Lecture Notes

Week 3- Article Analysis

What Everyone Should Know About the Process Behind App Design, by Michael Flarup notes and analysis.




  • Flarup (2016) notes that designers should allow an idea to be versatile, meaning, giving it a chance to change and evolve to potentially something better.
  • Flarup (2016) recommends the following questions to be asked of oneself when designing apps: Is this idea financially viable? How sure are you that you can reward an investment? Is this idea technically feasible? Can this be made? Who should make it? How would we go about making it? What sort of tools do we use? What sort of data/API/touch points do we need? What are the obstacles facing the implementation of the idea? Is someone else already doing this?
  • These questions differ upon each idea, but basically the idea phase involves open minded thinking and an honest approach.
  • Idea workshops are an effective way of evolving an idea.




  • The Spec process is the blueprint for an app and Flarup believes this part of the process is a must.
  • A spec enables an idea to be improved and sets the tone for the project.
  • A spec keeps everyone involved in tune and up to date with the process and any developments that have ensued.
  • A program such as word, or pages is sufficient for this phase of the process.




  • Wireframes can be part of the spec or built from the spec.
  • Information Architects (iA’s) and User Experience Designers (UX designers) are the usual beneficiaries of this phase and it’s important to discuss as a team, the apps structure.
  • Drawing on knowledge of paradigms, as well as the target audience and overall goal of the app, is essential during the wire framing process.
  • Wireframes usually begin in the form of a sketch before being implemented into software programs such as Omnigraffle, Sketch, or Photoshop.
  • Wireframes act as the first deliberate design of a project and identifies inconsistencies missed during the spec process.
  • You have to be specific about what you want and how it could potentially get done.


AppFuturea (N.D). Wireframe. Graphic. Retrieved from: http://www.appfutura.com                          




  • The goal of prototyping is to test your hypotheses and gather feedback during development.
  • Software such as Invision or Marvel helps convert mockups into a simple app that allows you to critique the design.
  • Different apps and situations make the prototyping phase relative, meaning different circumstances shape how this step is performed.
  • The most important part of prototyping, is attaining early validation into an idea and figuring out any flaws before investing too much time in the following steps.


Visual Design:


  • This step involves working towards ensuring there is an identifiable visual language throughout the app.
  • The goal is to not only communicate the branding within the app, but to make the experience enjoyable.
  • “Great visual design elevates the mundane, clarifies the unclear and leaves a lasting impression with the user.”
  • A designer can establish a set of rules and conventions and apply these to each aspect of the app to ensure consistency.
  • This step is a constantly evolving process.



  • This step should involve developers and designers.
  • Different expertise from different professions offers different insight to the process, with developers providing insight to designers and vice versa.




  • Designing an app is rarely a consistent process and differs depending on the circumstances.
  • Start with an idea, write it down, build a prototype and embrace the relationship between design and development.
  • An app is never finished, and throughout the development phases, a combination of numerous profession and expertise helps it find its identity. 




Flarup, M. (2016). What Everyone Should Know About The Process Behind App Design –    Smashing Magazine. Smashing Magazine. Retrieved 8 March 2017, from https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2016/11/what-everyone-should-know-about-the-process-behind-app-design/



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