UI/UX Design and Prototyping - The Basics

UI/UX Design and Prototyping – The Basics


With the global app economy set to reach an estimated value of $6.3 trillion USD in 2021, a large percentage of entrepreneurs and business owners alike are adapting to the inevitable digital transformation and choosing to develop an app for their business or start up.

Gold Coast App Developers Media Shark have detailed the significance of the UI/UX in the app development process and report that it is one of the most important aspects of any mobile app to ensure the user has a great experience and therefore it plays a pivotal role in ensuring the app is a success. 

What is UI?

In layman’s terms UI stands for User Interface and in app development it is the way users interact with the application, when developing the UI, a designer will incorporate colour, branding and visuals.

UI is all about the appearance of the app and the way it represents to the user, this includes, the screens, the pages and all of the buttons. It is important that the app is appealing to the user to entice them to download it from the app store in the first instance. This is what we call “user acquisition”

Colour choice is an essential part of the UI – it is one of the first aspects the user will see. You may already have your branding for your business in place however if the business is new, it is a good idea to take some time discussing the options with your design team. Colours evoke emotions, so it is essential the colour choice of your app evokes the right emotions.

From the top 50 apps in the Food & Drink category in the App Store, 30% of them are red. Red is the colour of urgency and fire which embodies fast food! 

Blue is the colour of choice however for most apps as it evokes dependency and trust. Notable apps which are Blue are Facebook, Linkedin and Papal

What is UX?

UX stands for User Experience and is the process of designing an application with the end user in mind and how they will experience and interact with the platform. The main objective of UX is to improve and enhance the experience and achieve overall “customer satisfaction”

UX focuses on the functionality of the application and how easy it is to use, by improving the user experience and the app’s accessibility you can appeal to a wider audience and thus more downloads!

The registration process is a great example of where a great user experience can be created – if the sign up is quick and easy and there aren’t too many boring, fiddly questions you’re onto a winner; By incorporating the Facebook sign up or Gmail sign up integration, this will save the user time and speed is everything!

The Importance of UI/UX in mobile app development

The app stores are highly competitive places with many organisations now choosing to automate their business, so developing an app with an engaging UI/UX is at the core of its success.

The average person has 40 apps installed on their device, mobile app users want apps that are visually appealing, easy to use and enjoyable

Here are some stats!.

  1. A slow loading speed will be the death of an app, 70% of users will abandon an app if it takes too long to load. Make speed an absolute priority.
  2. Keep it simple – 11% of users reported that they uninstalled an app because it was too confusing or there were technical issues.

There are endless benefits to spending time developing an appealing, user-friendly app. User acquisition and user retention is key to the monetisation of the app and return on investment. 

App development is a costly process which is ongoing with constant updates and maintenance. By capturing a wide base of users the first time round with a killer UI/UX, you allow yourself the freedom to concentrate on the next phase which may be in-app purchasing, subscriptions and advertising.

Lets get Prototyping!

A prototype is a visual mockup of the app, it looks exactly how your developed app will look. The only difference is that there is no code behind it to make it actually function.

Prototyping is crucial prior to moving forward with the development of the application, the benefits of prototyping include the following:

  1. Prototypes build an understanding of how the app will look and feel
  2. A prototype will map out the user journey and give designers and clients the opportunity to collaborate to ensure they are united in their understanding of the app
  3. A prototype will give clear direction to developers
  4. Prototypes save time and money; by building a prototype you wont need to go back and forth with your app development team once the final prototype is approved.
  5. If you are looking to raise investment a prototype is a stepping stone to creating an a top notch MVP

Before a prototype is created however, the designer will need to create wireframes. Wireframes are the “architectural blueprint” and the skeleton of the app idea. Once an overview of the features of the application have been discussed, a designer can sketch out wireframes before working on the more detailed design which will be the prototype.

Why is UI/UX and prototyping important for the growth of the business?

Having a great UI/UX can enhance your brand and your business reputation. Users want a smooth, easy and reliable experience, by offering them that you are well on your way to winning over a loyal customer base & loyal customers keep coming back, which is great for your revenue.

UI/UX designing and prototyping takes time and a lot of research, analysis and testing, but once this part had been completed you will have a fully developed sustainable, flexible product that can be added to which is great if the business is going to continue to grow and if more features are to be added in the future.

By creating a prototype you are reducing the risk and ironing out any bugs that may appear later on. If you are looking to gain investment for the development of your app, creating a prototype will show commitment and build trust that you are fully invested in the idea product on offer. 

Conclusion

The foundation of any successful app is the UI/UX and prototype, spending time on getting this aspect right will pay dividends and can be the key deciding factor in gaining investment if needed.

By doing the research, understanding your demographic and target market and building a team of professionals and experts you trust. Think of your app development team as the production company for your film! By choosing the right team you are setting off on your app development journey on the right track.

Lara Blake is the Business Development Manager for Media Shark, Gold Coast App Developers, who also represent HK Certifiers