Written byJordan Amblin
13th December 2021
Let’s take a look at the top destinations for finding inspiration when it comes to mobile app design.
Finding inspiration is a big part of the job and it's definitely something you should be tracking and billing your clients for 😉. Not only should you keep on top of new products and apps hitting the market you should study their design patterns and visual trends. It's also useful to reference and borrow common patterns to create a comfortable and familiar experience for your customers.
Lets get stuck in with our top 5 destinations:
There is no better way than experiencing a live, functional product. It beats static pngs on any inspiration site. Apple are constantly updating their feed with featured apps, so inspiration is endless.
Get comfortable taking screenshots when you're exploring apps, or even screen record if its a neat animation you're inspired by. My camera roll is nearly 40% screenshots, and a great library of inspiration.
Through using these apps, you can learn and build a mental reference library which you can recall later. Whenever I'm faced with a difficult design problem, for the majority of the time I can quickly recall a pattern I've seen in the past which worked well, and can dig it up.
You'll quickly start to identify similar patterns, transitions and elements across apps, which are better to use than custom solutions as these will feel familiar for users, and reduce the learning curve dramatically.
If you need quick inspiration, Mobbin is definitely the most extensive library to call on.
Find by element for quick inspiration, browse versions to see how things evolve or to find a previous iteration of an app you recall seeing.
What’s great about mobbin, is the ability to reference and compare iOS and android experiences on the same site. This is super valuable in being able to see how products share design language across platforms, and where they opt to use platform specific components.
Airport describe themselves as "the best place to discover new TestFlight apps from developers." and it's such a great lil resource by Jordan Singer.
All the apps are made by indie developers who haven't submitted their apps to the App Store just yet, and are looking for users to test drive their products.
There are lots of apps to dig through, and typically either have some great custom UI, or utilise native UIKit elements, which you can rest easy knowing will be easy to implement.
Scrnshts by definition isn't a UI/UX inspiration site. In fact it showcases the best App Store screenshots rather than apps themselves. The library is huge. Perfect for when you're ready to release your app and need ideas on how to best showcase all your key features.
But if you're following my first tip, and experiencing real apps on your device, then Scrnshts can be another great source for discovering beautifully designed apps.
Head on over, find something interesting, and get downloading.
Design Vault is another service which allows you to find UI inspiration through filtering by pattern or product. Unlike Mobbin, it’s free! No need for a subscription.
Another stand-out feature is showcasing examples of interaction patterns. Surfacing gifs as well as static screens means you’ll be more inspired when it comes designing transitions and animations as well. While you’re at it, you can see the corresponding desktop screens for many of the featured apps.
The 5 resources above help you find new and inspiring ideas when it comes to designing your next mobile app. If you enjoyed this post and want to see more, be sure to let us know on twitter @hellotimoapp or via email email@example.com.