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The Basics of How to Design an App

How to Design an App for Your Audience

We are immersed in the digital era, and its nonstop journey. There are many types of apps available to satisfy a variety of content and particular needs depending on the targeted audience. It seems everyone wants to  know how to design an app these days, and it’s no wonder. There were more than 218 billion app downloads in 2020

Do you want to learn how to design an app? You’re not too late to get into the game. This is a perfect time to get into the technology industry, as mobile phone and app usage continues to rise and there’s no sign of it slowing. 

Building an app can range from simple to complex, and as many as there are, the average mobile app tends to lose approximately 77% of Daily Active Users within just three days for installation. We want to share the basics to start creating a functional and friendly app so you can transform your ideas into reality and have a greater chance of sustainable success. 

Design Thinking First

When it comes to creating an app, the first and most important step should be to think ahead to the actual design process. It is vital to know who you are designing for and what pain point your app will solve to start building an app that will add customer value. This is the premise behind Design Thinking.

According to the Interaction Design Foundation, Design Thinking is a customer-centric way of thinking and working with as well as a collection of hands-on methods. The iterative process will seek to understand the user challenges, redefining problems to identify alternative strategies and solutions to overcome them. 

Having a solution-based approach will help your business grow. We Work states that Design Thinking enables organizations to create lasting value for consumers and leads to more innovative solutions

Related: Top Tips to Stay Current in Tech

Understanding emerging tech trends is a must for any entrepreneur who hopes to thrive in the digital era, particularly those who want to know how to design an app, as apps seem to come and go. We encourage you to stay ahead of the game and learn more about modern tools, processes and opportunities to accelerate your tech journey. 

Master the Basics

Creating an app requires a layered process, building on itself to produce an efficient, accessible, user-friendly final product.  You need to have the whats and whys defined as the foundation of your work. 

Here we share the main phases of how to design an app:


The planning phase is when you ask yourself and your team questions, such as who is our target audience? What are their challenges, and how does this app solve them? How are we going to promote the app to our target audience? 

You need to have clarity about your business goals and the customer benefit you are trying to accomplish by creating this product. 

According to The Balance Careers, it is crucial to have a strategic plan and to establish long-term business goals. Long-term goals are the milestones a company sets to guide operations toward its objectives.

Do Your Research 

Being informed is key. Once you have a unique idea for an app, make sure to research the segment where you intend to operate, your target audience, and of course, your competitors. You will also need to determine the ideal design components, pricing structure, distribution channels, and development costs.

Many people skip this phase and lose the opportunity to discover and analyze valuable information. Research can be an interesting exercise, often revealing insights you may not have considered.  It is essential for any successful app development. 

User feedback is another resource you should take into consideration when learning how to design an app people will actually want to use. After all, your customers will be purchasing and interacting with your app. If you are looking for collaborative efforts and some more background from experts, stop by and take a look at our strategy applied to real products. 

Provide Solutions

Here is where you take the information you gathered on your customers’ challenges and begin developing solutions to their pain points. Builder.Ai states that the ultimate goal of a product should be to solve the user’s pain by creating an association so the user identifies the company’s product or service as the source of relief.

You should aim to create a product that responds to a common concern or challenge.  Use the audience feedback and your research to gain relevant insights before you spend a dollar on app development. 

Being a great listener is good for relationships but also applicable to developing apps. Don’t miss out on what your users have to say, as they provide valuable input. 

Look and Feel

It’s time to start taking notes and sketching the possible design for your app. Remember that it’s more than just appearance. The app must look great, but it also has to work well and provide an overall positive user experience.

Work with an experienced app developing partner that can help you with design. The final product of the design phase is a clickable prototype, allowing you to get valuable stakeholder feedback before you actually start building the app, saving you money in the long run. 

UX Collective shared the latest trends for App Design in 2021. Some of them listed are related to the quality of images, using real-life photos as examples, vivid colors with blurred backgrounds, geometric structures and minimalism. 

Related: Key Mobile App Design and Development Strategies

App design and development are just as important as innovative app concepts. Without the right strategies, your app will never achieve its full potential.

Testing Your App 

When learning how to design an app, you should also conduct proper testing once your application is ready for launch. Testing every part of your app, from download to heavy usage will allow you to work out the kinks and anticipate any issues so you can make a great first impression.

BitBar states that even though app testing is a complex process, you can’t hope for a successful mobile app release without it. Mobile app testing ensures an app released through a marketplace is of great quality.

The main advantages we can list for testing include better user experience and functionality, and gaining loyal users. So, if you embed a testing strategy into your app creation process, you are more likely to develop a five-star rated app that will keep engaging users. 

Launching and Promoting Your App

After a complex process and as the implementation date approaches,  your app is ready to go live. 

Developing a marketing campaign will ensure your hard work pays off. Think of strategic but creative efforts to launch and promote your app, such as demos and social media campaigns. 

Hubspot recommends launching either a dedicated website for your app or simply creating a page for your mobile app on your website. By having a website available, users can view your demo video, gather feedback, and get them to sign up for a download alert email once your mobile app goes to market. 

Make Your App Unique

Customizing your app will not only allow you to transform ideas into reality, but you will also differentiate your product from competitors. This process requires time and continuous learning if you want to become an expert. 

Terms such as business logic, prototype, product backlog do not have to be difficult to understand. So, as you start from scratch we want to facilitate your digital journey. 

Contact an Austin Web App Developer

Need some great advice on how to design an app? Allow us to consult with you and understand your business model and industry in order to best advise you and tailor your digital product to suit your business needs. 

Discovery and Design is the perfect duo to help you see your vision taking shape. We want you to feel comfortable during this creative process and guide you through the main aspects to consider to make your app unique. 

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.