Starting a new design project isn’t easy, because of the times you need to search across the web for inspirations, ideas for user interfaces, what kind of form design should I use and create, and so on. That’s especially true for mobile app designers, because mobile technology is constantly changing and evolving, it’s tough to keep with those trends, whether you are iOS, Android, both, or another platform entirely. Below is the list of free websites and tools to help you kickstart your next mobile app design project.
Inspired-UI is a perfect website to browse through a bunch of different UI screens for mobile. They select and upload best user interfaces from mobile applications, so you don’t need to go to Play Store or App Store to find app designs for inspiration. Everything is in one place.
Another similar site with a lot of user interfaces for mobile app designs is Pttrns. Like in the Inspired-UI website, in this one you can also filter interfaces by operating system (whether it’s iPhone, iPad, Android or even Apple Watch).
Finally, you can find a lot of mobile app user interfaces on portfolio sites like Behance or Dribbble. They are a great place to start any mobile design project when looking for visual inspiration from existing ones.
Can’t decide on what color scheme or what branding should you choose for your next mobile app design project? Adobe Kuler is an awesome online tool which helps you decide on your apps colors. You can drag a color wheel, look and decide for best color scheme. Alternatively, you can pick a pre-made colour scheme (or palette) from Adobes library of popular colours which could help you kickstart your creativity.
After you found some inspiration and decided (hopefully) on your app’s color scheme, the next step is to actually start designing that app. You probably already did some user research, created personas and other UX stuff, which is absolutelly neccesary, now you need to sketch out those ideas onto the paper. Because sketching on paper is the fastest and easiest way to turn quick ideas into something. iOS Sketch Paper allows you to print out those awesome looking dotted wireframes for your next iOS app sketch. It includes gridlines for all iPhone UI elements, as well as measurement markers for each device.
And no, I haven’t forgotten Android app designers. Android Sketch Paper is a printable A4 screen flow sketch template, which is available in PDF Format. This kit contains eight phones per screen, and doesn’t have dotted grid, but instead it has no lines at all. You have a high variety of screens to choose from before going into more detailed mobile app design phases.
Now as you have your app sketched out on the paper, the next step would be to create some wireframes. Again, UXPin team provides the best iOS8 Wireframing UI Design Kit absolutelly for free. This kit contains over 90 elements for iOS8 (iPhone 5s, 6 and 6Plus devices). It’s also available for Sketch and Adobe Photoshop.
Android users doesn’t really have a lot of wireframe kits to choose from. Free Android Vector Wireframing Toolkit is probably the best one you can find on the web. It’s available in .ai format (Adobe Illustrator) and is very easy to use. You also can choose from a lot of different UI elements for Android.
To find some free fonts where you can download high-quality ones without paying for each font family style is pretty tough. I managed to find the best free fonts websites where you can download them without breaking your bank account.
Font Squirrel is my primary website to browse through thousands of free fonts, download them or generate web font for your web project. Just make sure you read through licenses on where you can use them.
Google Fonts – Another great website and resource which was created by Google, where all fonts are absolutelly free to use.
Dafont – Very similar to Google Fonts, in this website you also can find ton of free fonts for your next mobile app design project.
It’s important for designers to quickly find great icons in different formats. And it’s even more awesome to download them for free. IconFinder, DryIcons, FlatIcon, FreePik and IconMonster are great resources to download them for free. Just make sure to check the licenses and how to use them in your projects.
While you are designing you mobile app prototype in Adobe Photoshop or Sketch (or any other graphic editor), you probably want to test it out and see how it interacts between different screens of the app. If you are not a developer, you can easily achieve this with a free online tool InVision App. It allows designers to easily create prototypes just by creating hotspots on static images. Then you can select which screen you want to open and what animation to use and whoalia! With this tool you can not only test your app interactions but also it’s an awesome way to present application for your client.
Finally, I want to end this ‘Free Tools for Mobile App Designers’ article with an education website – TutsPlus. Here you can find ton of free written and video tutorials if you want to improve your mobile app design skills. TutsPlus has thousands of free tutorials for different subjects.
With these free tools and resources you are going to improve your mobile app design workflow without breaking your bank account. I’m using them each day and I suggest you to use them too and add them to your every day routine.