Lecture Notes

Week 2 Lecture: App Design and Development Process-Prototyping

Many designers start on print design projects, then move forward to utilizing websites learning concepts related interactive design and user experience.

New devices such as smart watches, mean app designers must continually learn new paradigms. Since the arrival of the internet and computers, users weren’t just spectator like many were with print ads, but, interactors.  Many website design paradigms came from print.

J, Aldor & T, Cooper (2011) Lean UX Cycles (Visual Graphic). Retrieved from: https://image.slidesharecdn.com/delux-mccoy-110214115644-phpapp01/95/lean-ux-product-stewardship-integrated-teams-8-728.jpg?cb=1298205207

The lecture juxtaposes the change of design within Apple’s websites from their 1997 webpages, to their current ones. We can understand the importance of hierarchy with the modern Apple page, rather than the long text of hyperlinks.


Adapting to the world of app design:


  1. Change the way you work:


  • The work cycle must be quick from idea, to launch.
  • Starting with sketching is the most effective way to get the flow and basic interface aspects of an app sorted first without getting distracted. Ginsburg (2010) furthers this notion by believing it is essential to begin the process with sketches rather than software, to avoid distraction and stick to solving the original problem, as mentioned also in the lecture.
  • Sticking to smaller screens (mobile) first then moving onto larger screens such as a tablet is recommended.
  1. Understand Development


  • Learn to use development tools and understand basic development concepts
  • Learn appropriate terminology.


  1. Use a Variety of Operating Systems


  • It is essential to familiarize yourself as a designer to numerous operating systems (Android & Windows Mobile), not just IOS.
  • Tabs are used differently within each operating system. Banga and Weinfold (2014) stress the importance of not replicating an app detail for detail when converting an app to a new operating system, particularly if the original design was tailored specifically to one operating system.


  1. Prototype Everything


  • Understanding how something will look and function before implementing.
  • A prototype must do more than just show a static design, it has to also include images, transitions and gestures.
  • Prototyping apps allows for realistic drafts, offering an honest depiction of what the final product will be, which is handy when delivering drafts or mockups to clients (Alton, 2014).


  1. What you see is not always what you get


  • Testing is imperative for different platforms.


  1. Apps are never finished


  • Designers must be willing to continually improve and evolve apps and websites.
  • The truth is discovered through usability tests and figuring out what’s wrong and detecting problems in order to improve.




Alton, L. (2014). Understanding The Importance Of Prototyping Apps. Digitalist Magazine. Retrieved 8 March 2017, from http://www.digitalistmag.com/technologies/mobile-applications/2014/08/19/understanding-the-importance-of-prototyping-apps-01299518


Banga, C. & Weinhold, J. (2014). Essential mobile interaction design (1st ed., pp. 53-56). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Addison-Wesley.


Ginsburg, S. (2011). Designing the iPhone user experience : a user-centered approach to sketching and prototyping iPhone apps (1st ed.).


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