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Mobile Design Rules: What Designers Need to Know when Creating Mobile Apps


10 min read

We are all active iPhone and Samsung users, and there are occasionally a lot of tough challenges with app functionality on both sides, Apple and Android. In this post, Dashdevs, a market leader in mobile app development, will discuss product development and design. When our team begins working on a new market or product, we install the apps of the leading market participants. This research assists us in understanding what experiences, functionality, and mobile design rules are typical for the target audience as well as providing answers to the following questions:

Why do we face so many issues while utilizing market leaders’ applications? After all, if applications are developed for users, why is it impossible to start using the app and pass the sign-up process?

We have been working in app development for more than 10 years and know exactly how all our applications work under the hood, what the processes are on the backend, and why we adhere to concrete mobile app design rules. To overcome any issues with other applications, DashDevs assumes how the application is supposed to work from the inside.

The problematic part is that firms are either unaware of or unconcerned about issues.

The usual workflow of design development is always the same: wireframes => high fidelity design => prototype => approval => development.

After passing this workflow, the product team knows how the application works so well that it seems to be obvious for everyone else. Such confidence may be overblown and become the root for a number of UX bugs. With further development, the number of issues multiplies by the technical implementation side. There are usually technical restrictions and requirements for the visual part of the application.

Our goal is to help designers improve their technical skills and explain why some technological nuances are important.


In the development process, there are always various mobile website design rules and design limits. Because of technological flaws in third-party services, APIs, and server-side architecture, your amazing design idea may be changed. As a result, when the design has been approved, technical professionals should update it. A background check is essential for both mobile developers and backend engineers. Let’s delve a little deeper into the mobile development process.


Almost every mobile application is inextricably linked to its server.

Single, in a relationship, married, divorced, or it is so-oo complicated - mobile game design rules and requirements that force the user to think seriously about his life. Of course, we’re joking, but these statuses aren’t far from the truth.

Typically, all data is saved in a database. We need a single source of truth with consistent data. If your application requires this data, it must utilize the Request-Response cycle. In other words, the mobile app “asks” a server to GET, PUT, POST, or DELETE data. When a mobile application submits a request, it is waiting for the server to respond. This answer includes a status code as well as the requested information. You may be wondering why a designer should be aware of the cycle. As a designer, you must construct the user interface (UI) for a user to comprehend what is going on behind the hood of an application. Let’s start with the classification of status codes. All status codes are classified into five groups.

  1. Informational (starts from 1XX). This is only protocol-level information. In most circumstances, such statuses are not required for design. They have no effect on the user experience and therefore should not be disclosed to the user. This information is solely useful for developers.
  2. Successful (starts from 2XX). Typically, these statuses indicate that certain user activities were successful (e.g., accounts have been created, phone numbers verified, money transferred).
  3. Redirection (starts from 3XX). This status indicates that the user’s request will be redirected. This indicates that the user will have to wait a little longer for a response. In design, we must demonstrate to the user that the application is operational. It might be a progress bar or a spinner.
  4. Client error (starts from 4XX). This type of feedback is really important for app design. The user has made a mistake. There might be several explanations for this. The user enters inaccurate information or attempts to gain illegal access to a restricted area of the program. I’m sure you’re aware that for all web goods, a 404 error page must be designed. That one with the notice — the page could not be found. When dealing with mobile design, you must demonstrate to the user that the completed action is invalid.In most cases, a mobile device displays the typical error message, such as “Sorry, something went wrong,” for all 4XX statuses. The user does not understand why the request is invalid and continues to attempt the same action again and over. We encountered this problem when attempting to register with one digital bank. The program requested document photographs and returned the error message, “Sorry, something went wrong.” We attempted to upload the photographs several times. At the end of the day, our staff noticed that the photo was too large. There were no clear photo criteria in the app, which may have aided us as users in uploading the correct-sized photo.
  5. **Server error (starts from 5XX).**These are really awful scenarios. They might indicate that there are problems with your server. The backend may be down, or one of the services may be offline. This may cause the user to panic. So we need to inform the user that everything is OK and that we are working on the problem. The user is supposed to wait and retry later.

Status codes are essentially use cases or circumstances that may occur to a user.

You should also be aware of the distinction between synchronous and asynchronous queries. The UI should be blocked while synchronous requests are processed by the server. Consider the login API. You must obtain confirmation from the server that the user with the typed credentials exists and that the user’s status is active. Alternatively, asynchronous requests can be issued one after the other without the preceding request being completed.

Requests and answers are another thing to keep in mind. It takes time for a server to process them. For some queries, you must restrict the user from performing any actions until the app receives a response. The user may continue working with the program to make additional requests.


The app receives data from the user (through input fields, user profiles, and so on) and delivers it to the server in the form of a request. The data is processed there, and the mobile application receives a success or failure result.

The simplified version can look like this:

The above flow is the simplest and most typical. One screen, one action, and one server answer. As a designer, you must picture three scenarios: success, failure, and waiting for a response.

All steps’ data was gathered on the mobile device and forwarded to the backend. We could learn from the server response that the user had failed at the second stage. As a result, the user had to redo the activities for the second phase. The design modification would be detrimental to users. They were much more irritated by the new design. “Why didn’t you notify me right away, at the point where I failed?” was the major user’s complaint.

As a result, every modification to an app design is subjected to a technical assessment.


The architecture and client-server connections are entirely your responsibility. The user is unconcerned about them. And the user is correct.

Here is a list of items that the user must be aware of:

  • **Requirements:**First and foremost, we, as users, want to understand the need for the information that the app requires from us. Otherwise, the user may get various 4XX problems without realizing why. Errors may occur repeatedly until the user gives up or manages to estimate the requirements.
  • The application is working: As users, we need to know that the program operates as it should. There is some action beneath the hood if the UI is blocked. This is critical for synchronous requests. Users may believe that the program is stuck if they do not receive a signal indicating that it is operating. They grow tense. They attempt to hit every button, refresh the application, and do other bizarre things.
  • Feedback: As users, we want to know if our data is correct and what needs to be altered. Otherwise, we want proof that everything is in order.


If you’re reading about requests, answers, and status codes for the first time, it could seem a little difficult. You may believe that you are only a designer and that this knowledge is irrelevant to you. But first, let us demonstrate how you can use these mobile application design rules in practice.

As an example, we’d like to show you some from our upcoming application in this article.

Rule 1: Show the mobile app user where he was wrong

We cannot validate all the data on the mobile device. The majority of the time, user data is reviewed and confirmed on the server side. A user should be aware of the outcome; we must demonstrate which information is wrong. We must also supply the necessary data. It is critical at this point to provide hints to the user.

Rule 2: Do not allow app users to insert invalid data. Help a user to understand your app requirements

Why should we allow a user to make a mistake? Let us use the birth date as an example to illustrate this point. For example, unlike bank applications, we do not have any age restrictions for users. However, the date of birth must be earlier than today. Another example is the delivery date. It can’t be the past. As a result, a developer may set up the picker such that a user can select a date from today and all future days.

If we allow a user to provide incorrect data, the server will reject the request, and the user will have to repeat his activities to achieve the desired outcome.

Here’s another example of this rule in action. It is critical for some applications to adhere to a high level of security. They have certain password restrictions. The password must be entered by the user using the various registers, special characters, and digits. If the user enters an incorrect password, the backend will generate an error. To avoid this problem, you can display tips with requirements on the UI.

Rule 3: Show that an application is working

Do you recall synchronous backend requests? As a result, when a user pushes the button, the program makes a request to the server. The transmission and receipt of the response might take some time. You must display it to the user. When you block the UI until an app receives an answer from the backend, this is especially true for synchronous queries. Is this sequence understandable to a user? Of course not. We need to inform the user that his or her request is being processed. You must demonstrate progress using a spinner (or a hud). It might take up the full screen or be contained within the button. It is entirely up to you to select an option.

Rule 4: Show the success of users’ actions in the app

A user has completed certain tasks in your program. A user, for example, adds new costs to a budgeting tool. A user needs proof that this activity was carried out effectively. If a user is making a decision (for example, creating an account or adding a credit card to the application), you may add modal displays that block the entire screen. However, whether there is only a configuration modification or the addition of another expenditure, the little success message is sufficient.

Rule 5: Your app backend may be out of reach

Everyone is attempting to avoid this issue. The server’s unavailability might be caused by problems on the developer’s end. Another explanation is an issue with your hosting provider. We’ve had a couple instances when Amazon Web Service (AWS) or Microsoft Azure went down due to difficulties. It also caused problems with the application. Backend difficulties may result in partial or complete service outages.


Finally, we want to underline the relevance of technical expertise for designers. Knowledge of top mobile app development technologies bridges the communication gap between designers and developers. Another benefit is that designers will understand all of the situations they need to address right from the start of the application design development process. It aids in reducing the time required to create an application.

We can see the results of it in our projects. Dashdevs, a software development company, is working hard to improve high-tech products and remain the best software developing company. We are always upgrading our procedures and techniques, as well as planning for tech presentations and skill-building activities for our employees. At present, technical education for designers and client engagers yields the greatest outcomes!

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