As iOS 7 is still very fresh, we will continue to improve the list below and elaborate on each item. Feel free to sign up for our newsletter below to keep in touch and hit us with #FakeCrow with your comments.
With flat design, simplified actions and optimized hierarchy, iOS 7 is putting user experience in the center of everything. This means spring cleaning for all apps.
Here are a few points to consider while redesigning an existing app for iOS 7.
1. Check The Story
Before jumping into design, study the data collected on user interactions, power users’ behaviors, conversion activities, etc.
Review the current experience and see what’s working vs. what’s not.
This is a good time to research what the competitors are doing.
Focus on simplifying.
2. Color Scheme and Style Guide
Update the app’s colors for iOS 7 and create a color scheme to help unify the look.
This also helps streamline design and development process during future iterations.
3. Retina Display
Make sure your app is fully supportive of @2x images for newer screens.
4. Scalable Design
Use points instead of pixels.
Use vector objects and dynamic styles/fx to avoid quality loss.
To learn more, check out Ben Taylor’s article, “Starter’s Guide to iOS Design“.
5. Iterate Friendly
When designing, take possible future functionalities into consideration.
Make sure the design can be implemented in phases.
Photoshop and Illustrator may not be the best options.
Consider using Fireworks. It makes creating, managing and exporting design elements easier.
At Fake Crow, we are bringing Fireworks more into our workflow everyday.
You can read more on Fireworks and App design, here.
7. Fluid Design and Orientation
If you haven’t already done so, make sure the app responds well to different font sizes and works for both portrait and landscape orientation (where applicable).
Be mindful of custom fonts.
Give your users the option of adjusting text size if needed.
9. iPhone 4 vs 5
Prioritize iPhone 5 but make sure your design performs well on both.
10. Let The Content Shine
Focus on the content and utilize the screen as much as you can.
Make sure important elements have room to breathe.
11. Blurs and Transparency
iOS 7 introduced more transparency and blurred backgrounds. This may be an extra opportunity for you to bring the app in line with the current design trends.
It is pretty cool, but use parallax effects with caution. Some people get motion sickness (true story, google it).
In efforts to simplify the UI, iOS 7 also introduced borderless buttons.
A fresh look starts with a fresh icon.
Make sure you have a fresh and nicely flattened app icon, that meets the new iOS 7 specifications.
15. Splash Screen
Use a splash screen only when it makes sense.
Design it in line with your new look.
Wireframes, mockups, even prototypes can’t convey interactions precisely enough.
Define states, transitions and animations clearly.
Discuss with the dev team and finalize the interactions together.
17. Test Early, Iterate Often
Lean principals don’t only apply to development. They are also good for design implementations;
Avoid a major overhaul.
Instead, start with the must have’s, implement and deploy often.
Get users’ (new and old) opinion.
Test different scenarios constantly.
18. No Compromise Exports
Use less compression.
Lock to pixel grid
Avoid using color management in your design software.
Bjango’s article, “My App Design Workflow” covers good points regrading quality output.
19. Expedite Development Cycle
Consider creating a sprite / slice sheet. CSS Image Sprites are great for web but they are also handy for app design. They’ve speeded up our workflow quite a bit. Here is a sprite example for social network icons.
Create Specs sheets. These should include measurements, requirements, color values and explain fluid elements, interactions, transitions, animations, etc.
Be involved during development, provide QA and feedback.
20. Read The Manual
Make sure your new app meets Apple’s requirements and standards; You can find Apple’s iOS 7 Design Resources here.
21. No, We’re Not Done
When your refreshed app hits the app store, hopefully you’ll get lots of compliments but you should keep looking at the stats and other unbiased resources.
Evaluate as objectively as you can and adapt as needed.
Our next step is to tackle each item little bit more in depth. Stay tuned!
This is an article in the making, hit us with #FakeCrow and help us make this list better.