The process of creating mobile applications. Our experience.

Maxim Shishkin
19 September 2017

01. Analyze

Usually, after I get new project and need to make design for mobile app I deep into a phase of absorbing any information about the customer as well as all possible product / service features. At this stage I study all possible customers documentation. But it may happen that there is no documentation exist. In this case I use my own «virtual library of images and solutions» based on my experience to prepare first draft concept and display projects frames.

Frankly speaking, I do not have unified technology for making any application that I could apply to all projects. Everything depends on the client. In the process of dialogue, I feel can I take the initiative to propose my own vision or customer has his own strict point of view on the project.

When client does not have a clear vision, I create “dry” wireframes in order not to spend time for drawing out details. My goal at this stage is to be sure that our vision to the project are similar. But sometimes such approach uncomfortable for some customers. They need to see final screenshots to proceed discussion.

02. Wireframes or the first screen?

If after reviewing the information about the project and after first dialogue I feel that the customer agrees with us – I can start drawing detailed main screen. Thus, I set up general design concept for the future application. Despite the fact that I have vision of app navigation I do not fix it, paying attention only to the first screen that will set up the tempo to the other ones.

No matter if I go towards making all wireframes or focused just on the «first screen» it is not enough for client who expects to see more than gray schemes or only a single screen. That is why I usually prepare presentation to create positive environment for discussing project.

03. Primary presentation

Presentation is a highly effective business tool to display design concept. In case of wireframes, I can link them using MarvelApp. In case of “first screen” concept I can convert it to realistic mockup commenting why this or that solution was applied. Whenever possible I insert animation using After Effects (and not only on the early stages, but also on the later steps as well).

04. The first discussion with the client design

Next phase is a discussion of our proposal with the client. Getting feedback, I realize more deeply future of the design process as well as clients expectations.

In the most cases, client likes 80% of proposed concepts asking to make some changes. Our focus on these 20% of changes are very important as for client who wants to see the whole picture as well as for our team to clarify many possible projects aspects.

05. Further process

After this stage, design process getting much easier. Knowing the borders and having vector of development I proceed creating screen by screen with predefined priorities.

In case of small application, I can prepare all screens (generally it takes 3-4 days) and present them to the client. If, however, application is big enough I try to divide design into small groups (entities). Using such approach, it’s really easier not to get confused.

06. There are situations…

There are such cases when the client insists on his own solution to be implemented. I analyze it and in case I see risks in such solutions I always inform client about them and we together review the concept to find the best one.

Having professional background there is always temptation to insist on my own point of view as a “dictator”. But it is very important to avoid such approach, especially when client see future of development very smoothly, and need to be loyal explaining advantages and disadvantages of proposed future vision.

07. Technical question

• Use MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid 2012)
• Get inspiration from Pinterest, Behance, Dribbble
• Develop design using Sketch Version 4.1.2
• Create interactive mockups in Marvel
• Create animation in After Effects
• Export ready to use specifications in Zeplin

The End