Updated: Aug 7
You're building a no-code app and learning many new things. Regarding design, user flow and navigation, knowing where to begin can be confusing! I've compiled five practices that I use when building an app that can be applied with little knowledge of no code design. Follow these five tips, and you'll be on your way to building a great app that is easy to use.
Tip #1 - Generate a colour palette
This stage can seem overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be! I learnt about the colour wheel from my early years of making art. We know what it is, but knowing how to use it is important.
Colours can make us feel certain things, mainly because of where they are found on the colour wheel. If you know that you want to use blue in your design, its complementary colour (found on the opposite side) is orange. So you can experiment with shades of these two colours to find the feeling you're after. If you want to use three colours, you'll look to the triadic pattern. You can use colours next to each other, but it is often not recommended because they can clash and blend into each other.
Try this colour palette generator to help you come up with a colour palette: https://coolors.co/
Image from Google Images
Tip #2 - Navigation is key
You might know the ins and outs of your app well, but if it takes too long to explain it to others and needs to be more intuitive, then your navigation needs a touch-up. You may not think about it, but designing your navigation is the key to unlocking a great user flow and interaction. I always think, 'How can I do this in the least steps?'. Asking this question helps me keep the design simple and makes it easier for customers to move through the app.
Now this may take time. If it's easier to get your thoughts out and build it - then work towards scaling back at the end. The least amount of steps and screens, the better.
"How can I do this in the least amount of steps."
It is also very important to ensure you only have to push back sometimes because it makes it harder to remember how to get back to anywhere in the app. Making navigation hard will decrease the likelihood of users staying on the app. Take the thinking out for them and add a navigation bar to every screen. Screens like an audio player might not need it because you only hit back once. But consider making this easier for the users because your retention rate will increase if the design feels intuitive.
Tip #3 - Continuity in design goes a long way
Once you do something one way, keep that continuity everywhere. It sounds simple enough, but I am talking about all the little things.
- If you choose to use shadows on your top app bar, use them on each screen (I personally don't like a shadow here because it looks cleaner, but it's your preference).
- If you choose two colours - use one as your main colour and stick to it while using the other one as an accent colour. Try to keep this up the same.
- Same for fonts - pick a font pairing and stick to them.
You may not think about it, but this continuity improves the user experience tenfold because they aren't constantly being introduced to new information, and it brings the brand together in a seamless way. Often simple is best.
Tip #4 - Create space
Create space around your content and page design, and keep the distance throughout your app. We're often compelled to put as much info into a layout as possible, but it can feel cluttered and disorganised. Creating space allows the user to take in what they're looking at in bite-sized pieces.
For example - if your paragraph spacing is 3 px below your heading, ensure it follows the same spacing down the screen. Or, if you're creating a block of information, create a good amount of space between that and the next block.
Quick tip - in Adalo, you can select a text box and use your down or up arrow to count pixels (px). Creating the perfect space every time between components.
Tip #5 - Design is about how it makes you feel
The main key to any good design is how it makes someone feel. Colours, fonts and navigation all come together when we can make the user or customer feel something. Think about what that might look like. Here are some prompts:
- When someone lands in my app, how do I want them to feel? Calm, inspired?
- The colours I choose feel...
- When a customer navigates the layout, what do they feel? Ease?
- When anyone interacts with my brand, how do I want them to feel?
Remember to seek feedback from others.
Ask others how they feel. If they found things easy, what would they want to see instead, and what is their overall experience in the app? It is all part of the testing phase, and it is quite important because once you notice a trend in feedback, you'll know how to design your app better. This is a constantly changing process and requires lots of time and effort. Tweaking your design and navigation is the key to unlocking great UI / UX in your app!
You can book a free 30 min Discovery Call here with me if you'd like me to help you!