Becoming an Appreneur – Things to Know Before You Start
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Every day the Sourcebits team internally shares links to our favorite industry news and stories. Many are related to mobile app design and development — others are just plain fun. Here’s a roundup of interesting stories we uncovered this week from around the mobile metaverse.
By Margaret Kelsey, Invision
The folks at Invision recap their recent webinar with UX enterprise designer Uday Gajender in which he explains the significance of craftsmanship for mobile designers. Gajender argues that similar to how carpenters and sculptors craft wood or clay into a usable form, mobile app development requires designers to craft an app. Craft fosters teamwork, collaboration and understanding amongst designers, stakeholders and users because of the holistic nature of a craft. Gajender recommends starting each assignment by creating visuals diagrams, charts, or prototypes that can serve as a ground zero for everyone involved in the process of mobile app design. Finally, he goes on to cite examples from his own career where taking a craftsman’s approach to UX design led to a superior end product.
“Houston, we have lift-off.” Those words are synonymous with a successful NASA rocket launch and for an app to launch successfully, Google instructs mobile app designers to consider the launch screen. After all, the launch screen is every user’s initial interaction with a mobile app. A launch screen can make or break a first impression even before the app has fully loaded. There are two different types of launch screens and each one has advantages. Placeholder screens have no content, load quickly and offer smooth in-app transitions. Branded screens make use of load time to expose users to an app’s logo. Which screen will launch your app to the next level?
By Dovas, BoredPanda
AirPano is a team of Russian photographers that scours the world for the most beautiful locations to photograph. However, AirPano is no average group of travel photographers. They are unique because, as their name would suggest, they specialize in aerial panoramas of exotic natural wonders and city skylines. According to the team, they “usually photograph from a helicopter,” but have been known to snap a few shots from “an airplane, a dirigible, a hot air balloon, and a radio-controlled helicopter.” Wherever AirPano is getting their photographs, they are crazy cool, one of a kind, pieces of art. Browse their portfolio at airpano.com and see the world from a whole new angle.
By Heather Kelley, CNN Money
The story of Google designer Laura Palmero is inspiring. As a child, Palmero lost her central vision to a rare disorder, essentially becoming blind overnight. Now 27, she works on a team dedicated to making Google’s Chrome web browser accessible for people with disabilities. Designs initially meant for disabled users have made a large impact on mobile app and web development. Closed captioning, screen magnification, and predictive text keyboards were all originally created for users with sensory disabilities. Companies like Google invest heavily in accessibility engineering because it is a substantial market and growing as the population ages. The best way to test for accessibility is to have a real world user design it, and that’s exactly what Google is doing.
By Jonny Evans, Computer World
Force touch is the new technology from Apple that will soon be available on new iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks. The essence of Force Touch is simple: different magnitudes of force applied to a touchscreen or touchpad elicit different responses from the device. This will eventually be used to create a fluid transition between devices and within apps. For mobile app designers, Force Touch represents the next frontier of mobile app development and integration will eventually be required in all apps. In his article, Evans asserts that the Force Touch will be so successful that all of Apple’s competitors will try to copy the technology. Whether he is correct remains to be seen, but the strides Apple is making in mobile design are certainly impressive.
By Denys Nevozhai
Nevozhai provides an in-depth history of his involvement with the development of the first Alcatel Watch called the OneTouch Watch. He joined the design team after the hardware was built and was tasked with the responsibility of making a simple and cheap watch for non-geeks. Denys explains in detail the process that his team went through designing, brainstorming, testing and rethinking their UX design. By the end of the article, Nevozhai shares some invaluable pearls of wisdom that he picked up along the way. He emphasizes compromise throughout all aspects of development and user testing as keys to his success.
By Joe Concannon, Digital Telepathy
CAPTCHA: Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart. Didn’t know that? They are the little tests common during banking or shopping transactions that ask users to read and enter a number or letter code. Supposedly, these tests ensure privacy but lately, algorithms have been created that can break CAPTCHA’s 99% of the time. Concannon describes nine different ways to verify user identity that are not traditional coded-texts. In order to maintain privacy and uphold a seamless user experience, alternative methods for user verification must be implemented in mobile app design.
By Natalie Mortimer, The Drum
Lush Handmade Cosmetics is a 20-year-old company that recently embraced design as it tries to rebrand itself for the modern world. Known as a tree-hugging, free-spirited brand, Lush wants to stick to its roots even as it grows into a global cosmetic powerhouse. Until they considered their web and mobile app design, Lush hadn’t given much thought to their public perception. In fact, they didn’t even have a mobile-friendly website. Through design, Lush has matured, stating, “Design played a massive part in how we started to strategize how we would talk to our customers and how they would buy our products.” More power to you, Lush.
In case you missed it last week, we outlined 10 quintessential mobile app design tips that can keep users returning again and again. “Stickiness,” in terms of mobile apps, is all about user engagement. When it comes to app user happiness, simplicity is the name of the game. And speaking of sticky design, check out our report on mobile design and app development tips you can learn from Instagram.
From mobile analytics, app pricing models to the S.M.A.C. future or finding the right mobile app development team – Sourcebits has a plethora of free mobile app design and development resources for you. Check out our resource page today, and download them any time.