So, you’re thinking about creating a mobile application after coming up with an ingenious idea. It’s important to plan each step of the process is you want a product that attracts, engages and converts visitors. The vast majority of mobile applications are deleted shortly after installation. They tend to last less than one day. Why do smartphone users abandon apps, anyway? Well, it’s not because their storage is too full. The difference between a good app and a bad one is the quality of the user experience. Do your best to create a product that ensures meaningful and relevant experiences to users. If you are designing a mobile app, continue reading this post to learn the importance of wireframes and mockups.
What would be the most important part of the mobile app design process? Experts agree with the fact that wireframes and mockups are critical phases. Make sure you don’t skip the prototyping. This will help you solve design problems, not to mention that it becomes beneficial when you involve the end-user. Let’s understand why wireframes and mockups represent the starting point when you start working on your mobile app.
What’s the Difference Between Wireframes and Mockups?
As you go about building a mobile app you need to be aware of wireframes and mockups. No matter if you’re building a mobile application for iOS or Android, you’ll be required to present the design and features to clients, stakeholders, users and so on. You can’t use a simple screenshot to show how the product will look like. You might need to use a wireframe or a mockup. Wireframes and mockups are used interchangeably although they don’t designate the same reality. So, is there really any difference between the two? Actually, there is.
What Are Wireframes?
Chances are that, until now, you’ve heard people talking about mobile app wireframe. It’s just that you didn’t know what it meant. A wireframe is practically a representation of a design. You layout the content, as well as the functionality on a page that takes into consideration user needs and expectations. You can think about the wireframe as the blueprint of your design scheme. If your product has a complex structure, it’s recommended to design a low-fidelity wireframe to ensure that information doesn’t slip from your hands. Afterward, you can make a mockup.
What Are Mockups?
Wireframes are sometimes replaced with the term “mockups”. A mockup is nothing other than the visual representation of the mobile app. Unlike the wireframe, it doesn’t focus on the product’s structure, but more on the final result – in other words, how it will look like. The aim of the mockup is to show how the design elements of the mobile application will look like before the final version of the design. You can work on the experience without ignoring the visual elements. For instance, if you’re designing an iPhone app, you can use an iPhone mockup to make final decisions regarding what looks best. You can include color, text, and fonts. Additionally, you can use logos and images.
A Tale of Two Platforms – Designing for Android and iOS
As you prepare to build the best mobile app on the market, you need to be ready to meet the needs of your customers. It’s your responsibility to cater to the needs of existing customers. Pay great attention to the devices that they use. Your time isn’t sufficient to make two applications, namely for Android and iOS. You have to pick one. When creating a visual guide, closely consider the platform where you’re about to launch the product. Why? Simply because it matters when it comes down to wireframes and mockups. Experts say that it’s necessary to create separate wireframes and mockups for both platforms due to the fact that user expectations aren’t the same.
Making a wireframe for an iOS app is a child’s play. This is the reason why you should start with the iOS wireframe. The major components on the screen are the same, meaning that you don’t have to develop another one for Android. Now, let’s make the mockup. Mobile mockups are in great demand at present and it’s not hard to understand why. They showcase applications in all their splendor. If you want to, say, publish the app in the App Store, you don’t have to rely on a screenshot or stock photography. All you have to do is make a simple mockup. This will allow you to communicate with the client and speed up the design process. Attention needs to be paid to the following elements in terms of Android and iOS design:
Size of The Screen
The actual screen of various devices needs to be taken into account. Just in case you didn’t already know, Android phones come in all shapes and sizes. It’s more versatile as compared to iOS. Since it supports as many screens as possible, Android is made available to the biggest number of users. If you’re designing an application for Android devices, make sure it’s flexible enough. designing a scalable app requires a great deal of thinking. iOS-backed devices have only two screen sizes, with three possible resolutions for iPhone and iPad. You must ensure a consistent experience, regardless of the device being used. For the iPhone, it’s okay to make a pixel-perfect UI mockup and integrate it exactly as it is in the application. Don’t forget to test on several devices to take account of all-important resolutions. If you are ready to make app ideas a reality, you need to be aware of the screen of playing devices.
Android hardware is highly variable and many applications share resources with the other apps running in the background. Keep in mind that many Android devices have a slide-out QWERTY keyboard that is specifically designed to be used in the landscape mode. iOS devices, on the other hand, have clever keyboards that make touchscreen typing a lot easier. They work faster and provide better accuracy. Think about this huge difference when designing an application that works for all users.
There are many variables to take into consideration whether you’re creating a mobile app for Android or iOS. Do whatever it takes and adjust the product to its target market. Communicate your thoughts throughout the design process and don’t focus exclusively on pretty pictures. Think more about the app’s functionalities. Decide what you want the product to do and not. Make sure these functionalities are included in the wireframe. Last but not least, share the final design of your mobile app with colleagues and clients using a mockup. Prior to designing a mobile app, continue the points mentioned in this post to learn the importance of wireframes and mockups.