App design checklist

Things to ask for from your app design agency

When you’re dealing with big projects—big app projects—you’re definitely looking for expertise. You might have an idea that could change the world, but you need the right skills to make it come to life. And not just for “app” expertise, but all kinds of expertise within app development cycle.

For example, in one common scenario, you may want to hire one app design agency and one app development agency. An app design agency for their sense of design and branding sense, while an app development agency for the technology you need for that project.

In this situation, it seems you have done most of the part on your end. But in this scenario, the productivity and effectiveness of the app development agency depends completely on how the app design has delivered its work. To put it simply, both companies need to align themselves as to what one might need from another. If that alignment doesn’t happen, the future of your app might get in trouble due to unnecessary delays, more efforts, and of course, waste of more dollars.

To tackle such situations, we have made an app design checklist of deliverables that you should always ask from the app design agency, it an Android or iOS project. This is a complete and exhaustive list. And once you have it, you can be assured that the app development agency will be able to complete the task on time and without causing other pain points.

Here’s the list!


Wireframes are important because it helps you in various ways aside from their regular function. It helps to understand how in-app navigation will work and makes it easier to move to high-fidelity mockups. Plus, if you want to make changes into the design, it makes the whole redesign process simpler.

Here’s what you need to confirm in the wireframes:

  • Make sure that all parts of the wireframes have been labelled properly and contains the copy on the wireframe.
  • Detailed annotations need to be there in the wireframe. It makes it easier for the developer or the coder of the app. A poor or even under-annotated wireframe may leave a lot of space for ambiguity. For complex interactions like dynamic movements and animations, it is always recommended to add some reference links.
  • Most people might not know it, but an app is driven from a website. And as with any other website, it must include a sitemap. Make sure when you take the design to the development team, they have a sitemap at their desk.

Style Guides

Style guides are what make your app look coherent across all screens. A style guide is a guide to the front of your code. At its very minimum, it includes typography (h1-h6, paragraphs, lists, etc.), colors (brand, highlights, text, and links), grid system (horizontal at least), buttons, and form elements.

  • All elements of a mockup must be captured within the style guide.
  • Make sure when the development team look at app, it is not just blue or red or green. It has to be in a hexadecimal format—if you don’t know, it’s a string of letters conveying color.
  • All font sizes have to be mentioned in exact pixels. Each text must be accompanied with its pixel size.
  • Style guides cannot be sent in a word or a referenced form. It has to be delivered in .PSD file with no flattened layers or as HTML/CSS prototype.
  • .PSD file should be in 72ppi – if retina assets are needed then that is a separate request that will be made.


Mockups are the realistic representation of what your app will look like in the finished form. Its purpose is not only to guide the developer, but also to see if the development team has been able to reproduce the mockup as a finished product. Here is the must haves for your app mockup:

  • Each and every measurement within the mockup PSD file should be in pixels. Plus, it should be ensured that each measurement reflects what’s in the style guide.
  • All the hover functionality must be represented clearly. Many a time, it is hidden within the layers.
  • Make sure here are no flat layers while all copy text is inspectable (that it can be selected). It makes it easier for the developer to copy and paste the text avoiding errors and saving time.
  • A layer should be included that outlines the grid system used in the app design. This acts more or less like a style guide on a visual front making it easier for the front end developer.


The assets of an app are basically comprised of three things:

  1. Icons
  2. Images
  3. Fonts

All the assets must be available upfront when the front end designer takes on his job. If any of the elements from these three asset categories are missing, it is a monotanous and time-consuming job of going back and forth between the designers and the developers. It costs a lot of time and might even lead to errors.

All the icons must be delivered as individual .SVG files with the same size they have been used in the design, otherwise inconsistency in size might appear. Similarly, images must be available as separate files. Fonts that are not system must be delivered only in any of these formats: .eot, .svg, .ttf, .woff, and .woff2. Also, ensure that you have licences to each and every asset you’re using within the app.

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