When you’re planning a new app, you’ve probably got a million ideas running through your head. These thoughts are likely centered around the way the app will function, how it will serve customers, and even how you will market your app to your target user base. During the product development planning process, it is easy to be consumed by the mechanics and the expected results of the app and to ignore the design until later on.
While your app’s functionality is critical, it’s also important to incorporate design into the product development planning process. There are many reasons to include design in these early stages, but we’ll narrow it down to the five most important.
We won’t sugarcoat it. Even if your final product is the most innovative app ever created and solves all of the world’s problems, nobody is going to use it if it looks like a 12-year-old’s GeoCities website from the 90s. Humans are visual beasts, and we are drawn to aesthetically pleasing things.
So, with the overall importance of visuals established, it should be clear why it’s critical to include design in your product planning process. Design is important enough that you want to consider it right from the start.
As important as aesthetics are, design is more than just appealing visuals. A logic-driven, user-friendly design is also the driving force behind a strong and cohesive user experience (UX). The two cannot be separated.
So if you’re considering UX during the development planning process–and you should be–then you naturally need to incorporate design into the process. By simultaneously planning your app's functionality and its design, you’re more likely to end up with a great UX.
When you’re going through the development planning process, you’ll be thinking about how you want to build your app. If it’s a smartphone app, for example, do you want to build a native app, or would it be best to develop a progressive web app (PWA)? Do you want to use Swift for your iOS app, or do you want to use something like React Native?
What does this have to do with design? Well, the technology you use to build your app is often based on what type of design features you’re aiming for. If you incorporate design into your development planning process, it can help steer your tech stack in the most convenient direction.
If you’re following some of the more modern and cutting-edge app features, it may call for a particular design to best support these features.
For example, artificial intelligence (AI) has become increasingly common in modern apps. If your product is going to have AI features built-in – even something as simple as an AI chatbot – then you really should be thinking about the design right from the start. Where and how will the user trigger the chatbot? You want this to be placed in an intuitive location but also not be overly invasive to the rest of the UI.
These decisions are easier to make when you incorporate design into the development planning process, so you aren’t trying to make these decisions on the fly.
While you may want your app to be unique and stand out from the crowd, there’s a lot of value in following popular UI and UX design trends. After all, trends become popular for a reason, and that reason is that end-users like them. So, by all means, make your app stand out, but also try to incorporate some currently accepted design paradigms as well.
To do this, you want to start working on the design during the development planning phase so you have time to properly gauge what is trending in the market and make your design and feature set seamlessly fit what consumers are looking for.
Between planning, design, and development, bringing a new app to market is a long and arduous process. If you’re feeling like you need help and want to make sure your app release goes off without a hitch, it may be time to bring in the experts.
Camber Creative has been strategizing, designing, developing, and marketing websites and apps for years. Our team of experts can help make your next product a success.