Mobile Design with Alli Dryer – Podcast S03 E03

Learn about mobile design with Alli Dryer, creator of – how to learn design, how to find designers, common design mistakes, and more! By Ray Wenderlich.

Leave a rating/review
Save for later

Welcome back to season 3 of the podcast!

In this episode, learn about mobile design with Alli Dryer, creator of – how to learn design, how to find designers, common design mistakes, and more!

[Subscribe in iTunes] [RSS Feed]


Note from Ray: This is our first time adding a transcript to the podcast. Let us know what you think, and if this is something you’d like to see us keep doing!


Mic: Hey, Jake.

Jake: Hey Mic, how are you doing?

Mic: Not so bad, you?

Jake: Pretty good, pretty good. It’s been a good week.

Mic: You all set for RWDevCon next week?

Jake: I am still getting set yes. I’ll be ready when the time comes. Okay, how about you? Are you ready?

Mic: Just about yeah.

Jake: Got all your presentations in order?

Mic: I’m just doing the final run through of each one now. The prep work’s done; this is just the final, final, final check before I send everything over to Ray to package up and distribute off to the guys that are coming, but yeah, pretty much there.

Jake: It took a lot more prep work than I thought it would, but I think because of that it’s going to end up being a pretty good conference. I feel like when it comes I’ll be quite well prepared.

Mic: Yeah, I think it’s going to be epic. I think I put a thing on Twitter a while ago – I’ve been to a few conferences and I’ve spoken at a conference before, but I’ve never known as much work and planning and effort go into a conference that at least I’ve been to as this.

I think it’s going to be really enjoyable. I think the fact that it’s tutorials rather than just sit and watching somebody talk for 30 minutes you’re going to come away really feeling that you’ve learned something in each session which I think’s going to be great as well.

Jake: Yeah, I agree. I agree I think people will feel like they really, I mean when you go to a conference I think it’s hit and miss. Sometimes you come out feeling like wow that was packed I learned so much. Then, other times you’re like it was interesting but I might’ve enjoyed a session, but you don’t necessarily feel like I’m going to hit the ground running tomorrow when I start using this or whatever.

Mic [02:00]: Yeah, I definitely think you’re going to learn some skills in the conference that you can definitely take straight and start applying them to whatever you’re doing. I definitely think it’s the way to go for this particular conference. I’m really, really looking forward to it.

Mic and Jake’s Experience w/ Designers

In this episode of the podcast we’re going to be talking about mobile design: design inspiration, developers doing their own design work, that kind of thing. I know that you tend to do a lot of contract work Jake. Do you, more often than not, work with a designer or do you a lot of the design work yourself?

Jake: I do usually work with a designer, so it’s interesting. In the earlier days of the iOS ecosystem when I was getting started I did most of the design myself. I did a lot of games. I didn’t necessarily do the graphics but I would work with other programmers that were doing graphics or I would do the, I didn’t necessarily draw sprites or game art, but I would do backgrounds and I would do menus and layouts and stuff like that.

As the iOS ecosystem as gotten more competitive and the polish level has gone up, I found myself doing less design work because I’m not a designer. I’m pretty weak at least when it comes to actually drawing a button or picking out a color scheme or whatever. That’s certainly not my strong point. How about you?

Mic [04:00]: Yeah, in the early days, like you, did much of my design work myself. I do know me way around Photoshop and more recently Sketch. I can do design work, but I have also worked with designers and I find that preferable because what might take me a few hours to do they do it relatively, turn it around relatively quicker.

Also, those are the ideas guys. A lot of the stuff that I do I take inspiration from others. I won’t directly call it copying, but you can definitely see into my designs which apps I’ve been inspired by. But obviously if you’re working with a designer they tend to … they’re the guys that come up with that stuff which I think is another bonus of you can work with somebody that’s really skilled.

I worked with a guy based in Canada who was fantastic. He worked a lot with the contrast guys, you know Logic Pro and that kind of stuff. He’s done a lot of work with them. I’ve also worked with, when I worked on the Duck Duck Go, they had their inhouse designer who was fantastic to work with. Between doing my own design work or working with a designer I would definitely choose a designer I think every time.

Jake: Yeah, I’ve worked with a couple of design shops where basically they do, all they do is design websites and apps and stuff. They contract out their programmers. I’m independent, but they don’t necessarily have the iOS skills in house so they bring me along.

I found that in that case specifically I feel good with laying out workflows and things like that and functionality. Even things like the way an iOS app is supposed to work where the buttons go. Conventions I feel good about all of that.

A lot of times the design firm they’ll deliver this beautiful design, but they don’t necessarily have the familiarity with iOS and buttons are in weird places or they should be using a tab view navigation controller and they’re inventing some random thing. They’re doing something that looks more like an Android app.

I’ve had that too where I look at a design and I’m like this is gorgeous, but functionally it’s weird and it’s awkward. It depends on what part of design you’re talking about. Definitely when it comes right down to the point of drawing a button I would much rather have somebody who’s skilled do that for me because I just, yeah, I’m not good at that at all.

Mic: Where are you helped in your own design, so I’m talking specifically since iOS7 now? Have you found it easier with the transition to the new interface style, that flatter look? How is your morphism and is, well, just flat really because there’s no shadow. There’s no leather, no green stitching.

Jake [06:00]: Yes, I’d say yes and no. It’s much easier to use stock controls where you select the color palette and you put something together with stock controls. That looks passible and I certainly am capable of doing that. I find it harder to make things look like stand out good with this flat design.

Mic: No, I think so and I think that’s probably where working with a designer comes in because as somebody who’s not that way inclined naturally say you can only go so far. It’s working with people who specialize in that area that know the little touches that set goods to great.