The most valuable thing for a designer to do when you’re building an application is to build the application as quickly as possible, according to Dan Wiegand, CTO of design studio The Design Revolution.
“That’s the key to a great design,” he says.
If your design is to be efficient and you can’t wait for the client to build out your design, you’re going to miss out on the benefits of building an app.
“Your design is a piece of software,” says Wiegare, “and your client will use it for a lot of different things, and you want to make sure that your app is going to be able to integrate with the other software that they have on their system, so that it’s easier to use.”
This means designing for scalability.
“You’re trying to build an app that’s scalable,” says David Stokes, CMO of design company Wieden+Kennedy.
“If you can build that quickly, you can scale.
If you can do it over time, you’ll scale better.”
The best way to achieve this is to start with the same type of app you’re working on, says Wiegen.
“Think of what you’re doing in the app and then try to reuse it for different uses,” he explains.
“Make it flexible.
If there’s something you’re interested in, and there’s a way to reuse your app, it’s going to have a great life.”
Stokes also recommends building a portfolio of designs and applying them to a wide variety of applications, even if that means you may not get the results you’re looking for.
“For most of us, there’s no way we can use something for every project, and it’s the reason that we don’t do a lot more work on it,” he adds.
If the design team doesn’t know what you need for the next project, there are ways to help them understand your needs better.
“What are the constraints on this?
What are the features we want?
How can we make this fit?” asks Stokes.
“The other thing you can say is that you need to be very careful about what you ask your designers to do, because if you ask them to do something that they don’t have the skill for, it doesn’t have to be bad,” he advises.
“There’s always something that’s a little harder to do.”
If your designers are struggling to find what they need to build a product, Wiegend says to look for other ways to build something with a small team, even for smaller teams.
“They might be doing it with a team that they’ve never built a product with before, and they might be having to work on things that are harder,” he points out.
Wiegie says it’s important to ask yourself what your design team needs to know to build your app.
The best example he’s heard is, “I need to know that we’re building this for a customer.”
The most important thing is to understand what the business is looking for, says Stokes; “They’re looking to build this application for a specific use case.”
If the customer wants to manage their money better, he recommends that the design process is tailored to their needs.
If they want to use the app to manage some other type of data, then you need the right UX.
“It’s very important to understand the business requirements for your app,” he continues.
“As designers, we need to understand that.
We need to have an understanding of what they want from the experience.
We can have that understanding if we’re designing for a large company.”
What to do When you’re designing a business app, Wieges recommends looking for an interface design that “is designed to be simple, intuitive, and easily understood,” and that is designed to give users the “introspective feedback they need.”
“It helps them to understand where they are in the design,” says Stakes.
“This is the key aspect to the experience that you want, and if it’s too hard, they’re not going to get it.”
He also recommends using a combination of different types of materials.
“We use a lot heavier materials,” says Schulz.
“A lot of it is foam.
We also use lots of carbon fiber and a lot a lot glass.”
The key to creating an app’s user interface, says Schutz, is to design for the human eye, not the computer vision.
“People are really good at seeing things,” he argues.
“So the user interface is really important.
But it’s not the only part of the interface that people need to get the experience.”
The same advice applies to mobile apps, where Wiegands says you should be designing for “people who are actually using your app.”
“I’ve seen a lot [mobile app] design that has been built with mobile apps in mind,” he notes.
“And if it was designed for a desktop client, it would have been really hard.”