The top design tools and tips for mobile application design

Sep 6, 2022Felipe Alvarez

Everybody knows the big role mobile applications play in our daily lives. Anyone with a smartphone uses different kinds of applications, and taking into consideration that there are more than 3.5 billion smartphone users, we can understand the massiveness of these “apps”. Let’s take for example TikTok, probably the most popular app of the last few years. By the end of the current year, this social media will have 1.8 billion users, that's more than 5 times America's population. If you want to create your own app and don't even know where to start you have found the right post, here you'll find the best tips and tools for mobile application design.

5 tips for a good application design

Take a look at the applications you have on your phone. Why do you still use them? They probably have attractive layouts, are easy to use and I'm sure you don't have a hard time figuring out how to navigate them. If you want to replicate this for your own app, you must follow these recommendations.

First impressions matter

As we already know, covers and first impressions are fundamental in design. If users don't like what they see for the first time they probably won't keep using your app. First impressions also define the whole energy your app gives. If you want to catch everyone's eye, you should seriously work on this.

Keep it clear

This is a crucial characteristic of any great mobile design. If your layout has way too many elements such as text and images, users might find it impossible to use. You should always keep it clear and minimalist, and don't include unwanted and unnecessary elements. don't be redundant in any way. you also have to consider that mobile screens will not withhold the same amount of elements as a desktop. A cluttered design will not let the user get what they want.


As I've already mentioned, mobile screens are smaller than other devices such as desktops and tablets. Taking this into consideration, you should keep the written content short and easy to read. Many users don't read the whole text; instead, they pick out certain phrases and words, a useful tip is to highlight your keywords and important information in bold.  

Thumb zone

Another issue regarding screen size is the thumb zone. Thumbs are obviously essential for mobile app users. Think about it, if you are reading this post on your phone you are probably scrolling with your thumb, and if I ask you to click on the “tdp” logo on the upper left corner, you'll probably have to do a hard stretching movement to reach it. This is something you should really consider while developing your app, within the “natural clicking zone” (purple and light blue spots on the image)” you should include those buttons and elements that get the most clicked on.

thumb zone

Easy to navigate

Browsing and navigating through the app must be a simple task. Navigation must be intuitive and evident. Every button should be correctly and clearly labeled allowing users to interact easily. You could also highlight important features on your layout. Lastly, you should always follow the same pattern across the app, the navigation must be consistent and clear.

The best design tools for your app

The Internet is a big world where you'll find many design tools, but looking for the right one is pretty difficult. Here you have the best ones.


This design software is very convenient for MacOS users. If you are all about UI, Sketch is the tool for you; it has plenty of layout settings that can improve the interface. Even though you can create design elements such as icons and avatars, photo editing must be performed with other tools.


The best thing about Marvel is the possibility to collaborate with other users. You can share ideas and help out other people in the same situation as you. It's also pretty simple and easy to use, it has an intuitive layout and prototypes can be done within minutes.

Adobe XD

This is a vector-based UX design tool that lets user design and prototype in a dynamic and quick way. The best thing about Adobe XD is how you can easily design for iOS and Android screens.


This tool might be the perfect one for beginners. Proto.io has a drag-and-drop interface that allows anybody to work with this tool. There are also many prototype temples and original assets you can use for your app.


Origami was created by Facebook workers. This tool makes the user's creativity flow. It has many editing and drawing tools that let the developers think of original and unique types of design. It's really suitable for macOS users that enjoy various functionalities.


Figma is probably one of the top 3 design tools. Many users believe its features and functions are far better than any competitor software. This tool gives users the opportunity to do teamwork. You can have other users edit and comment on the work you are doing, accelerating the whole process and letting you make better use of your time. Figma can be used in any operating system, allowing different software users to work together.

InVision App

This tool is probably my favorite. InVision lets designers create interactive prototypes for their designs. It also offers us various animations and transitions that make our design much more attractive. I believe it's also a timesaver because its intuitive and easy-to-use interface allows users to prototype way faster than any other design tool. You can also upload designs from other tools, such as Sketch and many others mentioned in this post.

Final thoughts

Mobile apps are present in our lives. We use those that are easy to use and attractive. You can also create a great application design on your own. You need to have a dynamic and nice interface, so navigating and browsing will not be a problem. You should also be minimalist and consistent, allowing users to get what they need quickly and without looking at it for hours. If you don't pick the design tool that's right for you, you probably won't achieve the results you expect. Look for one that fits you and your operating system. After all, mobile apps are intended to make our lives easier and keep it simple.

Felipe Alvarez

Felipe Alvarez

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