Lecture Three: App Design Process

Lecture notes of the week 3 lecture pod.



  • Designing an app involves the following steps:
    • Idea: -start with an idea and over time continue to develop this idea. To ensure an idea is strong there is a three-step process, i.e. generate —> challenge —> revise
    • Ask the following questions; can the idea potentially make revenue? Is it possible to create? Is it an original idea? How much can you simplify?
  • Specs
    • Short for ‘specification’, spec is the document that contains information about what the app does and how it will do it.
    • It can often been seen as a contract that explains to people involved, what needs to be accomplished.
    • The document often refines the idea and changes elements of it.
    • Things should be kept short and simple otherwise aspects may be misinterpreted.
  • Wireframes
    • Mockups that can be included in the spec or created from it.
    • Rough sketches are produced and gone through with the client, once satisfied they are then digitalised and revised once more.
    • Everything not realised in the spec are added on to the wireframes e.g. app flow or missing sections etc.
  • Prototype
    • Once the spec and wireframe are successfully finished, it is now time for a prototype. This allows for early testing of the app. The creator can either use tools such as ‘InVision’ and ‘Marvel’ where mockups can be an interactive that allows the user to get a “feel” for the final app or code the app from scratch.
    • Complex apps with large teams have great benefits out of using InVision/Marvel as it is less time consuming and can be easily shared. However, smaller teams will benefit from going directly into code, and lays down a foundation of the actual app.
  • Visual Design
    • Focuses on the appearance of the app.
    • It helps communicate the brand and makes the app experience more enjoyable.
    • It supports the overall idea, by executing the spec, wireframes and prototype.
    • The visual design can make or break the project as this is what will have a long lasting effect on the user.
  • Development
    • Development and design are two separate phases. However, both link, development doesn’t exist without design and design doesn’t exist without development.
  • Summary
    1. Get an idea
    2. Write it down
    3. Build a prototype
    4. Jump back and forth between design and development phases until you get a result.

Image/Information Source: https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2016/11/what-everyone-should-know-about-the-process-behind-app-design/