Category Archives: iPad

9 easy steps towards designing an iPhone App

As an Apple user, you will find plenty of Apps on visiting Apple App Store. Since, many Apps are paid ones, users’ buy and install apps that are visually attractive and appealing. Obviously, it is not a wise thing to do because we have always heard that looks can be deceiving but since there are no demo versions available, as an Apple user a person can only judge an application through the available screenshots.

Well, these screenshots obviously cannot help us in analyzing the usability of the applications. So, the only choice that is left with the users is to judge an app based on the way it looks. If you plan to design an App on your own, you have come to the right place. Today, in this article we will be discussing a few tips to build an iPhone app and a few mistakes that one should not commit while building an iPhone app.

Find your Forte
Before you start working on any sort of wireframe for your iPhone app, it is very important to find your niche. You might like a mobile gaming app but if you think you are not capable enough of designing one, you should not go for it. You can only build a nice app when you are passionate about something. So, find your forte and then go ahead with building your iPhone app. If you are a creative person, you should design something more creative and let the game lover develop iPhone gaming apps.

Having a Flowmap

iPhone app Flow chart example

iPhone app Flow chart example

Now that you are aware of your forte, you should work on having a flow map. There is no point in designing a wireframe or design if you do not have flow map. If you want to build a nice iPhone app, you need to have a proper thought out user flow before you design wireframe. It does not matter how simple your app is, you should still be having a good flow map so that your iPhone application has an easy navigation and the structure makes sense. While you are designing a flow map, make sure that functional keys are designed on the top of the screen and not at the bottom. If you do not have flow map, you will end up confusing your user only.

Importance of Wireframe

iPhone app design: the importance of a wireframe

iPhone app design: the importance of a wireframe

After finding your forte and designing a flow map, you need to focus on designing a wireframe. The two main elements of any application is the overall designing i.e., user interface and friendly navigation of application. When you are working on UX design, all you need to do is analyze which features to include. Apart from this, UI is all about designing an attractive layout of the app. These two elements are the most important, critical and they go shoulder to shoulder.

One is bound to go wrong if the other is not designed well. To being with, you should focus more on wireframes than UI. A wireframe precisely means that your entire focus should be on the experience and not the user interface. You can either use an illustrator or simply pen and a paper. A few things that you should focus more on is navigation, view-ability modes etc. Once you are sure of an easy navigation, you can go ahead and design attractive layout.

Financial Back-Up

We all know that designing a simple app can cost you a lot of money. If you are confident about your idea, you must get a financial support. Generating an idea is the easiest things as far as building an app is concerned. You need to focus on getting good developers; designers and finally you would need a nice marketing strategy as well. Building an app is a whole process of generating an idea and then executing it via developers, designers and QA engineers. You cannot launch your app unless you have polished it and for all this you would need funds. So, develop the budget and find someone to finance it.

Importance of tappable Area

iPhone app design: the importance of a tappable area

iPhone app design: the importance of a tappable area

While we are discussing a few easy steps towards building an app, this is small but a very important point. Finger sized tap will make your application easy to use. Always keep in mind that people will be tapping and not clicking so tappable area needs to be increased. As per apple’s recommendation, 44×44 px is suitable for tapping area.

If you are a developer yourself, you would know that increasing size for tapping does not mean that your button’s size needs to be increased as well. Tappable area can be expanded anyway however, if you have multiple buttons in the same row, you should make sure that tappable area for all buttons is not overlapping in order to avoid any sort of confusion and frustration on user’s end.

Primary Actions

iPhone app design: primary actions

iPhone app design: primary actions

While designing an app’s screen, you need to make sure that your screen focused on the main goal of your user. As a designer/thinker/developer, you would know the most important areas of your apps so focus on the most important and highlight it. Your app should highlight your primary actions.

Avoid Default Button Styles

iPhone app design: avoid default buttons

iPhone app design: avoid default buttons

Let me be very honest about it, the default style buttons are not very attractive and if you want to use them, you should have a very boring UI of your app. If you want your app to look visually attractive, try designing customized buttons for your app so they can compliment entire layout. Designing a button is not that difficult because you will find plenty of tutorials.

Extra Views can be beneficial

iPhone app design: Extra Views can be beneficial

iPhone app design: Extra Views can be beneficial

If your app has a lot of information to share, you must add extra views. Apple utilizes the feature of adding extra views a lot. This thing can definitely avoid lots of confusion.

Mistakes to Avoid
Apart from all the tips avoid making following mistakes:

  • Design should never dictate functionality.
  • Avoid using low resolutions
  • Too much usage of animations should be a big No
  • Do not use blank screens when app is loading and user is waiting.
  • Be original. Avoid copying styles from other platforms

Read full article: 9 easy steps towards designing an iPhone App »

10 Most Important Guidelines for Mobile Web Development

An immense development in the world of mobile devices has made things a lot easier for mobile users. With Android, iPhone and other Smartphone people are accessing internet simply from their mobile websites. As per a recent research, more than sixty three million people in States visited different mobile websites via their mobile devices and the count is expected to reach almost 2 billion by the end of next year. Since the numbers are growing like anything, it is very important for designers and developers to come up with websites specially designed for mobile usage.

Good thing about mobile web development is that as a developer or a designer, you won’t have to make an extra effort to learn something out of the blue as far as technology is concerned, in order to develop a mobile website design. All you need to have is a whole new perspective regarding designing of the mobile website. Today, in this article I am aiming to sum up the most important guidelines for mobile web development in a simpler way. So here goes:

Initiate with Analytics – It is extremely important to analyze a certain points regarding your mobile users’. To start off with, review the stats of your OS. This will help you in analyzing the important and most visited web pages of your website. You will also get to know the country/city you are driving the most traffic from. Apart from analyzing the top pages visited by users’, make sure you check the keywords being used in order to get an access to your site. These analytics will help you a lot in your mobile development and will definitely bring positive results.

Visitors Profiling – Mobile users are bound to have different needs altogether in comparison with desktop users. While developing and designing your mobile website, make sure you put yourself in the mobile user’s shoes. If your target audience is teenager, they will always be on the go so your website should be easy enough to use while driving, shopping or any other activity. Analyzing audience profile is indeed helpful in mobile web development.

Minimize the usage of images – Excessive usage of images is not considered to be a very practical act for mobile websites. In fact, images are considered to be a bad news for mobile websites and that too for the following reasons:

  • In general, images take a lot of time to load because of their large sizes. As a developer and designer, you must keep in mind that mobile users are often using slow internet connections and their connections cannot handle download of heavy images. So, this is one good reason to avoid usage of images.
  • Each image will require a new HTTP connection and because of the latency it has, it will further slow down the loading of the page.
  • Sizing of the images for all kinds of devices can be very difficult due to the different resolutions. You are inviting a whole new lot of effort by including a lot of imagery in your mobile website.

Still, if you really desire to use images in your website, make sure you use CSS Sprite because it helps in time reduction of loading.

Do not rely on JavaScript – Different mobiles will support different browsers and if you are developing a website to accommodate all of the browsers, you should not rely on JavaScript because mobile browsers are not very good with supporting JavaScript. Apart from this, mini browsers such as opera mini, also provide poor support to JavaScript resulting into a poor outcome. This issue is expected to get resolved in coming years thanks to Apple, Android and Blackberry devices.

Avoid drop-downs – While you are developing/designing a mobile website, make sure you avoid fly-outs and drop-downs in your website. This is a good thing but only for desktop websites since a user is able to move the cursor over any tab to view the drop down. Yes, a notch for dragging down can be used but then again, it is not a great idea for mobile websites. It would be a good idea if you do not use this thing at all.

Optimizing Download Speed with minimizing JavaScript and CSS – As mentioned earlier, JavaScript is not a reliable thing and if you want to increase the downloading speed of your website minify the JavaScript and CSS and it will automatically improve the downloading speed of your website. Also, minifying JavaScript and CSS should not be a difficult task so there should be no excuses for doing this.

Horizontal and Vertical Layouts – These days we see a lot of mobile websites supporting both horizontal and vertical layouts for the websites. Yes, they work well for iPhone and Android devices but this is not practical for all Smartphone’s. While developing your website, you should go for a single column form. This will allow your users to scroll and that too in a single direction. By default, the single direction should be vertical because this is what is natural and a user expects this as well. If any images are being used, they too should support vertical scrolling. Opting for both vertical and horizontal scrolling is not a good idea.

Take advantage of mobile features – A great way to develop your website is to learn the features of mobile devices which are the most popular. You can then incorporate these features into your mobile website and this will be a definite plus for your website.

An option to visit your regular website – Mobile website is bound to have very limited information and in case a user requires more information, you can always provide a link of your regular website on the main page of your mobile web site.

Speed of your website – While developing your website, this is the most important thing to consider. Your site’s speed should be good enough to deliver website’s content quickly. If you want to achieve this, apart from avoiding JavaScript you need to avoid usage of flash as well. The most important guideline for mobile web development is to focus more on functionality and speed.

Read full article: 10 Most Important Guidelines for Mobile Web Development »

How Most App Makers Are Making Money

“Freemium” has become the standard business model in mobile apps.

According to a BII analysis of App Store data, 93 percent of the top 100 grossing iPhone apps use in-app commerce. Of those 100 grossing apps, two-thirds are free.

As most the top grossing apps are games, in-app commerce is most commonly used to sell in-game currency. However, companies like Pandora and eHarmony are using in-app purchasing to sell subscriptions, while Marvel is using it to sell access to comics.

in app purchasing is driving mobile app revenue aug-2012

in app purchasing is driving mobile app revenue aug-2012

Read the full articole: This Is How Most App Makers Are Making Money »

5 Strategies for Marketing on the iPad

Just 22% of the top 50 retailers in the country have an iPad app. Yet the iPad is the fastest-growing consumer computing device on the planet. Why haven’t brands embraced it as quickly as they have the iPhone?

Clearly, brands have been slow to launch apps for this device – and other tablets – for a combination of reasons. Many marketers have already sunk millions into creating iPhone apps and assume these apps will works just fine on the iPad. Sometimes, this strategy works. After all, some apps offer an almost identical experience on the iPhone as the iPad. But to really get maximum marketing impact, brands do need to create iPad-specific apps that take advantage of the tablet’s larger screen and tap into the unique frame of mind of an iPad user.

There are some hurdles to overcome, like where to start, and whether a brand should go with a native app, a web-based app, or a hybrid app? The short answer is that a lot of this depends on the company. But there are some basic best practices to keep in mind when coming up with how to market your business on the iPad. Here are five tips.

1. Content is King, Context is Queen – People are only interested in the things they are interested in. This means marketers should use the iPad to reach target audiences based on their specific interests. The first step is to not create a one-size-fits-all app and then flood app users with tons of irrelevant content. Instead, plan for user segmentation so the content you deliver to individual users appeals to their interests, needs, and wants. It’s the same segmentation methodology brands are using for email marketing, just applied into the iTunes distribution model. Aside from letting users choose what type of content they want to view, always give them ways to revise their selections.

2. Invest in the Right User Experience – You can create fantastic content, but if users have a bad app experience, they won’t continue to launch the app. That’s why it’s critical to invest in UX testing as you develop iPad apps. Take a look at how Flipboard created a great user experience for content aggregation, or how an iPad app like Collarbone displays content and photography.

3. Focus on the Long Term – An iPad app is like a baby: It needs constant care and feeding. You can’t launch it and forget it. Invest in maintenance, content updates, testing, and optimization. The best way to ensure your iPad publishing app gains and maintain users is to create an editorial team much like magazines do. Hire writers, photographers, videographers, editors, and other creative types to constantly focus on it. They can be freelancers or contractors, or in-house, but everyone must meet regular deadlines. And there will always be iOS updates, so ensure you continue to optimize your app in that way as well.

4. Open the Door to Adjacency – Consumers may love your brand, but they also love other brands. Think about other, non-competitive companies also in your category. These partners can help enlarge the audience for your app if you keep them close. iPad publishing apps are a great potential advertising platform for partner brands. For example, if you develop a monthly iPad magazine full of branded content, let adjacent brands advertise within your iPad magazine to generate increased partnerships and/or ad revenue.

5. Get Your App Found – Consumers don’t just stumble upon apps. You know you’ll have to promote your iPad app. The question is how best to do it among your target audience. One of the best ways to promote apps is through links in paid advertising. For example, tag or promote the brand’s iPad app in print, TV, and display ads. But brands can also gain an audience for their app by promoting it through in-store signage and kiosks, search engine marketing, and social media. The North Face experiences a spike in downloads for their Snow Report and Trailhead apps each time they are featured in a print ad.

The iPad may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for marketers. Brands that can win hearts and minds on the tablet will be ready for the major shift away from the laptop and PC that’s sure to happen in the next decade.

Read the full article: 5 Strategies for Marketing on the iPad »