In our postmodern era, the popularity of computers, the Internet and tech jobs is rising exponentially. Because of this, software development is one of the most attractive fields to enter -- it requires no schooling and the economic barriers to entry are generally lower than most other professions. The best part is, almost all new developers are able to complete the learning process and start developing entirely from the comfort of their own homes. However, in spite of all that, it is generally very difficult to succeed as a software development professional.
Whether that's due to the large time commitment involved in learning the ropes, how incredibly over-saturated the market is or the sheer difficulty of going through the process of creating a working product, software development can be very taxing. However, if you are able to stick it out and create a working piece of software that you are proud of, it is important that you take every measure to ensure your success. First and foremost is the design. The design of your product should be as usable and pleasing as possible for consumers. One of the most effective and beneficial ways for you, as a developer, to accomplish this is deliver only well-thought-out applications.
The first thing a consumer sees of your application (your "landing page") is as critical as any first impression you can make in person. You can equate a pleasing design to being well-dressed and organized for a job interview. Your consumer is the interviewer and your application is the applicant. If the applicant isn't properly dressed when he walks in, the interviewer may turn him away at the door; if not, that first impression can and will negatively impact the rest of the interview. Because you don't want to make a bad first impression on your users, designing your user interface well is vital.
Important Design Tips to Start Using Today
Luckily for you, you don't have to spend hours poring over your development suite, manually changing every parameter of every object and element until you reach a design you are happy with. There are sites and services (such as fontbundles.net and designbundles.net) that offer bundles for graphics, tools, elements, fonts and even entire design templates. If you're looking for an easy way to flesh out your software or application's UI or GUI, both of these sites come highly recommended. And the best part is that they both offer many free products from hundreds of designers in their marketplace.
Tip One: Streamline and Consolidate
Nobody wants to open a new application and be utterly confused by a surplus of elements and portals to functions within the application. Because of this, it can be very beneficial to you and your application if you consolidate functions under menus, option hubs, or even box several of them up together on a separate page. It's best to minimize your use of the latter practice, though, because making users go through too many portals and loading sequences can turn them off from using your software. This is where streamlining comes in. Options and functions should lead into one another intuitively and have some kind of logic behind them. This can be as obvious as keeping your frequently asked questions in the support section or as innovative as nesting several functions inside one another.
Tip Two: Find Your Philosophy and Stick to It
This tip includes a lot of personal preference, but is just as important, if not more so, than any other design tip. It is essential for you to find a design philosophy you want to implement in your software -- themes like minimalism, monochromatic palettes or funky butterflies, for example. Whatever you choose, a key to software development success is keeping that theme consistent across your application, as it can be a bit of a shell-shock for users to go from one page with a minimalist design to another with a water-color theme. If you need help finding a palette or design theme for your software, here is a site with several for you to browse and choose from. If you're looking to streamline your design process while sticking to a philosophy, then the site also has entire design bundles you can use to strengthen your software's design
Tip Three: Cater to Your Market
The software development market is extremely varied, and there are virtually no companies left in today's marketplace that don't utilize some form of software. Because of this, you can almost always find a market or a user base for your product. However, you should already know who you are trying to make your software appeal to -- the design and language you would use to appeal to a young demographic is vastly different from the choices you would make to market your service to businesses or other organizations. Jim from accounting probably won't appreciate a party balloon template on an account management interface. However, these minimal infographic templates are perfect for business-facing. You can also find creative fonts or even entire logos to add unique flair to your applications.
Design is one of the most important aspects of the development process. It accents the actual tech of your software, putting it on display and allowing your application to connect with your consumers, so it is vital to cater your design to your market. A carefully and thoughtfully designed application will always be appreciated by its users.