Week 3: App Design Process

Article: What Everyone Should Know About The Process of Building an App


Both app designers and developers have been through a lot of trends while the look, functionality and the tools to develop apps have changed. The process in which we develop and design an app has stayed the same.

The design process in broad strokes


  • Everything starts with an idea
  • Ideas should be able to change
  • You should allow your idea to grow so it can become the best version of itself that it can be.
  • Make sense to talk about a circular process within this phase.


The idea process


Questions you must ask

  • Is this idea financially viable?
  • Is this idea technically feasible?
  • Is someone already doing it?
  • Could this be made simpler/differently?

Once you feel satisfied with your idea it’s about time you put things into writing.


  • Specification or a Spec is the piece of paper that declares what your app does and how it is accomplished.
  • You must always do a spec
  • It’s surprising how much an idea can be refined, change and developed.
  • List both functional and non-functional requirements.
  • Explain what your app is, and not how it needs to be done.

Wire Frame

  • Wireframes, can be either part of the spec or built from the spec.
  • Draw on your experience of the platform conventions, knowledge of controls and interface paradigms.
  • Wireframes are then brought into a tool to be digitised, shared and revised.
  • Wireframes will be your first deliberate design made in a project.

Link to a helpful wire framing tool


  • The ultimate goal of a prototype is to create a bare-bones version of the app so you can test your hypotheses and get early feedback.
  • Some designers tools such as InVision or Marvel  to create mockups. These allow you to convert wireframes into interactive apps.
  • While others use native prototype writing in swift.
  • How you choose to prototype depends on many different factors.
  • A bad experience with a prototype might cause you to uncover issues with your wireframes, your spec, or even the very core of your idea.

Visual Design

  • Visual design deals with the appearance of the app.
  • It is not just making things look nice, but also making sure that there’s a consistent and identifiable visual language throughout.
  • Visual design is not just a coat of paint applied to make things look pretty.
  • Visual design should create a coherent and consistent experience, tell an engaging story, and differentiate your product from others.
  • Supper overall ethos of your idea, goals from the previous stages you underwent.
  • The Visual design shouldn’t end when you hand it off to the developer. It should be continued and constantly evolving process.


  • In an perfect world, the developer should have worked alongside the designer throughout the design process.
  • There is a desire to separate development from design. The best products are usually built by teams made of multiple professionals from various disciplines who have a mutual understand of each other.
  • Development should not be devoid of design presence and design should not be without development know how.


  • You’re never actually done designing
  • While the tools, as well as the products, have changed a lot over the past few years the underlying process of making apps remains largely the same.
  1. Get the idea
  2. Write it down
  3. Build a prototype
  4. Enter into the dance between design and development until something comes out of it.
  • App design is more alike composing a symphony, each profession being a separate instrument.

I feel like this article is good for people looking into the process of designing an app the reasoning behind each step. as an up and coming designer, I think we should try can help people understand that design is about the continual process, not just making things look nice. This article helped me better understand the design process behind the development of an app. I also found it helpful in my own process of developing my app.