#iOSDevUK – Luke Rogers: The Logic of App Design

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Design is a skill you can learn, the same way development is a skill you can learn.

Design is not about making it look pretty, small percentage of it. About working out hierarchy, working out what is important.

Brainstorm what the user should be able to do.

  • Not “have analytics”
  • Instead “watch a video”

Order it, figure out what is most important. Useful later on in forming the importance in the UI.

Cut out features that you can leave out of v1 at least.

Study other apps. “Good artists copy and great artists steal”, “everything ia a remix” – Kirby Ferguson.

Idea that being creative means having original thoughts. We all sample consciously and unconsciously all the time.

Broaden the way you think about the problem. Most apps are just organising information in a structured way. Can pull from a wide range of apps.

iOS look almost exclusively designed by Apple. Android, almost exclusively apps designed by google. They know the platform best and have thought about it a lot.

Search is an interesting thing to study on iOS. Messages app has hidden search bar, have to scroll. Similar location in email but initially visible. App store and podcasts put search in the tab. Seems inconsistent, but with good reason. Depends on how central use case it is. Main task in app store, less common task in messages.

Reuse is good “things that look similar are similar and should behave in a similar way”.

One have a wireframe, can move to the computer. Like Sketch, more for app design. 35GBP one off purchase.

Not all of your design needs to be exciting. Some things should be functional above everything else.

Nothing is set in stone, everything is iterating the whole time.

Familiar button, because traced over a similar one. Means user are going to understand.

Prototype in keynote. has some great features, helping mock up transitions. Can export a mob, make the size the same as an iPhone screen, make a clickable PDF with clickable buttons. You can run it on your iPhone or iPad.

Keynote iOS is landscape only, need to do everything at 90 degrees. But worth it to get something you can give to people to play with.

Also, XCode. Exported central image and made it scrollable. Can look and see how it would behave.

Consider empty states. What happens when things (e.g. location) are turned off. For error states, look at what other people do. Important when things are going on that users don’t feel frustrated or lost.

Important to get feedback throughout the whole process. Beta testing. Not just about ironing out bugs, also about taking on user feedback, finding out what is confusing them, and being prepared to change stuff.

Valuable time to sort things out before launch. After launch, make sure you have a way for the user to send you feedback. Users invest in the product, make it easy for them to send you feedback. Inform what is important in the next phase of the app.

Process:

  • Brainstorm
  • Study and remix
  • Rough sketch
  • Mockups
  • Prototype

ITERATE

Principles:

  • Focus on structure
  • Sample and remix
  • Don’t be arrogant – don’t think you know better, listen to feedback. don’t have to implement everything but take it onboard and consider it.

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