Mobile Application Mockups 📱

A mobile application mockup is a still (or static 🖼️) representation of an application’s structure and design before it is prototyped or developed as a live app, whether it’s on iOS (iPhone) or Android.

What are mobile app mockups?

Mobile application mockups are created in the middle of the development process to help ease planning, testing and finalizing of design elements, including User Experience and User Interface.

Idea > Wireframe > Mockups > Prototype > Live Product

Being a visual representation, mockups don’t have the functionalities of live apps - you would have an Customize Profile button for example, but to test whether its size and colors fit under your captivating image, not to be clicked on just yet. You could also have a sample dashboard page to see whether it is a good starting page and structured well, and later on in the prototyping or development phase add all the interactivities. 

Mockups would also have dummy text (like the classic “Lorem Ipsum”) and placeholder images. Depending on where you are in the development process of your mobile application, we do recommend to try and finalize your content (text and images) as soon as you can so it gets easier for you in the mockup and prototyping phases. Think of having a section of two columns, and ensuring the icon on the left can be visually “equal” (in size) or fitting to the text you want on the right.

Why do you need mockups?

In the end, mockups serve as visual designed drafts of what a mobile application or its pages should look like. It is a step closer to bringing your concept to life after ideating and wireframing it (giving it more structure).

Developing any application or product takes a lot of time, you would want to ensure all planning and experimenting is done so you can just focus on developing it. Mobile application mockups help you save time by allowing you to experiment on your app content, structure and design in design tools (like Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator - but for mobile applications).

With mockups, you can experiment on layouts, colors, fonts, images, videos, backgrounds, graphic elements and more. Mobile application mockups also get you started on thinking about User Experience, making you wonder how a button would look on the left vs the right, or how it would look as an oval button or a custom shapes button, what the user or target audience would prefer - all without the hassle of coding it back and forth.

On top of that, mockups and these design tools that allow you to create them, also allow you to get feedback from any stakeholder you might have, be it for yourself, your team, your partners or your clients.

TIP: Remember that each mobile application mockup page you create should be made with a specific goal in mind, and that the elements you add to the page help achieve that goal. If they don’t, you might be better off without it - any user nowadays have very limited attention spans. Help them focus on where you want them to!

How do you create app mockups?

If you created a “mockup” on a few pieces of paper, it would still be at ideation stage (sorry 😂).

Mockups are supposed to help you (or developers who will help you) speeden the actual development process, not give a direction only to have to figure it out along the way. When your mockup is done, you should just be developing it and not deciding on which background would fit best or any other design elements.

With this in mind, designers and developers use design tools like Adobe Illustrator, InVision, Figma or a combination of a few to create mobile application mockups. It doesn’t get better than these when designing website mockups, or mockups of any sort!

When designing mockups, 2 types of tools usually come into play: a graphic design one, and an actual mobile app mockup one. Thanks to a few businesses, there are tools that are 2-in-1!

The graphic design tools help you create vector graphics like icons or graphics to make your website stand out. Trust us, you will want to use vector graphics because you don’t want your users to see how blurry your graphic elements are! Popular tools are Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator.

The actual mobile app mockup tools help you create the static or visual representation of what your website or web application will look like when it is developed. These tools can be so interactive that it allows you to also design the user experience of what page the user should go to when a certain button is clicked - it’s the gateway to prototyping! Popular tools we love are Figma (what we use!), InVision and Adobe XD.

Use these tools to get feedback from your users, team, partners or clients and keep reiterating it until it can achieve the goals you want it to!

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