There are many handy-dandy tools available these days you to design for mobile. Be it for a mobile app, or a mobile webpage, the list in this article will cover pretty much anything out there.
Before jumping into choosing which software is best for you though, you need to first determine the steps or milestones in the Mobile Design process that you will need tools for. See the list below:
- Rough Sketch
- Designing and putting together assets according to the wireframe
- Export as required output file
Now that you have a checklist of what needs to be done, then you can start looking at software or tools to help you design. Start first with the old Gods of design software -- Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop. These two tools can pretty much fulfill all your design needs and even go many more steps further.
That being said, there are folks who are not that great at these two programs. If you're one of those people, there are other options for you. One is to use templates available online, and another is to use the following sites. These will help not only in designing but also in wire-framing.
TIP: An important point you must keep in mind when designing is whether you will be making flat theme-based designs or 3d-based ones, also known as Skeuomorphic designs. Since the new iOS and various new Android updates came out, the modern UI and UX is leaning towards flat theme-based designs. Why, you ask? The answer is simple. It's very clean and clutter-free with minimalistic detailing and with more emphasis on functionality. It gives the user an easy and quick way to use their mobile devices, as opposed to the old Skeuomorphic designs filled with drop shadows, gradients, gloss, and the like. Make sure you focus on cleanliness and streamlining the workings of your app rather than just throwing a bunch of design elements at it.
Photoshop is the most robust and strong program for mobile design, but others are not bad as well. Here's a list of some programs that you can download to help you in speeding up your design process:
- Gifrocket for Mac - allows you to make Gifs in fraction of minutes
- Prepo for Mac - will create app icons in a second
- Dafont - a website for downloading fonts
- Moqups - a website that allows you to create awesome mockups
- Adobe Shape for iOS - allows you to create vectors from your drawing.
- Adobe Color for iOS, allowing you to make your own colour palettes
These tools should be able to give you a little jumpstart for your mobile design projects. Now go out there and create some beautiful apps.