A Designer’s Guide to Collaborating With Your Developer
When it comes to designing for mobile apps and websites, your design is only as great as its functionality. While beautiful UI is important, it’s critical for your designs to be useful.Read More
The Art of Simplicity: Wireframing your User Experience
When explaining our design process to a client, I often find myself having to pause at the wireframing stage and explain what wireframing is. It’s not the coolest part of designing a product, but I find it the most valuable step in the process. By dedicating time to mapping out the user experience and wireframing the project, a designer can focus more time later on being creative and lessen the amount of interruptions due to UX confusion.
What is a Wireframe?If you’re building a house, you wouldn’t pick the color of the walls first, would you? Consider the same approach to designing a product. The wireframe is the foundation and structure of your project, and it can come in various forms and deliverables.
How Does Wireframing Work?My team likes to begin the old fashioned way, with a white board and a dry-erase marker. We’ll spend time sketching out the flow of the design and identifying all the places our users can explore from screen-to-screen. By displaying our thinking on a white board, we can ask each other questions, identify the best user experience, and discover places where innovation is practical. I recommend pulling a developer into this conversation. An expert in code can keep you in check with how practical your user experience is, and how much time should be estimated for your design. Remember if the foundation and UX of your app is broken, the beautiful design you create later will not fix it. It’s important to catch your mistakes here so your end product can be the best it can be. Keep your wireframes simple. These sketches should be very lo-fi. In the wireframing process you’ll see lots of boxes and arrows, save the pretty design stuff for your hi-fi mockups. Read More
Back to Design Basics
With quick deadlines, new products, and the convenience of technology - it’s easy as a designer to forget about the importance of a pencil and sketch pad. Before you dive straight into design tools like Illustrator or Xd, think of classic principles. These extra steps will open the door to more creativity and help you find more satisfaction in your work.Read More
Designing Beyond the Interface
With the popularity of the Internet of Things (IoT) continually rising, it goes without saying that technology has gone beyond our smart phones and computers. Now we can depend on our refrigerators to tell us when we’re out of milk, and control our home air conditioning from across the country. It’s crazy, right?Read More
Our Favorite Places to Find Design Inspiration
It’s important as a mobile app designer to stay informed on current trends happening in the world. It might sound a little nerdy, but here at Metova our team loves getting together and sharing new resources for finding inspiration and so we thought we’d share a few of these resources with you! Also - we are nerdy.
Muzli is a chrome extension that turns your browser homepage into a world of designer goodness. Whether it’s blogs, UI kits, or trending mockups - you’ll be able to keep up on Muzli and share with your friends.
Upside: This extension will greet you the minute you open your browser.
Downside: It’s easy to get sidetracked on articles when your initial goal was to send an email.
Similar to Muzli, Panda is a one-stop-shop offering a wide variety of articles from multiple sources. The sidebar offers news articles from across the web, while the rest of the page promotes design inspiration.
Psst.. Panda has an extension for Chrome too.
If you’re strong enough to look past the delicious casserole recipes and cute outfits - Pinterest is a great design resource for finding killer UI design. Once you have a few UI boards set in place on your profile, Pinterest is great at recommending new users and boards based on the design pins you have already.
Instagram accounts based around design are great resources when you’re needing a little design pick-me-up. Another pro to Insta-inspiration? Community! Discovering new designers and including UI hashtags on your photos allows you to connect a little deeper into the design community without needing an invite to post your personal work. Maybe we’re a little biased, but this account might be our favorite…Read More
Taking the Personal out of the Professional
Every creative finds themselves in an interesting position. Whether you’re a designer, developer, or entrepreneur - you’re creating something - and creating things is personal. It’s a difficult balance, right? Inevitably there will be a time where your UI is not meant for the Louvre, your client will hate it, and you’ll feel like a piece of garbage. Other days you’ll feel like a psychic, reading your customer’s mind, knocking a clickable prototype design right out of the park like you belong in the MLB. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think I’m alone here. If you’re anything like me, you need some help taking the personal out of the professional. Despite my own belief at times, it is possible to care incredibly deeply about your creative work, and be okay with criticism. Consider this a pep talk. Below I’ve identified a couple ways to combat the unpredictable pit in your creative stomach.Read More
Why Fake it Til You Make It" Doesn't Work in Design"
I see the phrase “Fake it Til you Make It” tossed around pretty frequently on the Internet and I see it a lot on various design forums. It’s a fun little mantra that makes for a cute graphic, and we’ve all been guilty of using from time to time.Read More
A Non-Developer's Guide to Google I/O
Last month I sat down with our lead Android developer David Thacker to get the scoop on his time at Google I/O. Preface: I'm not a developer, I'm a UI/UX designer who happens to have a deep love and appreciation for all things Google. My favorite thing about David is he explains development to me in a way I can understand. Consider this interview a guide to sounding smart around your developer friends when discussing Android news.Read More
Designing for the Apple Watch
Our design office is always giddy with excitement when Apple releases a new product. When the company announced its release of the Apple Watch, we knew we’d have to both adapt our work accordingly as well as scheme together new ideas for innovative watch design.Read More
Top Sites for Great Stock Photography
We get it, designers. Searching for decent, relevant stock photography is tough. While it’s true a designer should rely more on creativity, and innovation than a good photo to make a project look stellar; it doesn’t hurt to have some images on hand. Stop wasting your life on shutterstock and check out these cool places. And the best part? They’re totally free.Read More
Strategy and Design: How We Create Blueprints for a Beautiful App
The mantra of Metova is to “build amazing mobile applications and amazing talent”. Half of the formula for creating an amazing application is beautiful design. This process is not something to be taken lightly (although our design team is quite a lively bunch). Like mad scientists, we study our craft and experiment on ways to stay ahead of the design curve. We listen intently to our clients, strategize a plan, and work closely with development to make sure the final product matches the vision.Read More