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iHub By Leo Mutuku / January 24, 2012

Help! I’m a developer with no clue about design (e-book)

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6 and a 1⁄2 practical design tips for developers with no access to designers


There is no doubt about the level of talent that exists here in terms of development of apps and sites. Locally developed apps are trying to be competitive not only in the Kenyan market but also elsewhere in Africa and in the world. Many developers are embracing User Experience (UX) and other design elements as part of the whole application and site development process.

Expert designers and UX pros may not come cheap and some devs are forced to tackle the design elements by themselves. So what if you are quite clueless about design aspects to be incorporated in the development of your app/site? Fret not! Andrew Mugoya of afriapps has written a short e-book with 6 (and a half) practical tips to you and similar developers who may not be able to engage the services of a designer.

An excerpt from the e-book reads:

So you’ve realised you need to learn something about good design?

Let’s face it, without a killer design*, your app has little to no hope. But a killer design requires access to killer designers. And they don’t come cheap. Even if you could afford them, they are not exactly short of work, sitting around waiting for your moment of app inspiration.

So what do you do? You do what you’ve always done; you design it yourself! But you’ve learnt from bitter experience that your design skills are, to put it mildly, horrible. Thats where these tips come in. They won’t make you a killer designer, but they’ll help you avoid being a killer bad one. They’ll stop you from embarrassing yourself and give your app a fighting chance. Think of them as rules to help you simply fit in rather than stand out due to bad design.

Yes, users won’t be attracted to your app for its design. But those that come across it won’t be put off from checking it out because of the design either.

You can download the e-book here

Author : Leo Mutuku

Leo is a research manager at iHub Research. She conducts research on open data, data science and visualization, design research methods, market and investment research.


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