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Customize Your App Styles to Match Your Brand Using a Scalable System

Customize Your App Styles to Match Your Brand Using a Scalable System

In our recent Skuid App-etizer webinar, we talked about why having a well-designed visual experience makes apps better for your users and how the Skuid Design System Studio (DSS) helps people quickly and scalably build their company’s designs.

Are you paying enough attention to user experience in your apps? How do you know if you could do better? Here’s what we’ve found: “If user adoption rates for your applications are around 30%, that’s a sure sign that your UX could be improved.”

App styling plays a key role in user adoption. And while the DSS helps with theming, colors, and fonts, it’s more than just that. It’s a scalable system.

The DSS offers a collection of rules and variables you apply to app components, which helps with design consistency and scalability. The ability to customize design for any app component (instead of writing it over and over again) takes styling time from hours and days to just minutes.

During the webinar, Huyen York, Product Applications Engineer at Skuid, discussed why good app styling is critical and demonstrated two apps she styled using the Design System Studio.

What’s the big deal about app styling?

With good app styling, your apps work the way users work, so people will actually use them. And with higher app adoption, you improve data quality because information isn’t siloed in disparate systems and spreadsheets.

Because a well-styled app with a fully-branded, consumer-grade experience is easier to use, it enhances productivity. Specifically, fewer clicks and navigational steps reduce cognitive load and create big efficiencies. Users will navigate the app as you’ve intended instead of searching for workarounds, which means they’ll complete tasks faster.

When your apps have a consistent look and feel, you give users a smooth experience and encourage brand trust and recognition, too. Offering ample white space and clear section headers improves app clarity and organization. These benefits combine to promote user happiness. And that’s the jackpot for app development because happy users equal high adoption rates.

Design System Studio: your secret weapon for app styling.

The Skuid Design System Studio helps you with app styling by enabling the functionality of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), but in a much more scalable way. Rather than updating design specifications in countless places with CSS, the Design System Studio lets you update once and applies changes everywhere that element is used.

What does all this mean for your business?

  • Lower development costs. Maximize your Salesforce investment even when technical resources are constrained.
  • Accelerated productivity. Streamline and digitize business processes faster with the tools your admins and developers need.
  • Painless customization. Accelerate prototyping to capture and deliver user needs with little-to-no code.
  • Backlog busting. Catch up on projects quickly without accumulating code debt.
  • Simplified design and development. Clean up your tooling portfolio with a unified composer for data, logic, and UI customization.

Notable features of the DSS include custom style variants and variant inheritance. You can create a myriad of style variants for a component, making it much easier to build your app to the design’s specs. Style variants can also inherit or clone from other variants, allowing you to scale your design system with ease of maintenance.

Here are six app styling tips to improve your brand’s consistency.

With the importance of app styling established, let’s dive into some examples. Apply these design elements consistently across your apps and you’ll provide a positive user experience and increase brand recognition and trust.

  1. Typography: Ensuring your fonts and font families are consistent across apps reinforces your brand.
  2. Color: Color evokes strong emotional responses and it’s important to bring your brand colors to every app you create so that you provide the experience that users expect.
  3. Spacing: The right spacing between sections on a page helps your users complete forms quickly and focuses their attention on the section at hand.
  4. Imagery: Images also evoke strong emotional responses, promote familiarity with your brand, and humanize the user experience.
  5. Shape: Using shape appropriately is an understated but simple way to reinforce your brand. Rectangular buttons, square buttons, or sharp edges evoke formality. Whereas, rounded borders evoke a casual feel for your app.
  6. Tone: For all the previous elements, the DSS can help, but this one is up to you. Tone is the language you use throughout your app. If your brand is corporate, you’ll likely use a formal tone. For consumers, keep it more casual. Whatever your tone, it’s critical to carry it forth to all your apps.

If you’re acting as both developer and designer, splitting your brain between those functions demands a lot of energy. So, we’ve done the hard work for you. Here’s how the Skuid Design System Studio helps you style apps well:

  • It provides better consistency, organization, and hierarchy.
  • It helps you scale your design more easily because changes to style variables cascade to all components.
  • It offers both custom style variants and variant inheritance.
  • You can capture notes through the DSS to document your decisions for reference.

For more custom app design details, check out the full webinar here.

Product Applications Engineer

I love finding new ways to make enterprise applications easier to use. I'm also a fan of rock climbing, hiking with friends, and fusion cuisine.