50 tips for ios app development

Wireframes are important

11. Always initiate the development from planning with the basic structure and then try adding the main functional blocks. The easiest way to do it is to draw the main screens of the application and then connect all active screens and points. Ask your friends or colleagues to look at your wireframe and assess whether it is convenient to use the proposed functions.

Look for design inspiration

12. When choosing the appearance and atmosphere of the application - try searching for some inspirational materials or, for example, come up with a moodboard. ThinkWhether it is neutral or friendly interface image of actual materials such as leather, stone or metal ? Experiment with different combinations and color combinations : this can help Adobe Kuler.

Mind the different screen resolutions

13. The dimensions of iOS can range from 1024x768/2048x1536 (iPad2 and iPad Retina respectively) to 640x960 (iPhone 4 and 4S) and 1136x640 for iPhone 5 and 5S. Sometimes it is good to insert text descriptions of some of the UI elements in addition to simple icons in order to accommodate all the necessary information to the small screen. This is a wonderful way to develop custom visual language of communication for your applications that optimise way your user interacts with an app.

Design in vector first

14. You can easily adapt the size of the image to different screen sizes if you create all the graphic elements in Illustrator in vector format and then import them into Photoshop, where you can easily fit them into specific screen size and resolution, modifying and simplifying where necessary.

Start from sketching the design

15. Work on the design and functions of the app on paper using the available templates of iPhone or iPad as a model. When you are ready to transfer the design to a new level, tools such as LucidChart can help you create a functional layout of your application to further transfer it to Photoshop to finalize the application's appearance.

Break the rules (where needed)

16. The recommendations of Apple in the user interface design are very importunt to ensure the platform compatibility but sometimes you have to break some rules if you want to gain success. Some applications - for example, Flipboard, Twitter or Instagram - are completely different from the standard user expectations - so do not be afraid to go beyond convention.

Larger screens first

17. When developing applications for the iPad and iPhone, always start with a larger screen and then reduce the scale, also simplifying the image in the process. Often, while maintaining the general concept you may need to rethink some elements of the interface, for example, to consider the landscape and portrait modes, to include different views and functions. Simple zooming interface is usually ineffective , so take the time to search for the best approach.

Test the size of UI elements

18. When developing applications that will run in real time - such as games - is crucial to create the key elements of a large enough size so that users can quickly and easily interact with them. During the testing phase, find the user with relatively large hands: it is the most effective way to find out whether the buttons and controls are sufficiently large.

Think of customisation capabilities

19. One of the key decisions made by the application developer is to determine the degree of customisation capability of the application relatively to basic setting. Ask yourself this question at each stage of development and always keep track of what is most important in a particular context. For the functional , such as the general settings panel , the basic settings are usually the best solution.

Don’t forget the landscape mode mode

20. Examine how your application adapts to landscape and portrait mode. It may be required to give more or less space for individual UI elements within each screen orientation or add or remove some functions.

Stay tuned for more tips that are to be published later this week. Also, feel free to leave your comments in the section below or go to 50 tips on developing a great iOS app - part 1


by Dmytro Bilkun