An android application UI and UX design and development
1. Identify a problem and design an App Solution that would solve it
We identified a common problem. Many people have two phones. If the battery runs out on one of your phones, it’d be good to have the calls forwarded to your other device. However, the problem is that the battery is dead, so you can’t activate call forwarding. It’s too late.
Proposed Solution: Design an app to automatically activate a Call Forwarding service when it reaches a low battery level.
Research the idea: We conducted research to identify any similar apps on Google Play. This not only gave us information on the market saturation; it also helped us find problems that need to be solved before releasing the iOS version.
A Simple Google search can be very useful and is always a good start. Sometimes old information remains on the internet, and you can see whether people have discussed the topic in the past. If your idea is trying to solve a common problem, you will see a lot of business websites and adverts trying to sell a similar or different product that matches the search criteria. In most cases, new and existing apps are actively being promoted, and it makes it a relatively easy task to find apps.
Tip: use different keywords for your search. The more you try, the more chance you will not miss any information.
Findings: We identified two apps that do similar things. However, we saw tremendous potential to improve usability (UI/UX). Sometimes you don’t need to have a unique idea – you just need it to be more user-friendly. In most cases, if the user does not immediately understand how to use/set-up an app then they are likely to forget about it.
Our core expertise lies in creating engaging, complex apps that are intuitive for the user to navigate and understand from the first use. Therefore, a decision to go ahead was made.
Note: This app has been created with the intention to be distributed free of charge.
2. Planning your Mobile Phone Application (whether it is for iPhone, iPad or Android)
Simple hand drawn sketches are an excellent start, especially if you are not confident using various software to create sketches, wireframes, and prototypes. To draw a screen you can simply trace around the shape of your phone on paper. We have done this here to illustrate the process. There is a variety of free software and templates you can find on the internet to assist in this task, from simple to more complex wireframes.
See sketches: These are very basic and amateur hand-drawn illustrations, but it is still enough to explain the initial thoughts and direction on the experience the customer will have (UI/UX).
Identify key functionality of the project: This app concept is based around activating a function based on the level of battery charge. We decided to take an area of the app that needs to be operated with fingers to show the battery and also the current status of the phone’s battery. The initial thought was to set up a single moving element; however while brainstorming, it was decided to add a notification that will also be automatically activated when a particular level of battery charge reached. So, on the sketch, you can see those elements in the top half of the picture.
We always seek to make mobile apps simpler and more intuitive for the user, so we decided to design this app so it can be set up once and remain functional running in the background. The only time the user will need to remember it is even there is when they want to change the level of the battery, replace the phone number where the calls are forwarded, or edit the notification message. When the battery charged over a set level, it will automatically disable the Call Forwarding service.
Next two subsequent elements:
To create an area where the notification message and phone number can be entered and where the calls get diverted. We also decided to add some flexibility by giving the user the ability to enable or disable any of the key functions (activation of the notification message and call forwarding function).
Add description to key areas:
Two main arrows: red primary function = call forwarding; and blue = warning. For instance:
- Set red and blue arrows on the level that you want the features to be activated.
- Add a phone number where the calls will be forwarded to and a message that will pop up on the screen.
- The arrows should be able to be switched on/off – these are located under the battery
2.1 Now, you should have enough information to pass it onto the designer to make initial sketches.
Don’t worry if you don’t know where to start with the planning stage. At Edway Apps we only expect clients to do the first part, and even then we are always happy to help with advice specific to your project. There is no benefit in going to any developer if you don’t have confidence in the project. A greater degree of certainty can be obtained when you study your idea and trying to establish market viability.
Note: the more home preparation you do, the more accurate our estimate will be, which ultimately results in more savings for you. At Edway Apps, we can agree on the fixed price for a project (if this is the client’s preference) only after the planning process done. Continue reading to see the planning process unfold.
Working on details: Once we’ve passed the original sketches onto our designers, they can do some quick sketches and continue discussing the detailed execution of the app.
We have excellent designers who can pick colours, styles and develop the necessary artwork to suit the most exquisite taste from the first draft. This means you can see screens with the proposed design.
2.2. Continuing work on the details: Adding a simple phone book to remember pre-set phone numbers.
You should also advise us of any wording that needs to be edited on the current mockup. In this example, we use original documents created by us during the project development. Sometimes you can see some strange letters there. Remember, this is still just a mockup, and we have a diverse team from different backgrounds working on your project design.
Note: The client approves each stage of development for us to move forward. We expect to receive clear confirmations by email.
At this stage, most of your work regarding the app’s main concept is done, and you should be working on the following tasks. Meanwhile, we are finalising all other aspects, and the designer is completing all other parts of the app. You should be:
- Making a Google Play account (creating an AppStore account takes a much longer time and we suggest clients set it up immediately after you confirm the platform or Operating System for the app (i.e. Android or iOS – iPhone and iPad).
- Creating an App description (you will need an App description for the App or Google Play stores, Web-site description and (if agreed with the client) to develop visual guidance for the app will improve it later for this app here.)
- App category (primary and secondary).
- App name
- Keywords for Google Play or App Stores.
- Guidance on how to prepare screenshots for Google Play and App Store. (Sure we can develop them ourselves, but in most cases, the client wishes to have the application shown with or without particular settings).
- Web site to promote the Android app (we usually assist with this).
At Edway Apps, we have prepared all necessary materials to help guide you through completing each of the above tasks.
For Example, the initial website description was created based on all the information and discussions above.
Keywords: Call forwarding, Battery (call forwarding), Divert/Forward calls battery flat/discharged, dead, Battery status/level to divert/forward calls
Must Have iDivertz Mobile App
Expecting an important call? Running low on the battery? iDivertz will help you stay connected so you will never miss an important phone call again. Simply set up the level of the battery when your phone should be diverted and iDivertz will do the rest.
How to use
- Adjust the battery level for when your phone should be redirected to another number that is chosen by you
- Set notifications to remind you that the battery is low and that your phone will be redirected to another number shortly. The notification function can be configured to send you any message you like.
- Use the All Calls diverted function with a single tap.
- Easy navigation throughout the app on a single screen.
- The help menu is available for more information.
- Save a list of the different numbers for call diversion
- Save a few numbers and choose from the list where to divert.
When to use the iDivertz Android App for mobile phones
- You are out with your partner or friends, and your phone is about to die – redirect your phone calls to their numbers.
- Direct your calls to your partner or close ones’ phones who you are spending time with before your battery goes flat.
- You are on a business trip out of town, set iDivertz to forward your calls to the company’s reception or you enterprise partners. This is particularly handy when you are stuck in the hotel room without a phone charger.
- You are travelling and forgot to charge your phone, use iDivertz to forward your calls to your family, friends or office.
2.3. Anything else: Develop visual guidance for the app (also known as a Help Screen)
The description is prepared by the client while we are working on the main design and functions with clear guidance from the customer.
- 1. Tap here to Enter / Edit Notification Message
- 2. Tap to enter the phone number(s) for the Call Forwarding function
- 3. Press the number icon to switch on/switch off the Notification Message service (the number icon turns grey when the function is off)
- 4. Drag bar no1 to choose the battery percentage that you would like the Call Forwarding feature to activate.
- 5. Pull bar no2 to determine the battery percentage that you would like the Notification Message function to activate at.
- 6. Tap on the battery to activate the Call Forwarding At All Times feature (The Call Forwarding At All Times feature diverts your phone regardless of the battery level. The battery will turn grey when the Call Forwarding At All Times feature is activated).
- 7. For your convenience, the settings (including Notification Message) are pre-set. All you have to do is to enter the phone numbers that you wish to use the Call Forwarding feature on the Quick Pick list. Please note that all settings can be changed at any time.
And a final look at the help screen for the client’s approval:
3. Almost ready! Now, just pick the right name and the designer will work on the icon.
Name: it was initially very hard for us to choose the correct name for the app. We wanted it to be short, meaningful, and catchy. The name is crucial for users to identify the app correctly. It is also important for web marketing (SEO of your website and URL – domain name). The internet is overwhelmed with such words and different products of a similar nature for various brands, hardware and so on. This area is not new. The Call Forwarding feature was with us for a very long time starting with landline phones. The app’s working name was the “battery app” as it was straightforward and easy to remember. The first name we thought about was quite evident due to nature of the function – iForward. The domain name was already taken. However, it was easy to overcome by adding the word “app” to the name to make a complete URL. This domain name was not taken, and it allows people to identify the app from the domain name and should be useful for marketing (i.e. www.iforwardapp.com).
Eventually, we decided to go with a different word that has been less used on the web – iDivert. After few moments we decided to add a “z” to the end of it, and that is how it became iDivertz!
We immediately checked for a URL domain name at crazy domains, and it wasn’t taken. We chose to go with the iDivertz name (you can buy domain names online from various providers). Now you can find our promotional web page for the app at www.idivertz.com. People can contact us if they have any questions and find us on the internet using various keywords that are used to identify the web page. This practice is called SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and you can read more about it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Search_engine_optimization).
Icon: Depending on the client’s requirements, the icon can take from 8-40 hours depending on the level of detail.
First, I came up with my vision and passed it onto designer who added his ideas.
Here is a quick hand-drawn sketch of what we came up with:
We decided on picture number 2 and came up with the two versions:
Now the app is ready to be submitted to the Google Play Store.
3.1 Translate your app: You may want to translate your app into different languages to reach a more diverse market. We build apps in a way that is easy to maintain, and files can be added making the whole app content visible to a user. It makes the process easy to prepare additional translations (see example below).
App localisation – iDivertz is currently available in the following languages:
- Traditional Chinese
- Simplified Chinese
- Hindu – coming soon!
The screenshot below shows part of the actual coding within the file with already translated content.
Project completed – but for you, it’s just the beginning! You finally got what you wanted and are hopefully happy with the outcome. But we aren’t finished. Now it is time to start marketing the app for any other interfaces (iPhone or Windows Mobile Apps) or supplementing software like web apps and sites.
4. Marketing Aspects for Android (or iOS) Mobile Apps
To complete the app is only one the beginning. The next step is to make sure that it becomes popular and generates return on your invested funds. Always check the feedback on the App Store, engage with reviewers or use Facebook to spread the word, as well as through your real friends or by using paid services (we found Facebook Ads Campaign – paid services to be quite useful for marketing iPhone and Android apps).