iPhone App Design: Building Your First iOS App

We cannot imagine our lives without smartphones and tablets. Just like the internet revolutionized the way communicate and find information, Apple created the concept of the modern mobile phone. However, the two defining technologies of the modern era are very different at their core. iPhone, as opposed to the internet, gives a unique experience to its users, enabling them to launch native iPhone apps designed specifically for the device. This is exactly what the world wide web lacks, because the huge range of browser, operating systems and different computer models make a unified experience impossible.

Native Design vs Web Design

Our software designers have written this article as an insight into iOS, which gives the reader an understanding of the opportunities and limits of the mobile operating system. And do not be surprised if it will happen to be a lot more different than you expect. Our iPhone app design company has a vast experience in interface design and an in-depth understanding of native app development for iOS and other mobile platforms. We would like to share with you some key points mobile of difference between mobile design and graphic web design for anyone who want to get familiar with native iPhone app creation.
  • Get to Know the Platform

  • The Logic Behind iOS Apps

  • Human Interface Guidelines

  • Understand the iOS Environment

  • Why Are Human Interface Guidelines Important?

  • Usability and Aesthetics

Get to Know the Platform

The first thing you have to remember when designing apps for iPhone is that Human Interface Guidelines are extremely important. If you already has any experience in web design you may think that you know everything you need to know, but trust us, you are wrong. Native iPhone app design is something you will have to learn even if you have built hundreds of websites or desktop apps. In the case of web design, there are certain standards and practices that are commonly used, and it is not restricted to any specific guidelines when it comes to interface, features and functionality. On the other hand, Apple set strict standards for iPhone apps, prescribing the functionality and even the looks of every product for the platform.

The Logic Behind iOS Apps

Let us give you an example. In iOS, the content is always presented in the order of descent from left to right, meaning that when you are going into a deeper level, you load content from the right side of the display; similarly, when you need information of a higher level, you swipe to the right from your current view (in other words, the content of a higher level is on the left). It is
Really important to know such details, because that is the principal logic behind all iPhone applications. This is what the users and iOS experts expect from your product.

Human Interface Guidelines

To avoid common mistakes and blunders, our expert highly recommend you to carefully read Apple’s iOS Human Interface Guidelines and memorize all the main principles of iPhone app design described in the document. You probably think that it is not necessary, because it will simply tell you how to make your iPhone app look exactly like all other iOS apps. Of course, as a designer, you want to have your a unique style of your own and you hate anyone telling you how to do this and that. But do not make the mistake of hiding your lack of experience in native iOS design behind overconfidence. Many of our talented designers and developers have gone through this, trust us.

Understand the iOS Environment

Keep this in mind: without an in-depth understanding of the iOS environment and every detail of the ecosystem, you will not be able to make your designs fit into the context, however stylish and unique they may be. You are an architect who need to learn about the culture and climate of the city where their new building will be located, the only difference is that you have an iPhone app instead of the building and the iOS platform instead of the city, therefore, you should know the traditions, patterns and principles of this digital environment. Like a house built by the european standard in Chile will be destroyed by the first earthquake, an interface initially designed for web will not be able to survive in the mobile operating system, because it does not provide a suitable experience for this kind of environment. Destroyed houses and unhappy users will never give you credit.

Why Are Human Interface Guidelines Important?

You will be surprised how much useful information you will find in the Human Interface Guidelines, even if you have years of experience as an iPhone app user. Reading through the guidelines a few times, you will learn everything there is about how to design proper navigation bars, toolbars, buttons, controllers and other elements. You will learn the difference between various kinds of views such as activity, collection, table, split, alert, modal, etc. and when you should use one view or another. Human Interface Guidelines is a must if you want to design for iOS, do not ignore it unless you want to design second-rate websites for the rest of your life.

Usability and Aesthetics

However, the Human Interface Guidelines only teach you how to make an iPhone app highly logical and
Usable, offering a seamless experience to the users. It means that the visual aesthetics are all up to you, but nevertheless, try to make them in line with the iOS paradigm, because combining aesthetics and usability that fit into the iOS environment is the ultimate goal of any professional iPhone designer. Take our advice - read the Human Interface Guidelines. And read it carefully. Once you have studied them, it will be much easier for you to transit from web design to native apps.

Designer and Developer Collaboration

Trust the Human Interface Guidelines, but enlist the support of the developer. Over the years of software development, we have witnessed many situations when a developer has contributed to designs, changing them for the better. If you are Frodo, the developer is your Gandalf (we bet you have all read “The Lord of the Rings”, or at least watched it). If you work in a software development company, you are incredibly lucky, because there are so many specialists in different IT areas that can share their experience and give you their feedback on your designs. Team collaboration is the basis of success, because working with other experts you gain new experience, you have people to rely on and can always find someone who knows the iOS environment in and out.
  • Work in a Team

  • Evolve As an Expert

Work in a Team

Working alongside developers enables you to be a better designer and makes your products seamless in every aspect. It is more likely that a developer will be able to spot a weakness in your design that you have missed out, or identify element that are hard to flesh out, or suggest different ways on how your design can be improved. A programmer will not only give you a valuable insight of a specialist form another area who does not directly deal with designs, but also supply with technical knowledge possessed only by people who has a deep understanding of programming languages, tools and APIs, for example, Objective-C in the case of iOS app development. As a team of experienced designers and developers, we can assure you that the longer a designer works in a close contact with a developer, the faster they are improving their products, they make fewer mistakes and becoming better experts.

Evolve As an Expert

However, do not forget that your collaboration with the develop should be a mutually beneficial venture, in other words, help each other become a better specialist. Developers at our mobile app design company say that one way you can ease their lives is by not giving the PSD and Sketch files if you work in one of these programs. It is not their job to trawl through your assets as it is not your job to audit their code and fix their bugs. Yes. Programmers do make mistakes, they are humans too.

Rely on the Leading iPhone App Design Experts

If you are not sure that your experience is enough to design a high-quality app, we can help you create a mobile solution that possesses the following features and qualities:
  • GPS tracking features and longer battery life;
  • Social features such as live chats, messages, video calls, etc.;
  • Integration of social tools like social networks, Skype, email, phone calls;
  • Integration of software and hardware;
  • Advanced user engagement;
  • Intellectual property rights on the source code belong to the client;
  • High level of data security;
  • Fast and efficient approach to software development
We deliver all kinds of digital solutions from mobile apps for iOS and Android to elaborate bespoke systems, intranet portals and integrated solutions. Just contact us to share your idea and we will do the rest to flesh it out as a highly efficient and stunningly looking solution that will bring your business to a new level.