15 Tips for Pixel-Perfect UI: App Design Guide

Tips for ui design

What do you know about UI (user interface) and UX (user experience), other than their being key factors to be considered when developing mobile apps? Not much? Meanwhile, these two notions define everything about your future app, from appearance and usability to the success of the whole project.

  • If your goal is to build a star product, no matter how much you’re ready to invest in your UI app design, you should consider the interface fundamentals we’re going to discuss in this article.

1. Pay Attention to Graphics

Unique graphics

For graphics, average developers often follow the "one size fits all" rule, but here at Magora we understand this is the wrong approach. This makes it easier to manage resources, but it can detract from the visual appeal of your application. For your app to go down well, it’s better to include custom graphics for each screen of a particular device. Ideally, the best graphics are loaded at runtime for a totally enjoyable user experience.

2. It’s All About Users

User-centered design

It may be common knowledge, but you need to know your users inside out. This includes all the demographic data your analytic app can track. More importantly, you should know what they need and what problems they face. This requires great compassion for a user, for whom you have to go beyond basic statistics. You may talk to them face-to-face, or watch them using your product, or even ask for their feedback on the UI design. This is not about what they want. Go deeper and guess what they need. If you meet their needs, thus giving them what they want, you’ll automatically meet all their basic requirements. This information will help you make the right decision about your UI app design. Do not forget to check the statistics in your GA account, it will help you to see the user's reaction and interests.

3. Responsive at Every Inch

Keep in mind different devices

Note that the UI should be designed to make the app fully available on many mobile devices and operating systems. Whether adjusting media queries, CSS or JavaScript, all issues related to displaying apps on multiple mobile devices should be handled responsibly.

4. Suitable Format

Mind the format

We’ve all encountered apps that hang when loading large graphic files. This is due not to size but to an inappropriate format. The Android platform is compatible with JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP and WebP and other media formats. PNG is suitable for lossless image formats, while JPEG quality is suitable for adjustment. Scalable Android graphics are also supported by Nine-Patch, which is a good choice when it comes to download and storage sizes.

5. Iteration is Key

Iterative design

The best way for UI developers to create a highly interactive mobile app that keeps users engaged over time is to iterate interface design options. Keep in mind that each iteration is a valuable lesson for improving performance and making adjustments before the end product is ready for launch.

6. Colours with a point
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UI control colours

One of the main application design trends in 2018 is to use subtle animations to switch between screens and to use different UI control colours to mark status changes in the app. This strategy adds a professional touch to your mobile app design.

For example, if there’s no activity on-screen, it’s hard to understand that your application is processing information. If the button colour changes after clicking, this means a user-triggered action is underway.

7. Preference for Round Corners

Round corners in design

Typically, each UI element (a button or an image) shows a rectangular pixel on the screen, but this is not a rule to follow. You do not always need to keep sharp controls. It is better to include round corner controls to soften the look of the interface and make it more comfortable for users.

8. Keep it Simple

Simple yet stylish

Keeping your design simple doesn’t refer to its style. This means users should be able to start using your app immediately, without having to go through a set of detailed instructions or a tutorial. A simple user interface application design allows users to perform various operations in just a handful of steps. For instance, proper use of colours and shades will make the interface easy to use and understandable at a glance. This attracts visitors to download your app and convinces them to open it again and again.

9. Balanced Shadows

Consistent lighting

The latest version of Android offers holographic templates, 3D icons and more. If you’re using shadows and other styles in your controls, consider consistent lighting - i.e. the same positioning of shadows on the screen. The same goes for gradient; run consistent values in your graphics editor so you can have consistent textures and gradients.

10. Contrast View

High-contrast colour scheme

When you receive an email full of bizarre colours and fonts from a beginner who’s recently discovered user interface creation, it’s a serious pain for the eyes. The same is true when you come across applications that are difficult to read and navigate. To avoid this, decide on a high-contrast colour scheme to make design and content clear. It’s always better to use the colour scheme provided in the system resources and then try colour changes when you feel more confident.

11. Large Fonts

Opt for large fonts

Much like bizarre colours, strange fonts in design can irritate people. This hampers the purpose of the application and ruins the original reason for using it. The solution is simple - use readable and attractive fonts. Font size is also noteworthy. Use well-balanced fonts with other elements on-screen. Fonts below 12pt are a major taboo.

12. Comply with Platform Guidelines

Mind the guidelines

Many mobile apps benefit from familiarity. They create a simple and straightforward UI with controls for content. It's not a good idea to reinvent the wheel - simply incorporate interface controls and screen design into your content that users will accept.

If you’re striving to innovate, remember to employ objective methods such as user search and  A/B testing to compare a new version with the initial UI. This will demonstrate which version is preferred, more efficient and easiest to use.

13. Keep Real Users in Mind

Real users make difference

All professional UI app designers know that it’s always good to have real users in mind while creating an application design. This helps effectively evaluate what should be included and what should be cut out, thus avoiding unnecessary confusion and extra work when creating features. Such a strategy will not require re-working and will definitely save a lot of time and money.

14. Go for Beta Testing


Beta testing

Quality assurance and beta testing are the cornerstones of a successful mobile product. Once your application is up and running, it's high time for beta testing with another audience who are less aware of the UI design and its goals. You may have the misguided notion that people will find your app intuitive, which may not be the case. By placing your product in front of real people, you can reveal unforeseen issues that need to be resolved before release.

15. Manage Security Issues

Often, security and accessibility issues are addressed at a later stage in the app development process - this is why they ramp up the execution timespan. In a professional design and development team like ours, UI designers always communicate with backend programmers and other middleware experts to ensure that the appropriate data is published in a user-centric way. The strategy should be to reduce the user learning curve in order to improve the overall experience.

Tools to Advance Your Design Project

Design tools

We know how complicated it can be to explain how everything should work in your future app. To help you visualise it, here are some tools that can help demonstrate the overall picture of your project.

 The three handiest mobile UI app design tools

These tools can help make your workflows, screens and arguments more robust and comprehensive. By using them, you’ll easily get useful feedback at early stages of mobile application development.

Sketch. This super graphic design tool is similar to Photoshop but more focused on UI / UX design. It’s powerful, has a wide range of features and produces professional results.

Axure. If you’re looking for fully interactive interface wireframes, Axure is the wireframe tool for you. You can easily add interactions, create master pages, select elements and widget library patterns, import images, add colours and gradients and edit the transparency of each object.

Marvel converts rough paper sketches into attractive prototypes that let you showcase your  ideas and gather feedback from others. It works perfectly with .psd files, so there’s no need to convert your projects before uploading.

 Conclusion

The attractiveness quotient of UI design for mobile applications depends on the target market. By following UI design guidelines, you can create products that are easy to understand and have a high availability ladder. As the world of app design continues to advance, our designers continue to learn it every day. We’re always ready to create something special for your company or  share our experience - just drop us a line. 

 

 

Daniel Kloft
February 06, 2018
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