How to Design a Creative App for iPhone?

Originally Posted By Ryan Mach  | January 30, 2015  | 3-min read
Ruchi Gohri on August 31, 2020  
Design an app for iphone - Appy Pie

Want to design an app for iPhone? Not sure where to start? Well, you are in the right place! For app developers, one of the most intimidating challenges is to get their app approved by Apple’s App Store App Review Team. You can get through this easily if your app has been perfectly designed.

Today, we will take you through the rundown of the basics you need to know to be able to design an excellent iPhone app. These great app design tips will help you get through Apple’s review process and have your app launched in the App Store in no time.
Design an App for iOS - Appy Pie

Key Tips to Help You Design an App for the iPhone?

Here are a few simple steps to design an app for the iPhone.

  1. Intuitive Touchscreen Interface
  2. Your app must go with the intuitive and flexible interface of iPhone devices. To create the perfect app design, track your app users’ behavior by checking what they are doing with your app and how they are navigating and holding the device.

  3. One Screen at a Time
  4. While creating app pages, focus on the major purpose of each screen. Create a list of all the possible number of additional buttons, options, and other controls that can help users to achieve that goal. Make sure you don’t have too much going on one screen at a time.

  5. Create A Great App Icon
  6. Focus on what your app does while creating an app icon. The icon must look visually appealing as iOS users are very selective about what icons they would add to their home screens. Take time to create every size of the icon as per the requirements.

    Here is a video to help you create an excellent app icon.

    (Above video is a part of a more elaborate course on Academy by Appy Pie. To access the complete course, please Click Here, or continue reading below.)

  7. Pay Attention to Apple’s Conventions
  8. Your app’s UI design must show its functions clearly. Make sure you offer almost same functions that other iOS apps offer. For example, a blue button to complete actions and a red button to delete anything.

  9. Use High-Quality Textures
  10. Give your app a touch of quality by using the high-quality graphics and textures. This not only gives class to your object but also, it provides your app with a high-end feel and look that will increase its professed value.

  11. Device-Centric Approach
  12. Perform analysis to find out where and how your app is going to be used. In the case of an iPad, the peak entertainment hours could be in the evening or bedtime, but iPhones can be used at any time of the day while sitting in a coffee shop or standing on a bus. Consider different usage scenarios throughout the design process.

  13. Use Large buttons
  14. When it comes to creating the app buttons, they should be large enough to be tapped easily and not too close to each other. This helps you simplify the app usage and not pack too many controls in a single area of the screen.

  15. Gather Inspirational Reference Material
  16. When designing the visual appearance of your app, gathering some inspirational reference material can help you put together a mood board, for instance. This way you can not only just create a fully neutral app, but also that imitates real-life materials like metal, stone, or leather. Try to come up with different color palettes and combinations for different experiences.

  17. Lock Down the Main Feature Set
  18. Make sure your app has all the core features that similar apps would have. This helps you refine and develop the concept of your app further. It polishes the look without any confusion about adding new app elements.

  19. Introduce the Visual Wow Factor
  20. App Interface must be simple and intuitive. Try to introduce a visual wow factor to help users feel completely at home. They must not need any guides or tutorials and should be able to use your app right after they open it.

  21. Plan the Basic Navigation Framework
  22. Plan and create the basic navigation framework first and then add the main functional blocks. To make this task easy, you can draw a flowchart of your app and then try to connect all the screens and dots.

  23. Design of Graphical Elements
  24. To design your app for different screen sizes, you can design your graphical elements as vectors and then import them into photoshop. This way you can fine-tune them as per your preferred screen resolutions and sizes. Also, you can modify them wherever required.

  25. Use Single-Stylistic Theme
  26. Your app theme must feel appropriate with the functions of the app. The single-stylistic theme helps you deliver a consistent experience to your app users.

    Things to Remember While Creating an iPhone App

    Since this is your first time building an iOS app you do not have the practical knowledge or experience that is needed, I’m here to help you out.
    As I have built my share of iOS apps myself and have assisted a fair number of people who are new to iOS app development, there are some things I learnt through my journeys.

    So here are the things that I learnt the hard way and would like to tell you aforehand, so that you do not have to go through the same struggle that I and a lot of other developers have to go through during their first experience of iOS app development.

    1. It is absolutely imperative that you join Apple’s developer program at the earliest
    2. Now, it is only natural that as a first time iOS developer, you would want to keep your expenses to the minimum and delay the moment when you would have to cough up any kind of money.

      Many first time iOS app developers tend to delay registering for Apple’s Developer Program because they do not want to pay the $100 at the initial stages of development.

      It is true that there are some cool ways to test run your app and you might have done that as you were developing your app. However, it is highly likely that once you get into the program you are going to discover that your app is totally unfit and incompatible to the devices or the platform. This means that you would have to do a lot of tweaking and in the worst-case scenario might even have to rebuild the whole thing.

      On the contrary, if you had joined the program at the beginning, you would not have to waste all that time being counterproductive. The program also has many resources to offer that can be especially handy if you are a beginner.

      It is therefore imperative that you join Apple’s developer program as soon as possible.

    3. Seek consultation from a variety of sources especially at the ideation stage
    4. You might think that you have some great ideas and you might actually have a great one too. Now it is tempting to get on with it and dive into the development process of your iOS app so that you can finish it and release it to the target audience, but I suggest taking a little time with this.

      Consult with friends, family, or close people first, and find out what they think about it. Would they download an app like that? Is there anything they want to change on it?

      Only when you see a positive reaction from a majority of these people that you should get working on your idea. If you ignore their opinion and go on to build something that only you think is great, there is a good chance you are going to end up making an app that no one wants to download, even though it is on App Store

    5. Studying is great, but it is the practice which will take you places
    6. If you are going to develop iOS apps you would most certainly have to learn XCode and Objective-C – the languages that are used by iOS, and this is something that you simply have to do.

      You might take a course, read books, read blog posts, and even watch a lot of tutorial videos, but that is not going to be enough. Practice is all that is important and that is the only thing that will get you anywhere good. So, every trick that you read about, every procedure or technique you watch a video about, or anything that you come across on a blog is only of any use, if you practice it.

      Practice across as many devices as you can including your PC, netbook, iPad, and even a phone.

    7. Keep your expectations under restraint and protect yourself from undue disappointment
    8. It is quite common for the first time iOS app developers to think that the moment that they put their app up on the App Store, they are going to get rich. But, it isn’t as rosy as you might think.

      There are millions of apps on the App Store and the one that you create has to be really special to be noticed by people. Hence, if you expect that the moment you launch your app on the app store you would have people lining up for installs, chances are you are going to be disappointed.

      Go in with the awareness that you probably would not gain instant popularity and be super rich overnight.

    9. Expect a lot of paperwork coming your way
    10. It might be easy to develop an iOS app, but it may even be extremely time consuming. Once you are finally done with the app development part, you can’t simply go ahead and think that the toughest part of the process is done. You would have to invest a whole lot of time in getting your app published on the App Store.

      Apple has a long process of submission with very specific rules, guidelines, and restrictions which come with a whole lot of paperwork which need to be take care of before your app can make its way on to the App Store.


    I am sure you have mapped a plan for creating an app. And this article makes you ready for your app design. So, I guess you are almost done with learning what you needed to develop a perfect iPhone app. Once you are done creating it, you would need to market and promote it so that it could reach out to the maximum number of users.

    All this will be taken care of in one go if you prefer using Appy Pie’s AppMakr to create and develop your free iPhone app. With Appy Pie’s AppMakr, you can create an app without using any code and that too in just a few minutes. We offer various app design templates that you can use to take care of everything that you need to get your app approved on the App Store. We not only help you test and publish your app in the app store but also, we help you with creating your very own app marketing strategy.

    Go through this course on Appy Pie Academy to learn how you can promote your app to get the maximum downloadsMobile App Marketing Strategy & App Monetization for Free.

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    Founder and CEO of Appy Pie

    App Builder

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