When we discuss mobile applications in today’s world, the first and foremost thing that requires utmost attention is user experience. The user interface and design of the mobile application need to be enticing and easily interpretable enough for the users to give them a satisfying experience.
There are tons of applications that serve the same purpose but some are more popular just because of their UI/UX and visual representation. As a contributor and leading name in the mobile application development industry, we at OpenXcell, we study the trends, user mindset, what can lead the user to download an application, etc. to develop a full-fledged mobile application that can satisfy client needs as well.
Mobile application design process encompasses a few basic phases, namely,
- Flow and setting objectives
- Visual design
Figma is a cloud-based design tool known for providing team collaboration. Moreover, it is a web-based vector graphics editor and prototyping tool for enhancing and simplifying the design phase of the mobile application development process. Figma runs online in the browser as well as a desktop application for both Windows and macOS.
Features of Figma
This is the best feature of Figma, it is the “always online” feature that allows you and your team members for live and real-time collaboration to make changes simultaneously. This means that the changes in the file can be saved online and team members can access the latest version anytime they wish. Another advantage of collaboration is that you can guide your client through the design as well, without meeting physically. The clients can suggest their views and you can make changes on the go.
2. Iteration Flexibility
Figma allows team members to sketch an initial whiteboard that can be collaboratively used by other team members to iterate wireframes, mockups and everything else. This flexibility to iterate provides a huge relief and ease in the mobile application design process. The libraries of Figma can be reused for iteration and move further with the design process.
3. Prototyping & Testing
In Figma, you can toggle between design mode and prototype mode to easily make elements interactive and review the prototype. With Figma, you can create high-fidelity prototypes allowing the design to come to life when you are reviewing the components of the design. You can directly build, publish and test the mobile applications on smartphones.
4. Smooth Sharing
Figma allows the designers and the developers to use a single tool for handoff. Figma provides a code mode for the developers once they get the code. The designers just need to send a link and when the developers click on it they can readily edit in the code mode.
5. Easy Development of Plugins
Figma makes it easier for the designers to customize their desired plugins with its API and plugin system. The design teams can program plugins according to their needs and thus interact with the platform programmatically. Custom APIs can be developed for real-time data applications, workflows, etc.
Why Did We Choose Figma?
Out of the long list of aspects that push us closer to use Figma, here are a few important ones that we thought should be shared with you,
- Using the collaboration feature, we are able to complete the design review in minutes, or get client feedback and implement it on the go, and thus, save our time in using different applications or software for sharing, uploading, downloading, and so on.
- Figma has become a centre point for the designers, developers, and clients, as everyone can meet in the same file and simultaneously work. Anyone with the link can see the latest version of the design.
- We can effortlessly traverse from the design phase to the coding phase and that too faster than before. And the reason being that Figma uses frames instead of artboards making it easier to nest, code, and design.
- The main reason we are glued to Figma is that it saves our time, yes, a lot of time is saved as it is flexible and the designing process is comparatively easier.
Our Application Design Process using Figma
OpenXcell has a passionate team of creative-minded techies who manage the mobile app design process with Figma, the use of latest technologies to deliver the most amazing user experience.
Figma is becoming an integral part of our design process and giving us a huge amount of success in designing the most interactive mobile applications. Here’s how we reinvented our entire app design process using Figma.
Our application design process is quite straightforward and lucid, with extensive use of Figma, we are able to surpass many phases such as, creating prototype, publishing the draft of designs, getting it reviewed from the design team, development team and then iterating to incorporate the changes.
No, we don’t follow this lengthy process anymore, with Figma, we eliminate this step of publishing the draft and sharing it with everyone as everyone is already viewing the latest version of the application and thus making changes simultaneously.
Our mobile application design process can be described as,
1. Statistical and Psychological Research
Before initiating the development process of any application, we make sure that thorough research is conducted in the market. We gauge the user’s perspective to get an idea about features to be included in the application and the type of UI/UX or visualization that would please the user.
After getting the research results, we pen down the features to be included in the application and start wireframing the visualized data structures and UI features. For the initial wireframing we keep it a little on the expanded side to avoid missing out on any features and later make it crisp with iterations. By using Figma from this step itself helps everyone in the design team understand what will be the look and feel of the application.
3. Process Flow and Sitemaps
To complete the task, achieve objectives and get sitemaps in a flow, we design process flow and strictly follow it. This phase helps us to clear the basic strategy, architecture and design of the application. Once the process flow is developed, the entire team can start with their work without any doubts in their minds.
4. Iterative Process With Figma
Now, the actual design process starts, and with Figma, it has become quite easy for us to collaborate with the team members, conduct design reviews and even take feedback from the clients and reflect their suggestions instantly in the design of the mobile application.
We craft 100% custom designs for our clients tailored to their needs and for that the following phases occur simultaneously in the Figma tool for the faster mobile application design process.
- Creation and Updation of Mockups
Our design team can work concurrently in creating the mockups for the application design and also the design lead can review it and update it as and when required to save time and speed up the process. Figma makes it easier with the interactive interface and components that are better than symbols.
- Creation of Prototype
After the creation of mockups, the prototype is created for the team to move to the latest version of the mockup and everyone can be on the same page. The clickable prototype is created that gives us an idea about the user’s interaction and how effectively the UI can interact with the users.
- Review, Testing and Editing
Once the prototype is created, it is shared with the design team and the client as well for getting their inputs and thus, as you and the client are viewing the same thing at the same time, you can make changes as the client suggests. This process saves a lot of time.
5. Hand-off to Developers
Once the design is finalized with all the necessary changes, Figma has made it easier to share it with the developers. Just share a link and the developers can switch from design mode to code mode and that’s it. The task is done.
What Our Designers Have To Say?
When it comes to Figma, our Design Manager, UI/UX & Visualization,
Mr. Satish Patel says,
I like Figma because it’s a web-based tool with real-time collaboration. I can use it on any of my machines, if I am wherever in the house or an office. Everyone can work in the same file at the same time because of cloud support. Aspects that drives me to use Figma are,
Great component support and User Library
Recently they had Framer support for batter interactive prototype
Using third-party tools you can import files into after effects for motion graphics work
Figma has truly transformed our mobile application design process and elevated it to a level where it saves our time, develops the most interactive UI/UX, and is really easy to work with. Even our design team is head over heels on Figma and its features. Our mobile application development team has weaved Figma in the development process and leveraged all the benefits to give a boost to the current process.