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The Ultimate List of App Design Hacks

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As marketers let’s be honest, we probably don’t have the best design skills. Although we’d like to think we know our way around a color palette, we could use some helpful hacks for producing professional-quality designs for our apps.

Luckily AppsBuilder makes developing apps easy with templates that can be customized to fit any brand style, but sometimes you just need some extra help, right? For this reason, we’ve put together this handy list of app design hacks to help you design the best app for your business.

Design Themes

Once you’ve decided what features your app needs, you’re ready to start applying a color theme to your app. Here are a few tools to help you decide on a color story that matches you app:

  • Adobe Color Wheel: If you cannot wear matching socks it will for sure be difficult for you to find a color pattern to use. Adobe let’s you pick one color and sets several complimentary color suggestions for you.
  • 0 to 255: 30 shades of…whichever color you pick. Choose one color and get all the hexadecimal codes for sibling shades.
  • Carefully crafted UI design assets: This may not be a free tool to use. However, just by skimming their website you will be inspired to change the way you design. Maybe if your app started making some profit you may upgrade to some paid icons that match your style better.
  • Flat UI Design: View case studies for mobile applications’ user interface. From theory to practice, view how marketer promote their app using visuals.

Navigation Icons

Icons can be used in your app’s menu bar to help users navigate your app and find what they are looking for. We found these the most useful (not just because we love free), but also because these allow you to customize the color and size of icons to fit your brand’s style:

  • Flat Icons: One of the rare sites that give you a choice over the file type you download. Flat Icons permits you to download Adobe-compatible file types (.ai, .ps)
  • Icons8: icon packs tailor-made for Windows 8, iOS 8 and Android
  • Icon Finder: has more 3D looking icons but not all are for free.

Images & Backgrounds

Using a single-color background in an app screen may become too repetitive and boring. Why don’t you add some images to your background to give your page some pizzazz? Here’s a list of websites where you can find images anywhere from your specific need to inspirational photos and all of them for FREE (or nearly!):

  • PixaBay: Among the free tools, Pixabay has one of the most accurate search results. It may be tempting sometimes to buy a shutterstock image since they are the first item that show in search results. But t would not be that bad to pay for an image once in a while.
  • DreamsTime: Find image as well as raw footage you may use in your app, landing page or even website. Most of them come for a price though.
  • Free Digital Photos: Clearly split categories! The free images you may download are small size, which may be useful to include as icons or buttons for your menu.
  • Free Images: Search by user, camera, country or topic. This website is ideal for general research you would want to make. The most useful feature is the tutorials that are constantly updated. Who knows, maybe some day you will become a Photoshop expert.
  • Stock Vault: Each image has a story. View the users’ story and download his offerings for free. Images also have a view counter, like number and share status. Donations are welcomed for those truly fascinated.
  • 500px: People love sharing! Why not make use of the efforts and funds put to take the images and include them in your amazing app!
  • Unsplash: 10 new photos every 10 days. You may download and use the photos as you please. Always stay connected to check the updates and most suitable image for your app.
  • Pic Jumbo: Not the best place for specific search. Nonetheless, you may truly find amazing images if you search by category. Easy to download without any signing up and for free.
  • Canva: select a canvas size from pre-sized templates or mock up your own for easy-drag and drop designs. We love the huge library of free icons and are super impressed with the image library, jam packed with quality photos for just $1 a use!
  • Creative Commons: search this huge repository of images for creative commons licensed photos (just be sure to attribute the content owner)

You’ve found your photos, but does it all look a bit fuzzy? Here are three online tools that will not exactly replace Photoshop, but will do their job in photo editing:

  • Pic Monkey: Edit, touch up, design or collage, whichever of the four is available and easy to start. Some features or options are paid. Pic Monkey is known for its drag and drop feature. Simply go to the homepage and throw an image there. yes, this is how easy editing has become. You may also import images from the cloud, Facebook and Flickr.
  • Pixlr: The fastest way to turn an image from JPG to PNG. Pixlr offers three web apps that allow you to edit all what you need, make quick fixes by adding you personal style, and transform your photos by adding retro effects and overlays.
  • Fotor: Also offers three different apps for different needs. Make a collage, edit a photo or even design a card from scratch or by using the many available templates.

Did you find this useful? Check out our follow-up post The Ultimate List of App Marketing Hacks

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