You don’t have to be the next Picasso to design your own app. And as Conduit Mobile’s app design specialist, I’d like to ease you into the app design process by introducing you to some of my favorite tools that are sure to give your app the look you’re after.
First things first, no matter how creative you may be, everyone can use a source of inspiration. My daily inspiration comes from a variety of sources, including Mobile Awesomeness, Dribbble, Inspired UI, and Designmodo.
Once you’ve found your own sources of inspiration, follow these design guidelines to make your app appealing and stand out from the crowd.
Design Focus #1: Color theme
Tanya’s Tip: Keep your app’s design consistent with the look and feel of your website or brand by choosing a matching color theme. Upload your logo image for your app’s header rather than adding it as a text-based title. Users should be able to recognize your brand at first glance of your app.
Mobile App Inspirations: Pinterest on the App Store, Pinterest on Google Play, Sweet Relief on the App Store
Design Focus #2: Splash screen
Tanya’s Tip: Be sure to change the default splash screen. Your splash screen gives users the first impression of your app, so don’t hold back with your creative ideas! Be sure to add bold, high-resolution images to give your app that wow factor it deserves.
Mobile App Inspirations: Bizzabo on the App Store, Bizzabo on Google Play
Design Focus #3: Home screen app icon
Tanya’s Tip: If your app is going to sit on users’ home screens, make sure it’s enticing enough to open! Use high-resolution logos or photos to give it that sleek look.
Mobile App Inspirations: Ebay on the App Store, Ebay on Google Play, Bed Head Hotel
Design Focus #4: In-app navigation icons
Personalize the default icons within your app and take full advantage of your app’s customizable features, including color theme, style, texture, etc. To help get you started, check out this selection of free icons & buttons, backgrounds, and other UI elements.
Mobile App Inspirations: Apps World Series, Google+ on the App Store, Google+ on Google Play
Mobile Site Inspiration: ModCloth
Design Focus #5: Image quality
Tanya’s Tip: To prevent images from appearing blurry or pixelated on a mobile phone, use high-resolution images for the iPhone retina display. Upload images with a resolution of 200%, double the recommended resolution. Create your splash screen and background image with a resolution of 640×960 pixels for iPhone 4 and 640×1136 for iPhone 5. Finally, be sure to add a logo image with a 640×88-pixel resolution for best quality.
Design Focus #6: Home screen navigation
Tanya’s Tip: Our platform offers four types of navigation. Experiment with different navigation settings until you find the most suitable one for your background image and icons. For example, if your background contains a special texture or image at the bottom and you want to emphasize the icons, I recommend using a grid navigation. Alternatively, if you have an image of a real person, I suggest you place the image on the right and choose the list navigation.
Mobile App Inspirations: Any.do on the App Store, Any.do on Google Play, Zara on the App Store, Zara on Google Play, Conduit Corner
Mobile Site Inspiration: Nike Lab
By following these guidelines, you’ll be well on your way to designing a great-looking app your users will love. But of course, beauty is only skin deep—once you’ve lured in your app users with your awesome design, you need to make sure that what they see inside isn’t a huge disappointment. If you want users to keep opening your app, provide them with rich and engaging content, and real value.
With the Conduit Mobile platform, you can take full control over your app’s style and content. We have a variety of designs, layouts, and features to help you create an app worth downloading and using over and over again. Speaking of inspiration, check out these apps created with our platform: Conduit Corner, Meek Mill, SF Music Tech, and Bed Head Hotel.
Get started with creating your mobile app, and don’t forget to implement Tanya’s top tips!