Designing for the best user experience
The starting point of a product is the user experience and the design. Each page of the app is worked out in detail on the basis of the agreed concept. The result of this is processed into an online click model that you can test yourself. This allows important changes to be made before we proceed to development.
Sketch + Invision: a magical duo
Apps and websites are mainly designed in Sketch made by the Dutch company Bohemian BV. This macOS application is built specifically for UX and UI designers. Sketch works well with Invision, a platform for creating prototypes, thanks to the Invision Craft plugin. This powerful duo is therefore extensively used throughout the design process, for evaluation of the design by the customer and communication internally with the developers.
During the quotation process, a design plan is already made based on the assignment. Things such as our in-house style, target group and desired appearance are taken into account and two to three key screens are designed. A key screen is a screen with which most interaction takes place, or a screen where the operation of the app is made clear. This is done on the basis of the concept devised by the 9to5 team at that time.
With Wacom drawing tablets, our designers design interfaces in Sketch. Our designers know the Google Material Design Guidelines and the Apple Human Interface Guidelines by heart. And by watching a lot of vlogs about iOS or Android beta versions or installing the beta versions themselves they can make sure your UI is at the cutting edge of UI design. Because of their own obsession for design, they sometimes also look to Pinterest or Dribble for extra inspiration.
Sketch is mainly used for design, but this is supplemented with Adobe Creative Cloud. This ranges from Adobe Illustrator and Adobe InDesign for designing vectors and layouts, to animations in Adobe After Effects and photo editing in Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop.
Although we prefer to design everything ourselves, it is often not wise to reinvent the wheel. That's why for icons a lot of use is made of the very uniform and well-designed Google Material Icons. The advantage of these icons is that they come with clear design guidelines, so that it is easy to design a custom icon that fits perfectly. In addition, the website sketchappsources.com is used. The Sketch community is very active and places a lot of useful Sketch assets on this site.
App Stores and marketing
Design at 9to5 goes beyond what software should look like. We also design the visuals for the App Store, Google Play, social media, newspapers, mailing lists, printable brochures and other marketing. By letting the same designer create the marketing assets, you get a coherent appearance.
Showing a simple screenshot is often sufficient, but at 9to5 we noticed that more context is important. With the help of beautiful device frames, for example MockuPhone, we can place a screenshot in a phone in no time. If we want to have a choice of more mobile phone models or to exercise more control over the end result, the Sketch files from facebook.design offer a solution.