In the modern world, there are many hundreds of websites that need designing on a daily basis and even more apps. As such, graphic designers in-house and freelance will be turning their design skills to the growing world of apps. Opening up a whole new can of worms when it comes to design considerations.

For anyone thinking of becoming involved in app development from a design perspective, it is important that your designs take the following considerations into account:


An app that looks stunning, but is impossible to use is a development nightmare. Here developers and designers need to work together cohesively to ensure a stunning design that works for users.

This may mean a number of changes to either the design or code of the app to support one another better. Faster loading times may mean scaling back on design elements, or the code may need adapting to allow the design to flow in a better layout that is more user friendly. A constant dialogue is needed between design and development to ensure these changes are made during the creation of the app, not once a problem has been identified by users.


Apps are created to grow and reach more users on a daily basis. Therefore, designing an app with scalability in mind is extremely important. For designers, this means leaving room in your design for later changes down the line or increased capabilities. Having a design which is tied to one concept is the death of scalability.

For example, eventually, the app might need to take on some e-commerce capabilities.

This is especially important if you are working on an app version of a website, in lieu of a mobile site. You must make room for eventual changes, but still, keep the initial integrity of the site. As the desktop site changes, so must the app and this is vital for smooth usability between the two for customers.


In typical web design, a simple design is necessary to attract mobile users and for that golden usability. This is even more important in app design. A simple design can reduce the size of the app (ideal for users who do not want apps taking up memory space on their phones) and reduce load times. Users do not react well to slow loading websites or apps, so optimising them for the best speed is vital.

The layout of your app is also important to consider. Navigation and content need to be placed in a simple, but effective layout that is intuitive to use. Drop down menus and collapsible content are potential solutions for the problem of simplicity in app design.

Ultimately, don’t be afraid to create a beautiful design! An app needs to be simple, not barren.


From the outset of your project, the palette that you use should be well established before any work is begun in earnest. For projects with predefined colours schemes, this is a simple case of finding out what these colours are and building from them. However, if you are starting from scratch completely it can be a tad more difficult.

Typically, you should focus on one primary brand colour and its accents (optimally three). Again, over-complicating your app can make it clunky and not visually pleasing for your users. Avoiding clashing colours is integral for user retention.


Another important design element for your app design is the typeface. Developing an app for people to use means picking a typeface which is readable, scalable and can be varied.

Before committing to a font for an app, remember to test all numbers and punctuation. Beautiful lettering in a font can quickly become unreadable when numerical. Testing your font in different shades, formats and sizes is also important to ensure it can work for all of your needs.

Top tip: assign text styles to all of the content you use in your design. Changes to font down the line will not be applied throughout your design if you do not assign text styles - such as headers, body text and display links - so it is important in case change does occur. A project is not a linear line, it changes and develops so allow yourself the ability to make these changes to your font with ease.


Design for apps is not too different from web design. It is still, after all, about the user and ensuring they have as good experience as possible. Simplifying the process, but maintaining a great design and usability is integral to the process.

Author's Bio: 

Zack Halliwell is an enthusiastic freelance writer; offering tips on anything from writing, marketing to app development. Find him @ZackHalliwell on Twitter.