How to Get Started with App Visual Design

Every app begins with an idea — a problem you want to solve, a solution you want to provide. As such, design should be your first thought, not your last. Developers and consumers alike both know that an app’s look and feel affects its functionality. That’s why coming up with a long list of ideal features isn’t nearly as important as designing an app that’s intuitive, clean, and emphasizes core, must-have features. In fact, doting on every single feature you have in mind can actually hinder your design, and hinder the user experience as a result. It’s time to stop thinking of it as solely an app development project and start thinking of it, first and foremost, as an application design project.

4 tips for getting started with app visual design

Don’t throw away your pros and cons list of features and big-picture ideas for your app just yet. First, there are some guiding principles to consider when shifting your focus from development to design:

  • Don’t reinvent the wheel. There’s nothing wrong with drawing inspiration from popular apps; there’s a reason they’re popular. Consider UI patterns you know and love and apps you most enjoy using. Don’t worry about breaking the mold if the mold produces a great cake… mixed metaphors aside.
  • Ask yourself 3 questions. What’s the purpose of this app? What are my goals for it? How will users expect to interact with it? Those answers will serve to outline your roadmap and help your app project take off.
  • Keep it simple. There are thousands of apps out there, but there’s still room to differentiate. Make sure your app does one thing: make things easier, not more difficult. The rest will follow.
  • When it doubt, test it out. An app doesn’t succeed without users. That’s why user testing matters. Hannah Alvarez of UserTesting gave this advice to people just getting started with UI: “When you’re designing an app, you can verify you’re on the right track and avoid doing costly rework by user testing your prototypes. You can iron out the kinks in the design before you’ve written any code, saving your team the time and hassle of making changes in development. Plus, you’ll already know how users will receive your product before it hits the app store.”

App visual design with the Topcoder Community

To execute on your app visual design (and develop your app), you need the right talent. Through Topcoder’s global community of designers and technologists, you can get high-quality wireframes, web and mobile UX, and more. See how:

Ready to get started with app visual design? Begin your project with Topcoder today.