Creating a Crispy, Well Thought Out UI/UX Design Can Create a 3x Return in Time

As a coder, especially a freelance dev, it can be easy to overlook the importance of creating sharp designs for mobile apps. The functionality of the code can seem more important than the aesthetics. However, solid UI/UX design practices have three-fold criticality for app devs, and by committing time to creating solid UI/UX designs ahead of time leads to significantly better apps down the line. Solidifying Designs before development put the developer and client on the same page, helping your client understand exactly what they’ll be getting. Mockups serve as a blueprint of an app, focusing the coding process. It’s like creating an outline before writing a research paper. Solid designs create a cohesive and attractive brand throughout the mobile app, allowing the app to fit in to the company’s broader marketing efforts.

Solid designs create a cohesive and attractive brand throughout the mobile app, allowing the app to fit in to the company’s broader marketing efforts.

How the hell am I supposed to create designs if I only know how to write code?

Quick disclaimer ahead of time: I do not work for Sketch
  1. Go download Sketch. It’s $100 and well worth it.
  2. Start messing around with Sketch. The application comes with a massive suite of tools for digital design. Check out the iOS components that come built in to the app. Browse through the different fonts and start identifying a few that you like. Check out the different shapes you can create. Try adding in images and such. The application is very straightforward to pick up.
  3. Find an app with a UI/UX design you like, and try to recreate it in Sketch. You won’t do it perfectly, but you’ll start getting some ideas of how different components play off of each other to create a truly enjoyable User Experience.
  4. For every project you work on going forward, dedicate at least one week of design time before touching a line of code. This will likely save you three weeks of coding time down the line.

Do you need a big league design? Hire a big league designer.

Coders have the full capability of generating very solid UI/UX designs. There are coders out there with a designer’s eye for aesthetics and an inherent understanding of UI/UX principles. These people are in the minority however. If you’re trying to create a professional design, you likely need a professional designer to do it. Just a warning thought: once you work with a professional designer, you might not go back, because these people create digital goldmines of user experiences. At Spaceboat Development, if a client needs a polished and professional solution, we work with highly talented and knowledgable designers to take your app to the next level.

Stephen Looney

Stephen is the founder and lead developer at Spaceboat Development, LLC, an app development company based out of Austin, Texas. He shares a birthday with both Billy Joel and Ghostface Killah, and this is important to him.