50 tips for ios app development

This is an adaptation of an article by Nick Carson. The article contains a deep analysis of the things that one should consider when building a mobile app.

Due to a large size of the whole article, we’ve decided to divide the whole story into 5 series - giving 10 tips in each piece.

So, let us proceed to the tips:

The touch controls are far from being perfect

1. You may consider touch controls to be flexible and intuitive, but nonetheless, it is far from perfect . Think about what people do when using your application, and how they hold the device. Remember that your fingers cover a much larger area than it seems, which makes the accuracy of the tap much lower than you think.

Consider the device you are developing for

2. Focus on the device when creating applications: consider not only the size of the screen, but also where and when the device is being used. For instance, iPad is mostly used for entertainment between 8-11 o'clock in the evening, before bedtime, while iPhone - in line for a bus or in a coffee shop. Note the use of different scenarios in application development - including how far the device is located from the user's face.

Concentrate on what the app should do

3. Determine what are the main tasks that are achieved when using the active screen and then make sure that the user can solve them using a minimum number of additional options, buttons and other controls. Avoid too much functional load on the active screen, especially on small mobile devices.

Remember about the small screen of the mobile device

4. The development of apps for mobile phones or tablet differs significantly from the development of Web applications and even applications for standard desktop - each element occupies a specific location on the screen, and this rule must be strictly followed. Think of it as an advantage rather than a limitation: fixed templates help you better control the size and location of each item that is visible to your user.

Don't forget about use cases

5. While adapting applications to the screens of various sizes, remember that if the change is significant - for example, the difference between the iPhone and the iPad - the way your user uses the device will also change. If size is limited, use the basic functions of the application, when the screen size increases - you can add any additional features that are not included in a more condensed version.

The icons matter a lot

6. The secret of making good icons for applications is to reflect the basic idea: the obvious features of your application, but in a visually eye-pleasing shape. IOS users sometimes very careful approach to the selection of icons for your desktop. Take the time to create icons for all possible sizes so that they look good on the screen of any device , including a miniature version used in the "Settings" menu of the user.

A finger tap is not a mouse click

7. A finger is larger and is less accurate than a mouse cursor so the area is pressed on the touch screen should have a significant error. To simplify the problem never place too much control in one area of the screen or too close to each other. Also make sure that the buttons are large enough for accurate clicking. Apple recommends that the size of the buttons is not less than 44x44.

Concentrate on the problem your app is solving

8. Try to limit the basic functions of your application at primary stages of development and if possible do not stray far away from the original idea. Thus, you can develop and improve the concept of the application, as well as its look and feel, without creating confusion by adding new variables.

Listen to Apple's HIGs

9. When developing applications for iOS, note the design recommendations by Apple as they have extensive experience in user interface design. To change the style of one of the controls to improve the look and feel of your application is one thing, but never change the function - it will just confuse users who are accustomed to standard application experience on iOS. For example, the red button is used to delete objects, and blue - to perform an action.

Don't complicate stuff

10. The best application interfaces are usually the simple and intuitive ones. They seem to be very clear to users and make them feel like at home. The main task of developers is to create a stunning visual effect that users will be fascinated by, and thus be able to use it without reading any instructions.

These are all the tips for now. Follow us on any social network listed below to stay up to date with Part 2.

by Dmytro Bilkun