There can be a lot of creative mobile app design ideas you may realize in 2021, however, there are still unshakable principles and approaches that you are better off following. Therefore, in order to correctly answer how to design your application, it makes sense to follow the experienced designers’ advice. This guide created by the Mind Studios design and development team will help you to find out how to design an app that will meet the users’ expectations and the needs of your business in 2021.

Few Words on Your Mobile App Design Importance

When creating your mobile application, each of the milestones is equally important for the future solution success – from idea researching and validation to the post-launch marketing strategies. Your application’s design is just one of the steps in the development process, however, it directly influences the users’ decision on starting an interaction or abandoning your app. 

There are three main reasons why your mobile application design is essential. 

  • 55% of the first impression your users receive is visual. Thus, the attractiveness and the appropriateness of your application design is your first opportunity to catch the users’ attention and motivate them to proceed with your solution further. 
  • The mobile app design is an integral part of your UI and UX. Even despite the fact that the first impression counts for a large share of the overall one, the last impression is more memorable. In order to make a memorable and, most importantly, positive final impression, you need a well-created UI and UX, which is impossible to create without high-quality design. Thus, design continues to matter at every stage of the user’s interaction with your app and brand.
  • Your design contributes to the holistic impression of your brand. Since mobile app design tutorials are often a part of a brand style guide, your future design contributes to your brand’s recognition and the right users’ associations development.

So, let’s find out how to design an app step by step following the best practices and industry-specific guidelines. 

7 Best Practices in Designing an App in 2021 and Beyond

Here is the step by step mobile app design tutorial with the essentials you need to keep in mind creating your application in 2021. 

Get Started by the Industry Research

Designing your app isn’t just about being creative and finding the best solutions. It’s also about research and analytics, which provides valuable insights to help you create the perfect design based on industry practices, your business goals, your users’ expectations, and the design approaches your competitors are using.

Therefore, before creating the first app layout, it is necessary to analyze once again the portrait of the user, the specifics of your idea, and the market you want to enter.

Analyze the 2021 Design Trends and Follow the Most Suitable Ones

Current trends are also important for your app’s design. Either way, your application must meet some of the relevant trends in order to be competitive.

If to take a comprehensive look at the projects published on Dribbble and Behance by the leading professionals and trendsetters, 2021 promises us the following interesting trends in mobile design.

  • Voice search. Create this feature if your application requires search interaction.
  • Dark background. This is not a universal solution, and therefore it makes sense to give users the choice of using a light or dark background.
  • Futuristic design. This trend will suit your application if your brand style guide also uses futuristic elements, and the future solution implies a lot of innovation.
  • Minimalism. This is a strong trend that has been relevant for several years, but in fact, creating a simple app design is a difficult task, because you need to combine simplicity and efficiency in one workflow without losing the user experience out of focus.

Take the Psychology of Colors Into Account

Since a large part of a user’s first impression is visual, the choice of colors is essential to shaping it. Plus, the colors you choose should form the right associations with your brand and its values. So you need to turn to the psychology of colors in marketing and follow some of the science-proven tips on how to choose the right colors for your future app. 

For example, white and blue are associated with honesty, trust, and stability, which is why this color is used in the development of applications for financial services. In order to find the right colors, you, as a mobile app designer, need to start with your brand’s core values ​​and then match them to colors that reflect those values ​​on a subconscious level.

Follow the Brand Style Guide

Continuing logically from the previous point, do not forget that when choosing the right colors and developing design elements, you still need to be guided by the brand style guide, if any.

This document contains elements that are important both for the design and development of the application and for its subsequent marketing since the user experience that a brand and branded application creates must remain consistent regardless of the communication channel.

Test Each of Your Prototypes

Testing your design is a step you cannot skip while developing your application according to the LEAN methodology. This important step can be broken down into three smaller sub-tasks.

  • UI testing. Your mobile app UI design should be carefully tested with the focus group of your users. As a part of this task, you need to find out whether all UI elements are created right and placed where users expect them to be. 
  • UX testing. As a part of UX testing, you should find out the real-life impression of your users after letting them interact with your prototype. Ask them to share their feedback to find out which design elements enhance/spoil the user experience. 
  • UA testing. The core goal of user acceptance testing is to find out whether your targeted users are really ready to interact with your app using the UI you have developed and getting the corresponding user experience. 

Use the Right Mobile App Design Software

How do you design a mobile app? The right answer also depends on the set of tools you choose for this task. There are a lot of applications that may be useful for designing your application. For example, Figma is the top one for creating future layouts, while Sketch UP is used for future application architecture creation and 3D modeling. 

When choosing the right software to design your application, keep in mind that they should be convenient for teamwork, provide the tools necessary for development for a specific operating system, and also give you the opportunity to implement the specific design, UI, and UX solutions that are necessary to solve the problem of your users. 

Keep Legal Rules and OS Requirements in Mind

Even though the design of your application is a fairly creative process, there are a number of rules and requirements that you need to follow.

First, Android and iOS have their own specific application design requirements, which are driven by the user interface of various devices and the experience that users expect by default.

Moreover, practice shows that it is much easier to publish an application in the Play Market than in the App Store. The reason lies not only in the design requirements but in the overall quality of the future application.

Also, the legal requirements for the design of your mobile application oblige you to familiarize your users with the Terms and Conditions, notify them about the procedure for collecting and storing user data, and also give them the opportunity to independently manage these settings, agreeing or disagreeing with these rules by putting the corresponding checkmarks. 

Conclusion

Thus, designing your application is a creative and technical process at the same time. What’s more, you should never underestimate the importance of the app design and always test the user feedback and impression right on the designing stage, before proceeding with an MVP creation. Feel free to use the practice-proven approaches above to make your application demanded and competitive in 2021.

About the Author

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Mirko Humbert

Mirko Humbert is the editor-in-chief and main author of Designer Daily and Typography Daily. He is also a graphic designer and the founder of WP Expert.