As a professional mobile app designer, you have the opportunity to deliver an extraordinary product that rises to the top of the App Store charts.
To do so, you’ll need to meet high expectations for quality and functionality through the use of appropriate iOS design themes.
Three primary iOS design themes differentiate iOS from other platforms:
To maximize impact and reach, keep the following principles in mind as you imagine your app’s identity.
Aesthetic integrity represents how well an app’s appearance and behavior integrate with its function.
For example, an app that helps people perform a serious task can keep them focused by using subtle, unobtrusive graphics, standard controls, and predictable behaviors.
On the other hand, an immersive app, such as a game, can deliver a captivating appearance that promises fun and excitement, while encouraging discovery.
A consistent mobile application implements familiar standards and paradigms by using system-provided interface elements, well-known icons, standard text styles, and uniform terminology.
The app incorporates features and behaviors in ways people expect.
The direct manipulation of onscreen content engages people and facilitates understanding.
Users experience direct manipulation when they rotate the device or use gestures to affect onscreen content. Through direct manipulation, they can see the immediate, visible results of their actions.
Feedback acknowledges actions and shows results to keep people informed. The built-in iOS apps provide perceptible feedback in response to every user action.
Interactive iOS elements are highlighted briefly when tapped, progress indicators communicate the status of long-running operations, and animation and sound help clarify the results of actions.
People learn more quickly when an app’s virtual objects and actions are metaphors for familiar experiences—whether rooted in the real or digital world. Metaphors work well in iOS apps because people physically interact with the screen.
They move views out of the way to expose content beneath. They drag and swipe content. They toggle switches, move sliders, and scroll through picker values. They even flick through pages of books and magazines.
Throughout iOS, people—not apps—are in control.
An app can suggest a course of action or warn about dangerous consequences, but it’s usually a mistake for the iOS app to take over the decision-making. The best apps find the correct balance between enabling users and avoiding unwanted outcomes.
An app can make people feel like they’re in control by keeping interactive elements familiar and predictable, confirming destructive actions, and making it easy to cancel operations, even when they’re already underway.
This article is based on the iOS design themes published by Apple Inc. here.
What are your thoughts on better iOS mobile app design themes?
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Geoffrey is an experienced software developer and open source evangelist. When not coding he writes and talks about current technology trends, small business tips and developer productivity hacks. He is no coffee addict.
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