One of the things that sets Novaflip apart from its competitors is the fact the we are more than just talented and creative mobile app developers, we are experienced UX/UI experts as well. We pride ourselves on our ability to combine the latest technology and the wants and needs of users, along with the importance of boosting the brand behind the app to create the best possible mobile apps for our clients and their target audience.
While most people have at least heard the terms UX and UI many are not too sure what they really mean, how they differ and why they matter. To allow you to better understand why our approach is important to the overall success of your mobile app, here is a short explanation.
What Is The Difference Between Mobile App UX/UI?
UX refers to ‘user experience’, while the term UI refers to ‘user interface’ Both are crucial to the successful development of a product – including a mobile app – but are more different than you might imagine. Before explaining the key differences it’s helpful to define what each of them is individually.
Unlike UX design, user interface design is a term reserved for use in the digital realm. It is, in terms of mobile apps, the point of interaction between the user and the app and it involves the considerations that need to be made involving the look, feel and function of the app.
Good mobile app UI design makes sure that the app interface is intuitive and has to take into account all the visual elements a user will encounter as they use the app. UI Design covers things like colour schemes and font types, images, icons, responsive design and more.
Now you can see how UX and UI are different…
…but both essential. UX design in the mobile app space involves identifying potential user problems and how they can be solved. UI design is about creating the aesthetically-pleasing, highly interactive interfaces users want to see in a mobile app.
Both disciplines are very important, and they have to work well together. Working with a team that can oversee both these design processes and then implement them into a fully functional end product offers you huge advantages over trying to work with different, scattered teams and trying to make them all work together.
A term first coined in the mid Nineties UX, or UX design, covers any interactions between a user and UX Design encompasses, in the mobile app space, all interactions between a user and the app.
In fact, as a process, UX design can be applied to almost anything; cars, physical shops, furniture and much more, but here we are talking about it in digital terms. UX design in the mobile focuses on how users will feel and act as they navigate through an app’s interface. It is not about aesthetics or visuals. UX design focuses on the overall feel of the user’s experience with an app.
The Importance of UX/UI Working Together
There are all kinds of examples, not just in the mobile app space, of instances in which UX and UI design don’t quite work together. An app may look great but function poorly. Or work very well but look, well, ugly. And these things can mean that what is essentially a good mobile app won’t gain the traction it should because the UX and UI design elements don’t work together well.
The Novaflip UX/UI Design Process
So, how does the Novaflip team ensure that the UX/UI design elements work together as they should? Which of them is considered first? Who makes those design decisions and how? Here’s a brief explanation of our basic UX/UI design process.
IDENTIFYING USE NEEDS AND USERS
The first step in the UX/UI process as we execute it at Novaflip is to address just what the client wants an app to do and who will be making use of it. As custom mobile app developers we can build apps that can do almost anything, but the following are just a few examples of some commonly requested features that you may want incorporated into your own app:
These are just a handful of the things a mobile app can be created to offer. The fact is that the sky is almost the limit, especially as the hardware these apps are used on continues to evolve.
The first step…
…in the creation of each unique mobile app is to sit down with the client to discover what they need, and want their app to offer and then begin the UX design process to determine how that is going to be achieved.
Once we have a UX framework mapped…
…we ensure that it is tested with real life users. This allows us to discover what works well, what does not work so well, what more users might want from the app and anything that stalls their journey through it. Only when this is in place do we move on to UI Design.
However, once we begin the UI process, UX still has a part to play, and an important one. For example, the shape, colour and font chosen to use to create a button is all a part of UI design. However, the usability of it – where it’s placed, the size, what happens when a user touches it, that’s all still UX.
Why End to End App Mobile App Development Creates a Better Product
As we are expertly versed in UX/UI design as well as app development, and we have the partnerships necessary to bring the app to market with a ‘buzz’ we are true end to end mobile app developers, something that creates a mobile app product that is the best it can possibly be. One team of skilled, creative and committed individuals work together from start to finish. Nothing is outsourced to people we don’t quite know or trust. We know that this means the mobile apps we create are better products, and if you choose to work with us, you’ll find out for yourself that that is indeed the case.
This is the standard approach and helps convey your idea most effectively. From these sketches we will form a set of wireframes that show the flow of the app from a user’s perspective, enabling us to find any holes early and to be able to communicate effectively.
We can also use the wireframe to estimate and break down the app into smaller deliverables to mitigate risk.
This always helps, but we may create our own user flow wireframes too.
I have icons and graphics (UI) from a designer, will you be able to use them and him as we use the same designer for all our work?
No problem at all…
…we will hopefully be able to work with your designer directly to discuss the finer details of the design, to give the look and feel that they require.
A wireframe on its own will show a screen without any styling, we can use these to drive our functionality first approach.
We go one step further…
…though and create flow wireframes, these show all the screens of the app and highlight the connections in the app, for example when a user taps a button it might show another screen. The wireframe shows this with an arrow.
By working in deliverable sprints, we can estimate the developer time required for a subset of functionality. These sprints represent milestones in the app and let us put a flag in the sand and mark work as done and show progress.
Without these you can get into a situation where ‘everything is nearly done’ which tends to lead to nothing being finished! We have seen this working for many other agencies in our previous lives as contractors and know the better way is to create milestones, for our and your sanity.