Design is an important principle of innovation that is often overlooked in many web and mobile apps. The app market is competitive, and it sort of makes sense to why companies want to quickly launch an app. However, not taking the time to figure out the design – UI (user interface) and UX (user experience) – can lead to frustrated users because they don’t know how to navigate your app. In addition, making multiple pivots during development (without a good plan from the start) can be costly.

As a creative director, I explain the importance of good design is beyond having something that looks nice, it’s about creating a pleasant user experience from beginning to end. If you’re building a house, I don’t just want to know how you want your house to look but I will also want to know: Why do you want this house? How long do you want to live here? Where will it be built? Who will live in this house? You get the point. Very often during the design phase, we’re identifying potential user obstacles and strategizing for how to overcome them. Design should be considered right from the start because it determines how the app will look and function before it’s made.

Design is not a superficial investment. The level of fanciness is governed by your budget and business goals. Take the time to explore the user’s experience from beginning to end because that is where you will find opportunities to differentiate yourself from the competition.

What is good design?

Good design defines a product’s identity through creativity and functionality. It’s nicely explained by Dieter Ram’s ten principles of good design:

  • innovative (design works in tandem with technology)
  • emphasize the usefulness of a product
  • aesthetically pleasing
  • make a product understandable
  • unobtrusive and fulfill a purpose
  • honest and deliver on its promises
  • long-lasting
  • thorough with details (care and accuracy show respect towards the user)
  • environmentally-friendly (consideration of its lifecycle)
  • simplicity (less, but better)

Why does good design matter?

Creating amazing brand experiences will help create customer loyalty. Good design is necessary for changing and affecting a business’ profitability. Fast Company posted an excellent article on ‘Why good design is a finally a bottom line investment,‘ explaining how design has helped transformed companies and modern startups.

There is proof that design does affect profitability. Adobe posted an article on ‘The Importance of Design for Business‘ with some fascinating stats:

  • Design-driven companies have outperformed the S&P Index by 219% over ten years
  • Nike’s CEO is a designer
  • 13 of the 2014 Fortune 125 companies have executive-level positions or CEO support for design
  • Companies that foster creativity enjoys 1.5x greater market share

Start with the design before you begin to code.

Designing your app before you build it can allow you to get it in front of your users faster by using a prototyping tool like Invision (transform designs into clickable and interactive mockups.). This stage can help you to gather valuable user feedback on the UI and UX, and help developers plan out the building of the app.

Camp Festival even app by Uppercut.

Uppercut uses Invision tool for app design and UX.

We used Invision to mockup our initial wireframes and design flats for the Camp event app to help us validate our strategy, and identify technical issues way before development begins. Starting a project with design also helped us control the scope of work and timeline.

If you have an idea for a web product or mobile app and are in need of some UI and UX help, get in touch with us to see if we’re a good partner to help you bring it to life. You can also learn more about our product development process.