Make your App 💯: Design Inspiration and Tips
This is YOUR app
Your brand is an expression of who you are as a church and what you believe in. It’s a visual and verbal articulation that helps create a sense of familiarity and belonging. You have likely spent a lot of time and love making sure it is carefully crafted and reflects your church’s personality and mission.
So, how do you make sure you are getting the most out of your brand in your app design? Our Creative Director, Lesley is going to walk you through some best-in-class examples of branding in our apps and some easy design tips on how to make yours look and feel amazing.
First, I’m so very excited you have or are considering an app with us. It’s such a stellar way to have a seamless extension of your church constantly in your members’ reach.
Whether you are building your app for the first time or looking to refresh your look, a great app has 3 important design principles you should consider when creating your graphics.
1. Be consistent.
What I mean by consistent is that all of your branding elements (logo, splash screen, colors, buttons & feature images) use the same palette across everything. Consistency eliminates confusion. Maintaining an overall consistent appearance throughout an app is essential, so pick one style and stick with it!
The biggest mistake I see is not keeping up with the consistency on button styles. Try to use the same font and color as well as consistent image styles across all of your buttons. (Tip: We do have a standard set of buttons you can use if you don’t have access to design resources or are struggling to create you own assets. Stay tuned–we will be putting out more themes in the near future if you’d like to update your look and feel beyond our basic library.)
Mobile apps don’t live in a vacuum. They live in a branded ecosystem that includes your website, social media and other digital properties. The transition between them all needs to feel invisible, especially since you will be linking to some of these properties in your app.
To break it down:
Typefaces, colors, images, and buttons need to be consistent across the app.
Design should be consistent across multiple properties. This way, the user is familiar when interacting with another part of your brand.
2. Be simple.
The saying “Less is More” is the best guiding principle when designing anything. Don’t try to do too much. If it feels like it’s too much, it likely is. That extra clutter is likely to overload your users with too much visual noise and information.
“Less is more” is also a good way of thinking when picking out design elements. Stay away from fonts on your buttons that are overly ornate. It is important that your fonts are readable for your users. Choose photos that aren’t too busy so you can have good contrast for the words to pop.
Being simple with the layout you choose will also pave the way for an app that is user friendly. Make sure you have the features you need in the right places and don’t just throw the “kitchen sink” at your users. Scrolling forever to find what they need is not an ideal experience. Nest similar information into Feature Hubs for a better balanced app. Tip: put the most important features near the top of your grid for easy access.
3. Personalize it.
Personalization is one of the most important aspects of mobile apps today. It’s an opportunity to connect with users and provide the information they need in a way that feels genuine. Luckily, you probably already have a brand that is full of personality. Don’t be afraid to use it in your app. If you have fun colors, use them in your buttons. If you’ve got an edgy color palette — get moody with the images you choose.
Use your splash screen (the first screen that users see when loading the app) to show off your brand’s personality. Have a striking color or design element. Add a tagline. Showcase the human side of your organization with real pictures of your members (*Note: make sure you have sign off from any member in a photo you use to make sure they care comfortable being featured.)
Don’t be afraid to have fun with it. Again, an app is an extension of your ministry and should reflect the personality of your church.
I hope you are inspired to make the best experience you can with your app. Get started by logging into your account in the aware3 Portal, our Church Applications Manager, and you can quickly and easily turn features on/off, update graphics, change accent colors, modify your button layout, and much more – all in real-time. Our support team is available if you have any questions or if you would like some help making your app look amazing.
Also, for a more comprehensive look at design and a detailed guide on how to get your app assets looking great download our Design Guide.