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App Design: What to Expect

Not everyone knows exactly what they’re getting into when they set out to get an app made. We tend to encounter the same client questions about how app design works, so we thought we’d give you a head start by addressing the questions you may have about the process.

Q: Getting an app made: Where do I start?

A: No two people are the same, so we start every mobile app design with a “discovery” phase that helps us understand your knowledge and expectations of the design process, and lets you understand what we’ll do and what our goals are. This discovery phase basically just puts everyone on the same page, no matter how much or how little familiarity you have with app design and development.

At this stage, we work as partners to get to know your history and goals, learn from existing user research, define what success will look like, and uncover possible risks.

Here are the first logistical questions we ask.

Q: How does the design process work?

A: The simple answer is: Build → Measure → Learn

Our design process can be thought of as a system of ongoing overlapping learn, build and measure spaces.

Rather than a sequence of linear steps, we run through this cycle to iteratively improve and envision products, services and interactive experiences. The learn + build + measure approach allows us to reliably discern what truly matters, and deliver insights that inspire action.

Q: What if I already have designs?

A: We will help you create value at virtually any stage of product development.

It’s not uncommon for us to jump into a product that has existing design assets and legacy expectations. Likewise, we’ve completely redesigned existing apps from the ground up. Both require a careful balance between design improvements and respecting user expectations.

Q: What is lean UX?

A: Lean UX is an efficient way to learn about the people who will use the app. In effect, it is just a deeply collaborative implementation of traditional interaction design principles. When working lean, designers maintain continual engagement with the product team. This close communication allows for more testing and shared understanding among teammates.

Lean methods are especially useful for innovating when there’s uncertainty. These methods have helped us validate information architecture and value propositions long before building out the product itself.

Q: When will I get to see the designs?

A: Because we use design iteratively, you’ll get to see the project materialize as we go. Once we understand the people using the app, we begin sketching out the app skeleton and mapping the user flows.

After we validate these core flows, we mock up and prototype the rest of the application. During this time we collaborate with you on how the app will look and feel. Mockups and prototypes serve as development specifications and are also a terrific preview of the product to use in your sales and marketing.

Q: What do design services include?

A: Our digital product development firm brings new touch points to life and uncovers meaningful business opportunities. That means we help you identify new ways to support your existing and prospective users by uncovering latent needs, behaviors and desires.

We use people-centered principles and iterative prototyping to create seamless experiences that attract, engage and, most of all, truly matter to real people.

For example, we’ve helped young companies pivot a core product. We’ve also found new, valuable feature offerings and new ways to use data in a way that is more in tune with what customers want.

App Makers

That’s us. We’re a collection of people who are wickedly talented and genuinely passionate about app design and development. To ask us more questions about how to get an app designed, or to find a time to meet us face-to-face, just say hello.

Let’s Make Your Idea Reality

We deliver value to partners through mobile strategy expertise, user-centered design, and lean methodology. Take a look around our work portfolio and drop us a line, we’d love to chat.