APPsolute guide to app design

Riccardo Marini


4. January 2022

Part 1: What’s special about apps?
Mobile apps are like your personal assistants, they can bring you so much joy and convenience when they work, but also piss you off so much when they don't work.


What’s Ap’?

Mobile apps are like your personal assistants. They are extremely helpful and very close to you, and you wouldn’t use them until you really need it.
Just like you would develop a bond or even a friendship with someone you see every day; naturally, you would also develop a special rapport with the apps that you use multiple times on a daily basis.

That’s why fundamentally apps are different and feel so personal. They bring you so much joy and convenience when it works, and piss you off so much on the occasions that they don’t work.

No wonder it’s so important to make them work and preempt “hiccups”, and this is the reason why weShortcut, the largest app maker in the Nordics, are here to help you get them absolutely right.

What is app design?

Like books, websites and television, mobile apps are a unique medium with its very own specifications and requirements.
Different mobile phone producers and systems also have different standards that require extra knowledge about their distinct quirks and constraints respectively.
Apps are just like any other media: you need to have experts to work on them, or you would end up with terrible results, like an app that doesn’t feel like an app, or it’s simply not attentive enough to function as your personal assistant.
Therefore, app design, which makes sure the app does exactly what people expect of an app, is a prerequisite for the success of any app.

Why you need App designers

Knowing apps inside out, they are the people who make magic happen: since they know apps are fundamentally different from websites, they make sure your app does its job properly with a perfectly intimate feel to it.

They know what is technologically feasible and economically viable, designing cost-effective solutions by adhering to app rules that would otherwise be very costly to violate.

The design team at Shortcut are an army of talented designers with diverse skill sets and from different backgrounds. But they have one thing in common — a passion for apps. They are avid app designers with well-honed craft and insightful knowledge in apps, believing single touches on the screen can improve lives meaningfully.

The way we work

Shortcut has long been an advocate of working as a cross-functional team where designers and developers work together.

With our team expanded, we now approach projects with a strategic team, which consists of developers, business developers and analysts, designers and cloud architects. Our strategic team are responsible for starting and preparing projects, lending an interdisciplinary, all-encompassing lens to the clients and laying a solid foundation for the projects themselves before production commences.

It’s of paramount importance to understand a project from a combination of different perspectives so that we can fully identify all the opportunities, risks, and potential of a project at an early stage. In doing so, we can make sure that we choose the right business/technology/design strategies and build the right product for our clients. Our goal is simple: find all different shortcuts to doing the right things at the right time with minimal resources — the shortcut to success.

Human-centered apps

Despite a joint effort of various teams, our core principle still adheres to a human-centered approach because we know that failing to understand the end users is bound to end up with a bad product and thus failure. Here is a great quote to summarise what it entails,

“Design thinking is a human-centered approach to innovation that draws from the designer’s toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success.” Tim Brown (the CEO of IDEO)

In the next post we will go more in detail in our process with different types of clients we work with.

Riccardo Marini