Tick follows tock, follows tick, follows tock. The time has come. You are seconds away from hitting the submit button to upload your app. It’s a moment you’ve been waiting for, for months.  

Hang on for a moment! Have you checked if your UI (user interface) – UX (user experience) is going to lure your customers to download the app and make it an instant hit? 

If the answer is “not really” then read on to become Pixel Perfect!

First things first, if you are a developer and planning to design your own app, you should drop that idea and hire a designer. Your job as developer is to make sure that the inside is impeccable. Now leave the outside to a pro.  Because even if you are a super coder your creation will only come to life once a designer gives wings to your coding. Your customer doesn’t care how many hours you have put in to perfect the code. They only care about whether your app serves the purpose, is bug-free, offers a great experience and how good it looks, visually. 

So let’s see how can we make your apps look super-cool by eliminating the following mistakes. 

Hard at work, a developer needs to be creative

Hard at work, a developer needs to be creative

Mistake #1: Reinventing the wheel. 

The process of developing an app is a) Idea b) Research c) Wireframes (UX and UI) d) Design f) Coding. In most cases, if you are an indie dev or an app creator you’ll jump from point B to point F, and then try to retrofit point D while sometimes completely eliminating point C. Let’s not reinvent the wheel. Follow the process so that you do not miss out on any of the crucial steps. 

Mistake #2: Hiring a friend (read taking a favour) 

Like any other business your app needs to be managed by a professional. And you should not expect UI/UX designers to do charity in lieu of their precious time and expertise. Even if you are appointing a friend make sure you pay for the effort. This will ensure accountability plus a better output. 

Mistake #3: Wireframes are a waste of time. Let’s skip it. 

You must have used Tweetbot or Instagram. Apart from cool graphics what these apps offer is an amazing UX. And to create such UX you first need to jot down your thoughts, and then translate them into wireframes. If you eliminate wireframes, well then you are eliminating your chance to stand out in the crowd. 

So how can you become Pixel Perfect? 

Step 1. Design for mobile, not web (or print)

How different can it be to design a mobile app from designing a website? It’s poles apart. On web, the interaction is between the cursor and pixels. And on mobile, it’s between the fingers and pixels. On web, it’s mouse clicks. On mobile, it’s gestures.  As you can see designing for mobiles is a completely new ballgame.  It’s a personal and people-centric platform. Hence, designs should be able to create a connection between users and apps. 

Step 2.  You are selling an experience and not just a piece of art

Designing for mobile devices requires a dedication to UX beyond anything that has been witnessed in designing for the web. Designers who have the easiest transition to mobile are those who embrace a high standard of usability and creativity. The idea that designing for the UX first somehow deflates creative potential is the exact opposite of reality. You’re not just designing apps, you’re designing products with planning and attention to detail. 

Step 3. Template vs. Custom Designed

With 700,000+ active apps on iOS, do you think you stand a chance with design templates provided by Apple? Bet not. Just having the budget for good coders isn’t enough; a budget must also exist for a designer to create custom graphics. 

Step 4. Photoshop rules!

What software do you need to design apps? Good news – it’s Photoshop! That said vector shapes are also a big part of designing for mobile devices. So instead of saving an Illustrator file as .png, import it to Photoshop, and play with it. 

Step 4. Be insanely simple

Last but not the least, to be Pixel Perfect you need to be insanely simple in your design and your thoughts.  As Steve Jobs said, “Simple can be harder than complex.” And Pixel Perfect is the direct outcome of being insanely simple. It’s the art that will act as a key to your app’s success. 

Publish date: November 8, 2012 10:37 am| Modified date: December 19, 2013 3:59 am

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