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Getting Started with Application Design

Fun fact! Are you aware that the average American spends around 5 hours a day using their smart devices? Maybe that number is shocking to you or perhaps you thought it was higher, no matter how you look at it, we live in the age of technology and because of that, it’s never far from our fingertips. Those 5 hours could be spent messaging, posting photographs or videos, playing games, even working! No matter what you choose to do on your phone, there’s a really good chance that you’re using some sort of application while you’re doing it.

With this huge wave of popularity comes an even larger wave of competition. And since competition is a good thing by keeping us challenged, when we jump into a world where apps are created as faster as we can download them, it’s easy to see how it can be both an intimidating yet rewarding venture designing them. If you think that application design is a path that you want to travel down there are a few things you should know. Now, this guide won’t explain everything, but it will give you enough information to answer your basic questions and point you in the right direction.

What do I do first?

First things first, you need to come up with an idea. Today, it’s becoming harder and harder to come up with original ideas but in doing so, you’ll have something that sets you apart from the competition. Having a unique approach to application design is integral to your success and can ultimately be the difference between creating an app that is popular and widely used or one that falls to the bottom of search results, never to be seen again. The latter is what I want to help you avoid, and to do that, we need to understand the tools for creating an amazing application.

Stunningly gorgeous interfaces, comprehensive simplicity, and easy navigation are 3 of the most important aspects when it comes to creating a great app. You want the people who use it to tell their friends, understand the purpose of the app, have no problem navigating through it, and make sure that it’s something that they’ll want to keep coming back to.

Ok great, but how do I create a great app?

Firstly, you’re going to set the goal of your app. Before even sitting down at your computer or reaching out to a developer, you should start with the good old pen and paper. Think about why you want to design an app in the first place and what you’re looking for it to accomplish. Don’t rush this step, as brainstorming is one of the most important phases of any design project. And remember, so many great ideas started as a note on a piece of paper.

Ok, quiz time! Not really, but you do need to ask yourself these questions when setting up your app.

The next thing you need to get started on is making your plan. For this step, keep that pen and paper handy. We don’t need to get to the keyboard quite yet. Let’s start by coming up with a visual representation of the answers to your goal-setting questions and getting them written down on our trusty paper.

Consider the answers to your questions in the first step. With that information, you’re going to want to sketch out a rough outline regarding the scope of your project. While working on this step, you should start thinking a little more about how your app is going to earn you money. Will there be in-app purchases like loot chests, paid advertisements, or perhaps a subscription service. Think of this stage as coming up with an easy-to-follow road map. Remember to include things like what the app’s functions are, who the application is for, and a mini step-by-step guide as to how you plan to achieve each step of the process.

Researching your niche and competitors is the next stop on our app designing journey. You can put the pen and paper away, but keep your notes close by. Now, let’s jump onto the web and do a bit of research. By researching your specific market you will soon better understand what kind of problems people are facing which will help you understand how your app can solve them. 

Just with any type of big project, especially those centered around design, research is a very important aspect of this process. You should always be aware and understand the niche market of your app and get a better idea of what kind of competition you’re facing. The app world is a substansially diverse and cutthroat industry, so you will want to make sure your one-of-a-kind idea is as unique, functional, and relevant as possible.

Sure there are legitimately millions of apps on the market, but don’t let this intimidate you.  Even if you’ve come across a few too many apps that are shockingly similar to what you’re going for doesn’t mean that yours won’t be top dog and superior to them all. This is where researching your competitors plays a huge role because with a little investigating, you can learn what’s missing from their apps and implement it into the build of your own.

Time to get your app designed!

The final step we’re going to be looking at in this article is getting ready to do the actual design of your app. What you should be aiming for here is a gorgeous-looking, professional, eye-catching design. 

When it’s time to start the actual building process, there are some options available to you for bringing your project to life. You might consider designing the app on your own, but unless you’re a graphic designer or know some basic coding, I really wouldn’t recommend this route. If you’re coming in green, then it’s probably best to reach out to an expert and rely on a professional to ensure you get optimal results.

Wrapping it Up

After you’ve completed all the steps and questions that I’ve covered in this article, your journey is far from over. Once you have your application ready to go, it’s time to get it in the water and see if it sinks or swims. Before you go completely public, it may be worthwhile dropping your app to a controlled test group to check for any bugs and to receive some valuable user feedback. Once you’re live, it becomes more of a management game. When new features become available, you’ll need to work them in, and when your competitors add new features, you’ll have to follow suit to stay relevant. At the end of the day, if you put in the work, success will be that much closer to your grasp. I hope you were able to take some useful information from this article and apply it to your situation. I wish you the best of luck with your venture and here’s to happy app designing!