Designing Mobile Apps
Index of contents

Final Thoughts

In the chapters of this book, we’ve taken you through the entire app development and design process, from conception to publication.

We’ve developed the concepts we consider most interesting at each stage, as well as those not often found in operating system manuals and guidelines. The latter are the result of our personal experiences, information that, without a doubt, would have made our lives easier when we began.

We hope you make the most out of our words and take them as a starting point for your own investigation. Each subject covered is immensely rich, and it is impossible to include them completely in one book. You will surely be more interested in some topics than others, and we recommend you to use the links provided to broaden your knowledge.

The Best is Yet to Come

Once you have finished this book, you’ll be ready to put what you’ve learned into practice. There is no need to wait until a client requests a new project. You can start by making your own apps. Even if they don’t turn into published and profitable products, they will serve as useful learning tools and help you to devise your own ways of solving problems.

Just one phone can be enough to get started in this world. Use it with awareness, and make critical observations of how others have built their apps. This way of interacting with your smartphone should become, from this moment on, standard practice.

Make the most of basic tools like a pen and paper to sketch out your ideas, write down concepts and evolve. You need nothing but your imagination. And who knows, those rough sketches may end up being the next big thing in mobile.

The Role of the Designer

We firmly believe that the designer’s role goes beyond the traditional stereotype of an interface builder. Design is an incredibly interesting discipline that is full of possibilities and forking paths, especially because of its close relationship with technology. In an app, we can talk about information, interaction and visual design.

It’s normal to identify more with and feel more attached to certain roles in a project. Performing the same role continuously over time is what makes you a specialist. But what really makes you a professional is having knowledge that goes beyond the borders of your particular field of interest. In our case, it’s knowing how the other stages of design and development of the app are executed. As such, interaction and integration with the other members of a team are essential in generating the synergy needed to build better-quality apps.

A designer must be involved in the entire process, even the parts that are more technical and tedious. It can’t be avoided. On the contrary, it should be maximized to improve the designer’s own work.

Developers need to go above and beyond, too. They should understand design work and be conscious of the impact it has on interface. Besides making an app look good, design also affects usability.

Understanding this dynamic can help a programmer to incorporate an aesthetic and visual concept to aid decision- making in the building process. Programmers have to be guided by their own instincts and refrain from depending entirely on designers.

We no longer talk about professionals of the future. Today’s professionals are those who can solve problems and propose solutions that go beyond their defined roles. It’s time for you to become one of them.

The Future of Apps

It’s an ideal time to immerse yourself in app design and development. Even though operating systems have their own proposals, they are constantly evolving and generally open to innovation proposed by designers. Patterns are partially open, leaving room for a designer’s initiative—something pointed out by Loren Brichter in our interview.

Likewise, new operating systems, such as Firefox OS and Ubuntu, are emerging. We now have to wait and see how the panorama will change over the months to come. We intuitively know that the design philosophy of each platform will be affected by the rest, just like the influence of the plain Windows Phone style set a precedent that its competitors have embraced.

These are exciting times, and the best is yet to come. Be prepared.