – not price. This means if you want to create an app that will be successful, UX must be at the heart of your design.
It is clear that apps are an excellent avenue to drive conversion. According to a report from Criteo, apps have a 120% better conversion rate than desktops and mobile sites.
One of the main benefits of providing great UX is conversion. It can be tricky to measure the conversion rates of mobile apps because each app is unique and may require different conversion actions. For example, on social media apps like Whatsapp, the conversion goal is to get users to interact with their friends through the app. However, for an e-commerce app like Amazon, conversion means viewing and buying items.
If the UX of an app appeals to users, the high level of engagement will translate to a high conversion rate. It is important to note that attuning the UX of your mobile apps to appeal to users is not a one-time thing. It must be a continuous effort. Essentially, putting users first should be part of the culture of your organization. Most app developers spend up to 20% of their budget on UX improvement.
In recent months, one of the main focus of UX improvement has been to add diverse emoji to social media platforms and other apps. Some of the biggest social media platforms on the market including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have updated their apps to support different emoji. Recently, Tinder has been calling for more emoji options particularly emoji for interracial couples.
This goes to show that it is not only the major features that count, but minor things like personalized greetings and emoji options can go a long way to improve UX. Every marketer knows the importance of giving users more options and keeping up with the trends.
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As indicated above, a mockup is a relatively detailed outline of the appearance of an app. The difference between an app mockup and wireframe is that the former includes colors, layout, images, typography, and more, while the latter may only feature sketches and text. A mockup is usually static. It gives you a glimpse into how the completed app will look and operate. Mockups are very important in the UX design process.
Mobile app prototyping refers to the final phase in the designing of an app before it is built. Unlike a UI mockup which is static, a prototype is interactive. It includes animations and other UX features that will appear in the final version of the app. The prototype of an app is what is tested by users and potential investors before the final version is created. A prototype must represent an app with its full functionality. It is essential to test your app prototype repeatedly before you roll it out to investors and the public. Mobile app prototyping allows you to evaluate your idea in its final appearance. It also allows you to get valuable feedback and give investors a realistic sample of the app you’re creating.
There are many ways of creating a mockup. If you are a developer, you can code a mockup of your mobile app. While this may be time-consuming, it is an excellent way to get started on the project. You can start figuring out what works and what kind of technical expertise will be needed to get the app completed.
Another way to create a mockup is to use graphic design software. Since the mockup design is static, this should be quite easy. However, you need to be an expert graphic designer, or you may struggle.
The fastest and easiest way to create a mockup design is to use a mockup application. There are many online tools that you can use to create a mockup design of your mobile app. Some of the top mockup apps are UXPin, MOQUPS, MockPlus, Balsamiq, Sketch, MockingBird, Invision, and Proto.io.
There are many advantages of creating an app design mockup. It gives you an opportunity to make revisions to the final appearance of the site. For example, you may find that specific colors do not go well together or the place you have selected for the logo is not the best. There is no way to create a perfect UX design without doing a mockup of your app.
Another benefit of creating a mockup is that it allows you to explain precisely what you want from collaborators. This is essential to rally your team in the early stages of the app development process. A mockup is the best way to give everyone a clear vision of what the final app will look like and how it will function. It is also something you can show investors before you can raise funds and expertise to create a prototype of the app.
Designing a mockup is a crucial part of developing a mobile app. This is a step that must not be overlooked if you want to create an app that will appeal to users successfully.