iPhone App Design Help

Discussion in 'iOS Apps' started by Design, Apr 27, 2011.

  1. Design, Apr 27, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2011

    Design macrumors newbie

    Apr 27, 2011
    Hi everyone,

    I've managed to bag myself a placement interview with a app developer that's way out of my league. It's a company that I've been following for a while and I really want to impress them and get the placement.

    I'm a good designer but I've no experience designing iPhone apps. I need some seriously kind person to take pity on me and explain some basics about app design and put up with a few of my questions. Please drop me a pm, if you've got MSN, iChat or anything like that, send me your contact info. I'd -really- appreciate it.

    Apologies if this is in the wrong forum but I was unable to find one that was better suited.

    Thank you.

    Edit: I should point out that I'm not asking anyone to teach me how to build an actual app. I just want advice on how assets are used when creating apps and some advice on creating mock ups.
  2. Vasilis macrumors regular


    Sep 21, 2010
    If you like you can post your questions here or send me a pm. I do have some experience in app development, which may be useful to you
  3. Design thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 27, 2011
    Hi Vasilis,

    Thanks so much for the help, I really appreciate it.

    Lets say for example on your app iTopography, the tab bar along the bottom. Is this created from scratch or is this done within Xcode? Is there some sort of base image for it? Or do you just pick icons and type in the text. How easy is it?

    If I wanted to edit it and use my own custom style how would I go about that? Is it a set height? Do I need to create each of the highlighted icons myself?

    Basically the sort of questions I'm asking are how easy is it to implement design for an app and what's already available to use within xcode?

    Thanks for the help!
  4. fhall1 macrumors 68040


    Dec 18, 2007
    (Central) NY State of mind
    Hopefully your prospective employer doesn't read MacRumors! :)
  5. Design thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 27, 2011
    New account just for that ;)
  6. TinyTears macrumors newbie

    May 30, 2009
    If you've got a free evening or something grab a copy of xcode from the mac app store, find a few UI tutorials on google and have a play around for a few hours.

    A third party overview will give you a rough idea, but having the tools in front of you will give you all the answers you need.

    That way you'll be able to focus specific questions to Vasilis etc... better as well.

    Best of luck ;)
  7. Design thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 27, 2011
    Alright, I'll do that. Thanks.

    Feel free to recommend any specific tutorials!
  8. EvanLugh macrumors 68000


    Aug 29, 2007
    Developer land
    you might find this link handy. I'm looking in this area too, to see what it's like designing for iOs. if i find anything else of interest i'll post it. This link from apple dev should also be worth while a read.
  9. onizuka macrumors newbie


    May 12, 2011
    Hi there,

    I did write something about HOW TO DESIGN iPhone app. Maybe it can help you bit. Drop me an email. mspower2@yahoo.com

    All the best!!!
  10. Vasilis macrumors regular


    Sep 21, 2010
    I apologize for my late reply .... I hope that you did get the job

    In a nutshell, you can create your own tools. In iTopography app, I used the default UITabBar, but I could have also design my own Tabbar. Do not forget, that a Tabbar is a bar with a bunch of buttons. Thus, you can draw your own bar , and you can also draw your own buttons. As simple as that
  11. psonice macrumors 6502a

    Jul 22, 2005
    Does the job actually involve the UI design within xcode, or is it just a job doing design elements themselves?

    That's kind of important, because if you're doing the design within xcode/interface builder, you really need an understanding of what all the elements you're using do, and how they work. I.e. you need some understanding of the coding side.. not exactly programming itself, but how the app is fitted together.

    Personally, if I'm working with a designer, I'll handle the actual UI layout myself (or consult with the designer on the layout + workings of it, and then build it myself) because quite often there are a lot of constraints the designer won't know about.

    Example: Not quite that tab bar, but the tool bar you often see at the top/bottom of the screen, with buttons on it. That's a standard UI element, with standard sized buttons (and quite a few standard button images too). A designer would probably pick this, and make the buttons to fit. But if you use that with a camera view, you get a black bar at the top/bottom of the picture, because there's too much space above the bar. You need a slightly taller toolbar, which is non-standard, and you have to create all the graphics for it yourself. In this case, I'd simply ask the designer for a toolbar background at x pixels tall, and buttons to fit it at x * y pixels.

    Depending on the stuff the company makes, it might be that ALL of the UI is custom. In this case, they might not use the interface builder tools at all!

    One thing you should be aware of though, and that's the importance of image scaling and working with fixed sizes. You'll be expected to make elements at exact sizes, that fit together, and work with transparency so e.g. buttons with rounded corners fit into the background correctly. E.g. you might be asked to make a button that stretches horizontally to fit variable length text - it has to have a left cap, right cap and a stretchable middle section that's 1 pixel wide.

    You also need to know that the iphone 4 has double the resolution of the older phones, meaning you need TWO sets of artwork for the app. E.g. the app icon, on the iphone 4 it's 114x114, on the older devices it's 57x57. It's ideal if you can work with vector formats where possible, because then it's trivial to create the bitmap graphics in multiple sizes. Did I mention that the ipad icon is 72x72? :) Vector graphics: just export it at the desired size. Bitmap graphics where you've created it at 57x57 for an iphone: oh dear, that's going to look awful ;)

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