Instabridge promo video

 

Design process

 

the biggest lesson learned:
AN APP IS NOT A STACK OF WEBPAGES

Mobile app design became a profession only in recent years after the invention of smart phones. (I know, it feels like we've had it for decades) Most designers started somewhere else, me included. When I joined Instabridge, I had 8 year web design experience under my belt, but it quickly dawned on me that I had to drastically change my app design approach - AN APP IS NOT A BUNDLE OF WEBPAGES (although most apps are still designed that way).

Because we use our fingers instead of a mouse to interact with the interface and we fiddle the phone in our hands, apps feel much more like physical products with texture, dimension and touch feedbacks. To only pay attention to the information architecture and function is not enough anymore, one needs to take a much more holistic approach and (if possible) use animations to tie the product together "organically" - static transitions are like flipping pages in a book, the change is sudden and abrupt, while animated transitions are like turning a cube, the change is smooth and one could see the relation between two states. (We actually decided on this before Material Design was introduced :) )
 

BeforE and after

BEFORE - WITH THE "WEBPAGE" APPROACH:
Everything feels separated and heavy. It takes quite some brain power to understand although it is a very simple app.

 

AFTER - WITH THE HOLISTIC APPROACH
The app feels light, easy-to-understand and wholesome. Everything is tied together "organically" by the animation.