How to design an iPhone app in Photoshop

How to design an iPhone app in PhotoshopTechnology has made things easier for us.  Now you do not need to work poorly with long coding hours just to discover the blunders in the process for a considerable length of time. Presently, it has turned out to be anything but difficult to plan a website. Not just that, but even mobile applications are currently simple to make. There are plenty of platforms where mobile app developers can contribute to develop a mobile applications. But it is not possible for everyone to have access to softwares like IBM bluemix, Xcode, etc. Nor everyone has the basic understanding of the coding and programming language that goes behind making a successful mobile application.

But, you need not worry if you are one of those who is afraid of codes and technical languages. It is very much possible to implement your Photoshop skills in making mobile applications.

Because, now with the minimal Photoshop skills, you can create your iPhone app. It is possible to create an intuitive mobile app with the use of Photoshop, excluding all those coding efforts.

Over here we shall learn about making an iPhone application with the use of Photoshop to design an app and convert the same into an executable code.

Here is how it is possible.

Step 1. Set up the Gridlines

For designing high-resolution retina screen, it is essential to work with the gridlines. When using an app on smartphones with high resolution, the 2-pixel lines tend to appear as a single point on the screen.

Henceforth it is utmost important to set up the grid guidelines in the photoshop and that too, by splitting it into two pixels.

You can do this by following these interactive options.

Photoshop > Preferences > Guides, Grid & Slicescolour-guide

Over here, we have taken the gridlines of 20 Px with the two subdivisions. That is, each gridline must be sectioned to two pixels precisely.

Also, It is mandatory to do the snapping task and ensure you snap the setup to “snap to all.”

This is to ensure that each object inside the design must be locked to the 2px grids.colour-guide2

The shapes tool must also be set to ‘snap to pixels’.

Step 2. Get a PSD templatePSD template

While you set out to design an iPhone app in Photoshop, you must keep your template ready. The important part over here is to keep all the static elements at one place. Over here too, you must utilize a grid to enable your design work laterally with the emblematic guidelines that are used at a later stage

You can add design elements like button, text, etc. to the canvas at this stage

Step 3. Get an iPhone 4 with GUI PSD retina display

It is not a difficult task to get your hands to the Teehan & Lax’s iPhone 4 with the GUI PSD retina display elements. Because over this phone the each and every pixel elements tends to become thick by 2 to 3 pixels.

The effects over here are inflated so as to appear visible while you still work on the design prototype. You must also know how these buttons appear on the iPhone and how they displayed distinctively on the computer screen in Photoshop.

retina displayGet the app for iPhone 4 GUI PSD Retina display app from

6. Using Liveview to preview UI


One cannot have the real-time iPhone interface design on the monitor screen. The colors are bound to be little different; the shapes can deviate, and overall positioning may also not be precise. Therefore, it is recommended to preview the UI on iPhone using LiveView. You can get it from

Once you are done with the above-mentioned steps, and also, once you have downloaded the LiveView for the UI preview, follow these steps to get the live view of your application interface instantly.

1. Window > Arrange > New Window for *file name*

2. Move window to unutilized part on screen.

3. Now Open and run LiveView.

4. Place the frame above that unutilized window on Photoshop

5. Open iView from iPhone.

6. Connect it to the computer.

This is it. Your app is ready. It shall give you the outline of how an application will appear on the mobile device.

7. Ensuring implementation of iOS human interface guidelines

Apple has predefined some protocols for designing an App to be put up on Store. These set of protocols are very essential to follow for any designer.

To Ensure that you have followed those and not missed any, check this out and compare the same with your design. The design must follow the criteria as mentioned here

Some of the basic guidelines include;

The tap-able are to be around 44px

User’s orientation expectation must be considered as Portrait and not Landscape

The take on the application branding should be unobtrusive

Specifications related to the icon dimensions must be followed strictly

Contours and gradients must be utilized efficiently

Modal windows to be used as sparsely as possible

 8. Use for the final export

After all the above mentioned steps, when you are done with designing part and also with the guideline conformation party, the design must be exported.

It is possible to export the iPhone app design in the form of code to make it operational.

For converting the entire design in the form a code, you will require a software called Codly

You can Download Codly from here

If you are still in any doubt, take a look at the video below.

There are plenty of sub-steps when it comes to developing an iPhone app in Photoshop, but rest assured, it is possible to make an app on Photoshop by following the above-mentioned steps carefully.

It is preferable to test the exported code with iPhone 4S than any other model. It is because the testing on 4S is because is a relatively friendlier and easy due to fewer security protocols. It shall let you preview the custom designed app pretty quickly.

Author Bio: Shahid Abbasi is a big time tech geek working with among the best ios app development companies, Peerbits. He has a proven efficiency over designing mobile apps for the enhanced UI/UX for websites and mobile apps.

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