All That You Need to Know About App Design


App Builder Appy Pie: So you have a great idea for an app and are raring to get the app in the market as soon as possible and get the app up and running. In such cases, in a hurry most of the app owners and app developers tend to ignore one of the most important aspect of the app development process – the design of the app. The design of the app includes the aesthetics and the navigation of the app primarily. The user interface and the user experience of the app play an important role in the success of the app. You are eventually building the app for your users and if they do not respond well, or do not like the UI & UX of your app, they are not going to come back to it, no matter how technically strong and fast, and responsive your app may be.

Whether you decide to go and publish your app on the App Store, Google Play Store or any other platform, there is going to be a stiff competition and you would have to find a way to stand apart from them. In this overcrowded space, if you want people to sit up and take notice of your app, you would need to make sure that your app is remarkable in at least one way that matters to the users or your target audience.

“First impression is the last impression” might sound like a cliché to most, but it holds true to the tee, especially when it comes to mobile apps. One of the best ways to make your app stand out and cast a stellar impression is by applying a fabulous creative design on it, that is the aesthetics part of app design. The users or the targeted users, look at the app design even before they download the app. No matter how much of a rush you might be in, it always pays to spend some time working on improving the visual appeal of the app.

When it comes to the aesthetic design there are certain basic elements of design that must be considered viz. Color, Line, Shape, Texture’ Space, and Form. However, when it comes to the design of a mobile app, it is the color theme that takes the highest precedence.

What comes to your mind when you see a red cola can from distance, or big yellow arches, or a half bitten silver apple? If you are like most other people and have even a little bit of awareness, you have already associated Coca Cola, Mc Donald’s, or Apple with it. In all these cognitive relationships that you instantly formed, color plays a big role. This is the one element that is predominantly responsible for brand identification & for brand association.

It is important that you understand that for a mobile app, the color theme that you choose, is more than mere aesthetics, it is in fact it is one of the vital components that constitute the brand identity and the brand experience extended by your app.

When you set out to build your own app, it is important that you choose a color theme that is correlated to your existing brand identity and the website if you already have one so that your transition is smooth across all channels. However, if you are all set to launch a new business from scratch and are planning to develop a mobile app as a part of your launch plan, then you need to pay special attention to the colors you choose and what they say about you, your business, and your mobile app.

Color & Branding

When used efficiently, color wields a lot of power. It can turn into one of the most effective and impactful modes of communication. Like we talked earlier, we have the ability to immediately recognize or identify with a brand just by looking at a certain color on the product, and we do not even have to try! The ability of the colors to convey any particular message is more universal and faster than words. This means whenever you see a bright yellow, you are going to associate it with happiness, you see blue and you are going to automatically think of calm, peace, stability, and black would speak of power. This means a product that has yellow as a predominant color in its branding is going to exude energy and bounce, and cheerfulness. In case you choose to go with blue, you are going to help your users feel calm and help them relax.

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When you are a business owner who is in the process of picking up their colors, you would have to look into and leverage the color psychology before you go ahead and choose your color palette or color theme for branding and then your app.

The role colors play in branding can be demonstrated further with the example of the fast food industry to understand the influence of colors. It is also important that you understand that the choice of colors need to be a little adaptable and should change if the general opinion of the target market. There was a time when this market was only flooded with reds and yellows that symbolized, speed, energy, efficiency – all qualities that you would associate with a fast food joint. In the recent years, however things have changed, and the industry has witnessed a shift.

The most obvious example here would be that of McDonald’s who were iconic in their use of the big yellow ‘M’ over a recognizable red background. In keeping with the recent change in trends, their branding while retaining the iconic M in yellow has a lot more of greens and other natural colors. This change is in tune with the recent shift of interest towards healthy living. The new colors are chosen to extend the impression that the brand is offering fast food that is healthier than their competitors.

Green becomes a natural choice if your brand is all about nature, health, and wellbeing, which is probably what prompted McDonald’s to opt for the color to fall in line with the current trend of people opting for healthier lifestyles and better eating habits. What Green is doing is that it is helping the consumers subconsciously believe that what they are eating is healthy, is sustainably sourced, and in general something that is ‘good food’.

Colors & the associations we form with them

Colors, like we mentioned earlier have a deep connection with our psychology and wield a certain influence over our emotions forming certain unique associations. Each color represents different things and is known to lead us to varied emotional responses.

For fun, and for a better understanding let us try and understand what different colors can relate to.

  • Red
    The color red is associated with warmth, rage, rusticity, exhilaration, power, strength, passion, love, blood, and all the extreme emotions. It is believed that red can provide impetus to impulse buying. History however associates red with royalty, majesty, triumph, but also with violence & blood.

    Emotional Response

    Red can be emotionally a very intense color. The color has the ability to enhance the natural human metabolism, increase the normal rate of respiration, and to increase the blood pressure. The color has a very high visibility, which is probably why objects like fire equipment, stop signals, and stop signal on the traffic lights are all red. Apart from this in context of heraldry, red symbolizes courage, earning it a place in many a flags.

  • Yellow
    Yellow, as a color is associated with value, sunlight, joy, treachery, brilliance, and the Orient. Since this is the color oft associated with the sunlight, it has come to symbolize cheer and springtime. The color naturally claims a lot of attention and does that quite quickly. If anything it has the ability to surpass the high visibility that the color red enjoys.

    Emotional Response

    Yellow has a spontaneous warming impact, bringing about a measure of cheerfulness, stimulating mental activity, and generating a kind of tangible muscle energy. Yellow is also the color most often associated with food. Characteristically, the bright and pure yellow is kind of an attention getter which is why this is the color chosen for taxicabs the world over. However, if you were to go overboard with this color, you might only achieve unrest, which is probably why babies tend to cry more in a yellow room. In context of heraldry, yellow is a color of honor & that of loyalty, but ironically later the color was associated with cowardice.

  • Blue
    Earmarked as a color of knowledge and serenity, blue is known for its characteristics of coolness, offering an ethereal experience, representing the infinite, a sense of significance, repose, and formality. It oft represents the sky, the sea, and the ice. Historically the color blue is used to symbolize truth, purity, loyalty, compassion, & serenity and this association continues to this day.

    Emotional Response

    The color has a definite positive impact on the body and the mind. The color naturally slows the body metabolism, thus inducing a feeling of relaxation and calm. This is a color most often associated with tranquility & peace. In context of heraldry, blue has always symbolized piety & sincerity.

  • Purple
    The color of royalty – Purple has also always had a strong religious connotation to it. It is the fabled color of the shadows, which is why it has had a bit of a mystery associated to it.

    Emotional Response

    This color brings together the inherent stability associated with the color blue and the dynamic energy of the color red. The color exudes power, nobility, indulgence, and ambition. The color is also associated with extravagance and prosperity. Purple inherently suggests knowledge, dignity, independence, ingenuity, mystery, and magic.

  • Orange
    When red and yellow come together to form orange there is an abundance of light and heat. The color brings with it an immense pride and a certain ambition. The color is naturally associated with sunshine and warmth, thus bringing along cheerfulness.

    Emotional Response

    The natural energy of red combines with the cheerfulness of yellow to form orange. The color is most often associated with joy, sunshine, and especially t he tropics! The color orange exudes eagerness, allure, happiness, creativity, fortitude, attraction, success, motivation, and inspiration.

  • Black
    Black is the color of gloom, death, evil, sorrow, mourning, and a general disorientation due to lack of light. The color also symbolizes a certain strength and authority which is why there is a certain formality. Elegance, and prestige associated with it. (Think black tie!)

    Emotional Response

    An inherently mysterious color black is associated most commonly with fear and the unknown. The color has a natural negative connotation to it, hence the terms blacklist, black humor etc. emerging in use. In context of heraldry, black is the color of grief.

  • Green
    A unique combination of light with serenity, and joy with restraint, blue and yellow come together to form green which has come to be associated with the spring season, freshness, hope, envy, and the eternal life. Green is the color of nature and it has the ability to alleviate all kinds of stress bringing about a unique restfulness.

    Emotional Response

    Green is believed to possess healing power. The color is believed to be the most restful color for the eyes and has the ability to improve the vision. Most easily associated with stability and endurance, green is sometimes also used to symbolize lack of experience like greenhorn (novice). In context of heraldry, green is the color of growth and that of hope. Green is considered to be the color of safety, which is probably why this is the chosen signal for “GO” on the traffic lights.

This should help you understand that your favorite color might not be ideal for branding your business or for your mobile app. The color theme that you finally pick for your mobile app and for the brand you are building must reflect your brand promise, your target market, and the personality of your business. In doing so, there is a probability that you come up with a color that you do not particularly like but is perfect to represent your business while bringing in the right kind of audience.

You can even go for more than one color if you feel that is the right thing to do. It is important though to remember that the color you choose would have the best impact only when it is present in large dosage. Hence if you were to choose a greater number of colors, you would end up diluting the emotional impact of the color that you were banking on.

Designing A Logo for Your App

If you are a small business who is still shaping up its brand image & identity and lending it a recognizable personality, chances are you have been pondering upon the feasibility of getting a professionally designed logo for your brand.

A logo is essentially a graphic symbol, mark, or maybe an emblem that is used by any entity to help them promote public recognition. It can range from a design that is abstract or figurative or may even include the text of the name that it represents in form of a logotype or wordmark.

Though rudimentary, but this definition of a logo is near accurate! They are an important part of your company and all that it represents. The iconic Nike Swoosh, the yellow arches of McDonald’s, or the three-pronged star logo of Mercedes-Benz are some of the simplest, yet the most well recognized ones too! Irrespective of where you live or which language you speak, you can simply take a look at the logo and identify the name of the company. The memorability of the logos is such that sometimes even if you do not remember the name of the company, you would recognize the logo simply because of its basic elements like font, shape, or even the color! That is the magic of a logo.

Why Your App Needs A Logo?

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The brand identity that you have so painstakingly built for your company needs to translate to every channel of promotion and operation. The logo you designed is not merely to be applied on your physical store and website, but also on the hottest channel of promotion today – your mobile app! While you are designing your app, make sure that the logo finds its place in it. If, however, you need reasons why this should happen, let’s help you out with that as well.

1) Brand Recognition

A logo is an extension of your identity. It has the ability to mark a sort of ownership on all that is yours! When there is a logo on any of your products, promotional material like flyers or free gifts, your website or anything else, it becomes clear that it all belongs to your company. On your app too, the logo is a sign of ownership that you imprint for your audience to see and associate with. Your logo would tell everyone who looks at it, what you are all about, what products you are selling and what kind of value and benefits you would be extending to them.

2) Lures in New Customers

This is a world of content, imagery, and all things visual. Gone are the days of monochrome and today the audience or the consumers are looking for some of the more interesting designs and colors. An interesting logo that is designed as per the modern tastes and expectations not just attracts a wider audience to your physical place of business, but also encourages them to download your app, explore it, and then convert into a paying consumer as well. A great logo that is displayed on your app would not just draw their attention, but also pique the curiosity of prospective customers nudging them to take a look at the app, and maybe then add to your revenue.

3) Sets Your App & Company Apart

Let’s say you own a Pizzeria in Brooklyn. Tough competition eh! It’s nothing compared to the millions of apps you are going to be competing on both the prominent app stores. With such a competitive market in the physical world and in the digital space, it is as important as it is difficult to set yourself apart. When you have a logo that sets you apart from the million other logos with big pizza slices and mustachioed chefs grinning back at you, you and your pizzeria is going to stand apart! A good logo on your storefront and your app or website can actually help you make your own name & establish a strong space in the minds of consumers!

4) Enhances Brand Loyalty

People love familiarity. This is an established fact, and it is quite common for people to find comfort in a logo that they have come to recognize and love. A sense of loyalty for your brand is only strengthened by a logo that the consumers have come to associate with you.

5) Brings Omnipresence

Your logo is your promotion and advertisement. Wherever you place it, whether it is your packaging, products, social media, website or any place else, a logo can be a great way to advertise your brand and your message unswervingly. A well-developed brand message that is efficiently associated with the brand logo can ensure omnipresence.

6) Represents Your Business

A logo that is effectively placed on your app would go a long way in representing your business without having to use too many words. A brand logo that is designed to align with the core characteristic traits & qualities of a brand would do well to represent your business in its most accurate sense.

7) Evokes Emotional Response

Like brand colors, logos also help in developing an emotional relationship with any product or brand. Hence, when you are picking colors for your pizzeria, warm colors or colors of the Italian flag might be a good idea, and when you are selecting the colors for a logo of your high-end stationery brand black, steel grey and white may be great for you to indicate professionalism and sophistication.

If you are looking at designing logo for your app and for your brand, chances are, you are like most other people who are not expert graphic designers. In this case, it is natural for you to go looking for some kind of help. As a small business owner, it is quite natural that you might not have the resources in terms of time, money and people to dedicate to the development of a logo for your app and your brand. However, that does not mean you can not have a professionally designed logo for your business. There are a great number of online logo makers to your rescue.

Designing the Right Splash Screens

While you are designing your own mobile app, you must pay attention to every little detail possible. There are a million things that are important when you are all set to create an app to proliferate your business. Every little detail must be directed towards making a favorable impression on the prospective customers so that they not only remember you for a long time to come but remember you with reverence and fondness.

First impressions in particular matter a great deal when it comes to getting a good number of people who would not just explore our brand-new app, but also convert into loyal customers. This means that when the app users are using your app, the first thing that they come across on it has to have the appeal to attract their attention and to keep them hooked enough in order to ensure that they do not navigate away from your app and take their business elsewhere. On an app, a user would first be exposed to the splash screen and see it every time they launch the app or reboot it.

What Is A Splash Screen?

A splash screen is a kind of a graphical control element that consists of a window containing an image, a logo, and the current version of the app. The splash screen is typically what you see when you are trying to launch an app, a game, or a software.

Significance of A Splash Screen

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A splash screen can offer you one of the greatest opportunities to make an impression on the users about what lies ahead, if they decide to go further and explore your app. Only when you are able to make this impression a favorable one, can you sell your products and services to a prospective customer. Hence it is of great significance that you strike the right cord with the app users right from the start. Appy Pie, with its rich experience has formulated a list of tips to get you started on designing your very own splash screen that is sure to impress your audience.

Tips to Make A Great First Impression with Your Splash Screen Design

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Splash screen on your mobile app is more than a mere graphic, it is what your app users would see first! This is the first impression that you are going to make on your prospective customers. You can either make a favorable impression every time they interact with your app and make them want to come back for more, or you can create an impression of someone who is inexperienced and inefficient who could not even t design a good splash screen for their app

1) Be Creative, Yet Remember to Keep It Simple

The users who would come across your splash screen would not really be spending a whole lot of time on it (hopefully), because you would definitely want them to engage with the internal content, deals, services, offers and myriad other features that you have painstakingly created. Hence, the design of your splash screen must be simple, but that doesn’t mean it should be ordinary. Hence it is important that you let your creative juices flow and explore different combinations of colors, logos, and backgrounds.

Since you already have a logo in place by now, it is a good idea to use and place it at a primary spot on your splash screen. This instantly introduces you as a brand to the app users. However, do not for once think that you can make use of this space to launch into a babble about you, your company, the history, or to brag about how you offer the best in industry. Keep the text to an absolute minimum for this part of the app. The fact that you have an exemplary app for your business already is establishing you as a market leader, there is no need to overkill at this point.

However, it is important to understand that humans are inherently visual any kind of graphics or imagery is naturally going to appeal to them. Hence, understand that playing around with different elements is a good idea, quite like the way you would do while designing your website.

2) Remember to Accommodate for The Million Screen Sizes in The Market

How many different kinds of mobiles do you think exist today? A big number, right? There are not only a great number of brands, but also quite a great number of models for each. Each of this different model & brand then has its own screen size & resolution. For example, if you were designing a splash screen for iPhone X, and completely forget about all those iPhone users who have been using the older versions, you are offering a less than quality experience to this huge user group. They might be welcomed to your app with a splash screen that might be distorted or disproportionate.

3) Put on An Experimental Hat

Like most other first attempts it might so happen that your first design does not fit all the criteria for perfection that you set out with. However, don’t let it get to you! It is of great importance that you experiment with the design of your splash screen by trying out different background colors, logo placement, and placement of any other graphics you might be placing on it.

There are a number of online and offline graphic tools which can help you out in this experimental phase and you can keep exploring, keep designing, and then redesigning your splash screen until you reach satisfactory results.

4) Do Not Forget to Have Some Fun

Designing your own splash screen can be a lot of fun! Make the personality of your brand and the company come alive through the design of your splash screen, build an appropriate theme and adopt suitable styling. When you induce your brand’s character into designing your splash screen, it automatically becomes a whole lot of fun and you are filled with that much coveted and anticipated feel good notion that is typically associated with design. But, even as you are doing this, make sure that you keep your design simple, because you don’t want the app visitors to be overwhelmed with any kind of visual clutter on your app.

5) Flaunt How Awesome Your Brand Is!

In the past, one of the main ways for the brands to display any message to the customers was through a logo and the motto. A splash screen doesn’t really work well to show off how great your brand is in an appealing & visual manner. You can, instead try and capture the attention of the app users by way of some amazing visuals that showcase the culture, ethics, and the true spirit of the brand.

These visuals might include images of some of your greatest work, the dedicated team that would serve your clients, or even a whole set of images that would exhibit what to expect once the users enter the app.

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