What Tools Do You Need?

We discuss a variety of different tools that we think are useful for helping in the design process. Field Notes are one of our absolute favorites. Each page of the pocket notebook is about the same size and aspect ratio of a mobile phone screen, so it's great for jotting down design ideas and interface ideas.

For creating digital designs, we often turn to Balsamiq Mockups to help create detailed design documentation.

MindNode is a mind mapping tool for iPhone, iPad, and OS X that makes it a breeze to create detailed visualizations of how the app should move between various features.

Meeting Design Expectations

We advise in this section that you should always peruse the top application lists for various app stores, a this will let you stay abreast with the different applications that are most highly in demand. Here are links to the iPhone, iPad, and Android top downloaded lists.

Creating Pixel-Perfect Digital Mockups

Throughout this chapter, and the entire book, we discuss Adobe's Creative Cloud suite of applications, specifically Photoshop and Illustrator. We highly suggest that you purchase a subscription to this service, to help give you a good set of tools to aid in the creation of mobile apps.


We linked to Photoshop and Balsamiq above, but in the in-depth, we discuss a few other apps as well. Here are links to Skitch, xScope, and Pixelmator.