February 18, 2019
Category: App Development
We believe the discovery phase of the app development process is key to the success of your mobile app. Those of you new to app development might wonder what on earth we are “discovering,” so we’re going to devote this post to a deep dive into what’s involved.
Comparable in some ways to strategy development, the discovery phase aims to create a shared understanding of your product vision and objectives through detailed research, discussion, and analysis of your idea. The end goal is visualization of the entire scope of the app, defining a feature set that will drive app goals and create real value for users. Discovery is the first part of the app development process, and it lays the foundation for the design, development, and deployment that follows.
Most mobile app development companies utilize a workshop style meeting to get to the heart of (or “discover”) your idea. While this is a critical piece of the discovery phase, there is important work that needs to be done prior to the discovery workshop to make the time most effective.Read More
July 9, 2018
Category: App Design
As app developers we talk often of the importance User Experience (UX) design, but in this post our hope is to make you aware of its less noble counterpart called Dark UX Design. Dark UX design, or dark patterns, are features of interface design crafted to trick users into doing something they might not want to do, but which benefit the business in question.
As a refresher, UX design at its best anticipates users’ needs and objectives, as well as their assumptions and behaviors, in order to increase the usability, accessibility, and enjoyment of a product. Typically, creating such benefits for the user also ultimately benefits the company as the product is often more successful as a result.
Dark UX design also seeks to understand the the user, and make intentional, well crafted design decisions. Unfortunately, as noted, the aim of these decisions is often to persuade, mislead, or otherwise encourage the user to partake in the company’s objectives, perhaps to the detriment of their own.
As the rules of an ever-changing technology industry continue to evolve, we are seeing consumers push back against such design choices, essentially asking designers to hold to high ethical standards. They are demanding transparency and accountability – the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a perfect example of this, with its emphasis on privacy by design. Read More
May 21, 2018
Inclusive design refers to design that considers the full range of human diversity with respect to ability, language, culture, gender, age, and other forms of human difference. Inclusive design seeks to make the best possible product for the largest number of people. We are passionate about this topic for a number of reasons, and were thrilled to be able to present a session on it last week at Boulder Startup Week.
While considerations for those with some form of disability is only one facet of inclusive design, we chose to focus our session on it for the sake of time. We shared a bit of history, talked about motivation, and showed several real world examples that demonstrated how designing for accessibility improved the UX/UI for all.
We can’t cover all the details in this post, but we’ll share some big picture concepts and include some recommended readings on this topic. Feel free to contact us if you’d like to see some of the demos we shared or talk more specifically. Read More
October 24, 2017
Category: App Development
App accessibility refers to the concept of building an app in such a way that it is usable by people with the widest possible range of abilities, including those who are living with disabilities. While the ADA’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2 standards do not specifically address mobile apps, we think app accessibility is the right thing to do on many levels. Even from a pragmatic perspective, one billion people, or 15% of the world’s population, experience some form of disability, so overlooking app accessibility reduces your potential user base significantly. Read More
February 7, 2017
Category: App Design
Thoughtful design offers a definitive competitive advantage in numerous industries, and app development is no exception. Design impacts everything from the app’s appearance, to its ease of use, to the emotions people feel while using it. As noted in our book review of Hooked: How to Build Habit Forming Products, the way people feel when interacting with a product strongly influence whether or not it succeeds.
InspiringApps employs a four-stage process (discovery, design, development, and deployment) to take a mobile application from start to finish. While each phase is critical to the launch of a successful product, decisions made during the design phase lay the foundation for the app. Our designers understand the impact of design and consider many factors in order to create an outstanding product.
It’s useful as a client to have a high level understanding of the process and tools, for it enables you to know what kind of information is valuable at each stage. The list below summarizes the app design tools we use frequently. Each tool has a place in the process, enabling us to ideate, communicate needs with our team, and share the developing vision with our clients. Read More
November 21, 2016
Boulder had the privilege of hosting its third NewCo festival last Friday, and we were thrilled to be able to participate. With a mission to “identify, celebrate, and connect the engines of positive change in our society,” NewCo provides an opportunity for purpose-driven businesses to share their stories with entrepreneurs, job applicants, and potential customers that want to learn from them. Thanks to the efforts of Engage Colorado, around fifty innovative Boulder companies opened their doors and invited participants to come see for themselves how passion and purpose change “work” from simply a job to an endeavor that can change the world. Read More
April 4, 2016
Category: App Development
Potential clients often wonder what’s involved in the app development process. We previously posted about the importance of doing market research before building an app, and we’ve also discussed some of the technical concerns like operating systems and native vs cross-platform development. If you’ve thought about these market and technical considerations and determined you’re ready to build an app, what comes next? At InspiringApps, we suggest a four-phase process.
December 2, 2013
Category: InspiringApps News, IA Team
Aaron joined the InspiringApps team earlier this year after moving to Colorado from Texas in 2010. Art runs in his blood: “We have a lot of artists in my family – one of my family members was even an animator on Pinocchio.”
Aaron grew up wanting to be a comic book artist. While he was working on improving his skills, he started using Photoshop and Illustrator. “A lot of people were making comics with them, so I learned how to use the software,” he said. His appreciation for UI and UX grew out of his experiences with bad design. “A lot of comic book artists were making great art, but the design didn’t flow with the story.” With most media transitioning from print to web, Aaron chose to embrace the change instead fighting it, and he learned the ins and outs of web design.
A huge movie buff, Aaron’s favorite project was the first film he worked on, Bubba Ho-Tep: “It was such a weird film, and I got to work with one of my favorite horror icons.” His experience doing viral marketing for the project led to an interest in the psychology of how people responded to various marketing and design strategies. This fed into his UI knowledge and helped him grow his web design skillset.
Here at InspiringApps, Aaron helps bring our apps to life. “I take the clients’ words and descriptions of how they’d like the app to look, and I visualize it on screen,” he said. Aaron pays special attention to a client’s brand and their intended audience, developing the workflow of how an app will be used and adding aesthetics. He has a unique method of creating wireframes. “My wireframes are ‘mid-fidelity,’” he explained. “That’s probably not a real word, but I try to give a better picture of what the art will look like than most low-fidelity wireframes.” After the developers have finished, Aaron then returns to the designs and fine-tunes the artwork.
Aaron’s favorite part of living in the Boulder area is the great beer, and his favorite kinds reveal the artist in him. “I love drinking beer out of a well-designed bottle,” he said. Aaron loves Left Hand Brewing Company’s Wake Up Dead, whose label was designed by local agency, Moxie Sozo.
In his spare time, Aaron likes to get creative. “I’m a very DIY person, so I’m always working on a new project,” he said. Right now, he’s building a screen press so he can print some of the art projects he’s done. Aaron is also a self-professed Instructables junkie and father to three “wonderful little boys.”
November 16, 2012
Last week I had the amazing opportunity attend the UI17 Conference in Boston. UI17 focuses on the leading trends and best practices in interface design, multi-device design, and team-based solutions. The conference follows an unconventional format with one day of shorter talks sandwiched between two full day workshops. This format was an effective way to dive deep into two topics while still getting an overview of related important topics.
October 16, 2012
Category: App Design
User experience is like the Zooey Deschanel of the design world—a quirky mix of science and art that many are enamored with but few understand. So what characteristics contribute most to a solid user experience? That’s like asking “What makes Zooey so darn like-able?” Ask anyone and you will get a different answer.
In my humble opinion, the three characteristics that make or break a user experience (aside from performance, i.e. an app must function correctly, and function quickly) are simplicity, clarity, and consistency.
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