September 9, 2015

3 Must-have Design Principles for Any Mobile App Prototype

BY :     September 9, 2015

While doing several Mobile App concepts for clients we discovered a trinity of value that took us from ‘quick and dirty’ to ‘quick and clean’. While building concepts as a demonstrable prototype, you are bound to take shortcuts. You cannot make fast progress without cutting some corners. Having limited time should never mean cutting out the essence; it should mean focusing on the essence. That is exactly what O.E.R. delivers; Focus on essence.

Ontology

To capture the reason the user will start using the solution we define the reason for the app to exist. This can only be described as the value towards the user. What will the App deliver as a value to the user? Or from a user perspective: ‘what’s in it for me?’ That is the Ontology of the App. This can be described in one paragraph of only a couple of sentences that define ‘the meaning of being’, as a philosopher would put it. This ‘whatness’ is why the App exists, for this the users enjoy it and its value: it is the essence of the App.

Epics

I love ‘focus’, especially for Apps. Only one purpose for the App brings focus, however it is a bit narrow. From the ontology we can derive several epics: main use-cases that bring value to the user. This set of epics has to be a coherent one and should be focused around one user group in a specific context or aligned contexts. By creating the epics we create a kind of mental flow for the App. The App becomes logically layered as described in my previous post ‘The Next Wave in App Design’. This helps to order the functionalities that are derived from the user values and gives guidance to the user.

Rationale

With ontology and epics, we have a clear set of ‘why’ and ‘what’ from a user perspective. Everything until here was done without any interface in mind. All was interface agnostic. It is time to create a layout and a detailed flow for the App, including the visual style for the App demonstrator. This means we create the design language as a constant factor throughout the App that is the logic behind every screen, every element and every transition. This logic is the Design Rationale. It should be consequent and in line with the App concept, the style of the company and the platform guidelines. One rationale behind the entire App, described as one complete and comprehensive set of visual design principles.

Why O.E.R?

These three (O, E & R) principles for the App concept are necessary to make a great pitch for the demonstrable prototype. They provide answers to questions that are expected to rise during the presentation. Why? Exactly: why. The question always will be ‘why’…? Why this App? Why the logo on the left? Why this start screen? Why here? … ‘Why’ is the question 2-year-olds keep asking and we tend to ask them to stop asking. ‘Why’ is the question we should ask to gain insight, to improve our concept and to make sure we have answers for those who will decide if a concept will be realized. Asking ‘why’ is what we teach adults again to be able to improve their work and others. Keep asking ‘why’ until you reach the essence, how and what will follow from that. You want to know why? Take a look at Simon Sinek on TED.com.

 

Arnd Brugman

About

Creative business technology management consultant with a major drive and passion for people value. Innovator with broad business and technology knowledge based on twenty years of experience in IT and fourteen years of management. Known for explaining complex things in clear, understandable images and words for both business and technical oriented professionals. Extensive experience with workshops, presentations as well as training and coaching colleagues. Highly motivated, reliable, pro-active and willing to listen and learn.Storyteller that is always thinking in possibilities and solutions on both business value and a technical level. Driving sincere dialogues to chase, pinpoint and deal with the real cause behind the issue at hand. Blends innovative ideas with pragmatic approaches to get things done.Team player that values team contributions and is used to taking the lead. Aiming for pride in delivered results, long term relations and success for people, projects and organisations. Big fan of Daniel Pinks views and writings on motivation and experienced ‘non-selling’ sales, best known as consultative selling.At Sogeti (co-)responsible for the themes and approaches for UX-Design, IoT, Mobile Apps, Digital Channels and Social Collaboration.Contributor to The App Effect, The Connected Workforce & TechnoVision and co-author of the book "TeamPark, from Crowd to Community" (ISBN 9789075414233) describing the platform-independent method to grow your organization a Social side.Specialties: User Experience, Mobile, Apps, Strategy, IoT, Coaching & Training, Solution Development, Workshops, Business Development, Social & Thinking in possibilities.

More on Arnd Brugman.

Related Posts

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

3 + 2 =


    *Opinions expressed on this blog reflect the writer’s views and not the position of the Sogeti Group