Last week we covered the first steps to building a mobile app. This week, we’re deep diving into the core of the design process. At Bytecraft, we believe the design portion is one of the most important steps of the app building process.
Why is design important?
Well, our Design Director, Alyssa Arciniega will explain:
“Design is the voice of information.
Visual presentation influences a viewer’s mood, engagement,
and retention of material as it is the critical first impression – an opportunity to open dialogue and build rapport.
When building a user interface,
design becomes nearly as critical as the application concept itself.
Many seem to forget how integral design is to our daily lives – think of what you wear, consumer packaging, your favorite brands, games, the device you’re reading this on, they’ve all gone through some form of a design process. Applications without proper visual organization simply speak informally, potentially urging users to seek different outlets”
– Design Director of Bytecraft LLC- Alyssa Arciniega
User Story Design
- Before diving into concept development and design, it is important to tell a story and portray the user in context in order to understand the intended user needs and emotions. To make sure we understand the user we are designing for, we will focus on these three tools: Problem Statement: Use a “how might we” statement to frame the problem at stake and how you intend to improve that problem.
- Consider your market research findings and what the target market looks like. Take quantitative and demographic data and create a person that fits the user profile. Give the user persona a name, age, occupation, city of residency. Explain their worries, pain points and goals in regards to the product solution you are designing. Create a user persona that feels real and can be related to.
User Journey & Pain Points
- Consider what the user journey would look like before the user has product you are designing and what pain points come with that user experience. Consider what the user journey would look like after the user has the product you are designing and how the product improves those previous pain points.
- Keep in mind that this process should be fairly smooth, since we would have already filled out the majority of the Lean Canvas Model.
- Make it clear how the product works and how the user interacts with it. How does the product work? What kind of technology does it use? Does it require WiFi? Does it cost money? Where would the user take the product? Where does the user use the product? How often does the user use the product? Etc…
- This specific section of design requires a sprinkle of creativity and a whole lot of strategy. Most of the time, people assume design is strictly creative. Bytecrafters would argue that it is more strategic than most people realize.
UX: User Experience
- If you aren’t familiar with the concept, user experience is the combination of a person’s emotions and attitudes towards using a product, system or service. When we take your ideas and design them into a reality, your satisfaction with the resulting product is our highest value. To make sure that you are satisfied with your product, we break the user experience design process into five phases:
1. Define the Purpose of the Product
- After considering everything we heard from you in our initial consultation, we establish a single sentence that explains the purpose of your product. When it comes to prototyping, this sentence can be helpful to refer to in terms of keeping product functions within the scope of the product.
2. Establish 3-5 Design Goals
- Once the purpose of the product is defined, wset three to five design goals to reach in executing the design of the product. By the final prototype, we should be able to check off that each goal is met through the design of the product. Our Bytecraft team makes sure to make these design goals attainable.
3. Build a Page Navigation Map
- When we start prototyping, it is important to map out the pages of the app or website and how the pages interact in order to keep the direction of the prototype structured. It can be easy to think of several new ideas to incorporate into a product, but ideas add up quickly and eventually pull the concept further and further away from its defined purpose. With that being said, it is ideal to confine an app or webpage to 3-5 main pages.
- Paper Prototyping: After mapping out the product pages, we figure out what each page will contain and what features it will have. When we start prototyping, we like to focus on the functionality of the features before we focus on the looks of the features. We make a low-fidelity prototype (ideas sketched onto paper wireframes), which prevents us from becoming attached to ideas and keeps us focused on fulfilling the product purpose and design goals.
- Digital Prototyping: Once the product components are decided on, we bring the concept one step closer to life by creating a mid-fidelity prototype (2D digital wireframes). This step helps us make our ideas more realistic and consider the product usage flow moving forward. When we feel like we have covered all the bases to set up a successful digital prototype, we loop in user interface design to make the product look its part.
5. User Research Testing
- Throughout the entire user experience design process we practice user research testing. At any prototyping point, gathering user feedback is valuable to collect insights and make modifications to the product in order to enhance the user experience of the product.
UI: User Interface Design
- User Interface Design, most known as UI, is meant to provide a visual framework for users. In order to have an effective user experience (UX), it is important for the user to visually understand the purpose of the service and product. For this to happen, we make sure that our customers have a stable brand image.
- This is the icing on the cake, the first thing anyone sees when they look at your company, product, or service. You can view this aspect as a personality. At Bytecraft, we make sure this step is not overlooked, as it is essential to our customers’ success. Brand image includes, but is not limited to:
- The logo always makes the first impression. What your intended audience sees when they are first are exposed to your brand. Making a clear, bold, and intentional statement in this step is important.
- color scheme
- “Colors, eh, who cares!” Consumers do. It is scientifically proven that colors psychologically affect the way we perceive brands. Therefore, it is important to bring forth the best choices for your brand.
- Iconography goes in tandem with the logo. All of the illustrations should match the overall brand image. It is highly recommended to use the same designer for this process.
- Your brand doesn’t necessarily have to have a slogan, but design wise, it would be beneficial. This is because it is typically presented to the audience with the logo, which helps consumers understand what your product or service consists of.
Along with branding, it is important to create consistency. In order to do so, Bytecraft has created a content Strategy that can be implemented to any product, business, or service. This step is often broken down into digestible packages. I.e. As part of our StartUp Success Program or as part of our Post Launch Marketing Efforts.
Tune in next week for our next portion of the app building process.