iOS Design and Graphic Resources You Need

If you consider yourself more of a developer than a designer, and would like to develop an app completely by yourself, you might feel overwhelmed by some of the graphical and design challenges in your way. This is especially true for iOS apps, as the Apple review process is known for setting the bar high. Luckily there are tools and resources to help you out! Check out some of the cool ones below.

UI Prototyping and Development

Before you start creating your app you need to have an idea of your app’s design goals. The early UI design stages are a time when you get to solidify those ideas, so that the actual development goes as smooth as possible. If your mind is set on developing your app natively in Objective-C or Swift, you will have three options. This detailed article on Storyboards vs. NIBs vs. custom code explains when it is best to use each:

Now that you can also develop apps in pure JavaScript you have another option. You can jump straight into developing the UI and see the changes immediately on your device – a more evolutionary approach if you will. In Tabris.js the JavaScript is dynamically loaded, which allows for a very fast feedback loop for changes. And the best part is, the UI you create still renders native on the device, despite that you write it in JavaScript.

iOS Design Guidelines

This unofficial documentation collects up-to-date device information about all iPhone and iPad models, app icon requirements and more. If you are looking for a solid understanding of the basic iOS design concepts, you won’t be disappointed. The author promises to update the guide as soon as iOS 9 is officially out, which is good to know even if this time no major design changes are expected.

App Icon Sizes

Your app icon is now ready and adheres to all the standards. Now you are going to need it in several sizes and of course, preparing them manually would take ages. But you can also use a service such as makeappicon which will automatically generate all the required sizes from the largest one. In addition, you’ll get a nice preview on a device screen so you can convince yourself that your icon indeed looks great.

We’ve already written about how you can use makeappicon’s output files to brand your Tabris.js app.

App Screenshots

After you’ve worked hard on making your app look awesome, of course you want to present it well in the App Store. And now you have to upload screenshots for all the supported devices and languages. Sounds like a lot of work, right? Not necessarily. A service like will let you create the screenshots in minutes, and you don’t even need to use a Mac. All you need is an iPhone 6+ sized screenshot, which will get resized to all required screen sizes:

These screenshots might be slightly less accurate since you didn’t take them on an actual device or in a simulator, but you do get to save a lot of time.

If you prefer a more advanced solution, take a look at Snapshot. This gem will take all the screenshots directly by running your Xcode project, making sure they are perfectly accurate for each device.

Thanks for reading, and I hope this article has covered some of your bases for iOS design and graphics related resources. Please let me know what are your must-haves in the comments below.