How To Get User Interface (UI) Design Inspiration For Your Mobile App

Trying to figure how how to design your mobile app? This post will give you ideas on where to look for inspiration. Some may not be what you think.

Many times, developers are really good at coding, but struggle when it comes to designing a good user interface. If you do not have a UI designer on staff, there are other ways that you can get design inspiration for your next app. This post will show you some resources that you can tap to get some help.

Consult UI Designers

Offer to take a UI Designer out to lunch or hire them for an hour or two to get some feedback on your ideas. You can also use a website like to find top notch designers who charge by the minute, so you can use as much, or as little time as you need. As with many other things in life, we like to think that we can figure things out on our own, but if we just asked a few questions, we would get to the answer so much faster.

lt="User Interface design consultants

Find Outside Inspiration

Sometimes, trying new things can really give you a fresh perspective and generate new ideas. Visit a museum, go whitewater rafting or just do something that you have never done before.

This experience can help you in two ways. First, it will get your mind off your design dilemma for a few hours. When you get back, you will be fresh and ready to look at it with new eyes.

Second, there may be elements in these activities that can help you formulate design ideas for your app. Maybe a painting that you saw at the museum could be the basis for a great home screen design. Perhaps the reel you used on your fly fishing trip would make a good game controller. You never know.

lt="Get ideas from a museum visit


Download as many apps as you can and study their design and what is good and bad about it. Do not limit yourself to apps in your category. Try other completely random categories and you might be surprised at the ideas you find.

Visit Design Websites

There is definitely no shortage when it comes to websites that offer UI inspiration. There are niche pages for everything from weather apps, to designing graphs and charts.

Here are some websites that will get you started:

lt="A few weather apps

Ask A Friend

Sometimes, the best resource may be closer than you think. As Varun Goel mentioned in his interview, the feedback that he got from his family and friends had the biggest impact on the design of his app. Even though you might not think that your Aunt Suzy has the best taste in clothes, you might be surprised at the ideas that she gives you for your cooking app.

Also venture out and ask people who might be in the demographic you are targeting with your app. Hang out with Meetup groups, or talk to people at a bar. Show them other apps that you like and ask them what they think. Getting outside of your circle of family and friends can expose you to a wide variety of opinions that you may not otherwise come into contact with.


So if you are having a hard time coming up with a design for your mobile app, we hope that this post has given you some ideas on where to look. There is no substitute for having a quality designer on your staff, but if you have to do it yourself, be sure to have as many sources of inspiration as possible.

Where do you get inspiration for your mobile app designs? Let us know in the comments below.

Photo Credit: Museum

Sensor Tower's platform is an enterprise-level offering. Interested in learning more?

Hugh Kimura

Written by: Hugh Kimura, Head of Content

Date: August 2013