app development

Whether you need to create a mockup of your app idea, design an eye-catching App Store icon, or just learn the basics of iOS design, there are many components that go into the process of designing a new app. More importantly, if you have limited resources, you’ll need to discover the tools that will help you accomplish your app idea as inexpensively as possible. Below we’ve gathered ten of our favorite free design tools to help you get started.

Marvel

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Marvel is the easiest way to turn your sketches, images, and mockups into realistic mobile and web prototypes. Create interactive designs in minutes, sync your projects to Dropbox, and validate your app idea with colleagues and clients with ease.

Tuts+

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Tuts+ contains an extensive library of tutorials covering every subject imaginable, but you can also find a section dedicated to mobile design and visual design tutorials. Tutorials such as “Introduction to iOS Design Patterns,” “Designing for Mobile eCommerce,” “An Introduction to Adaptive Design,” are just a few of the topics you can learn about in the mobile design category.

LaudableApps

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Head over to LaudableApps, an independent showcase for iOS apps, and get inspired from some of the best in iOS 7 designs.

Octave

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Sounds may not be necessary in every mobile app, but in some cases they can be useful for the overall user experience. If you’d like to add sound for notifications or positive actions (such as favoriting, checking off a task) Octave’s free sound library contains all the clicks, beeps and interface sounds you could ever need when designing your app.

Capptivate


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Capptivate is an excellent mobile pattern library for iOS animation inspiration. Posts are categorized by different mobile patterns so you can easily search for inspiration for your mobile app’s navigation, transitions, UI elements and more.

InVision

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InVision is a powerful design prototyping tool that allows you to upload your app design and turn static screens into clickable, interactive prototypes complete with gestures, transitions, and animations.

Icons8

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Icons are necessary for your app’s menu bar to help your users navigate your app. With Icons8, you can access 5000+ free icons and import to PS and Xcode.

AppsBuilder’s App Screenshot Templates

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Create custom screenshots for your iOS (or Android) app with AppsBuilder’s free, pre-sized Powerpoint templates complete with the latest smartphone device mockups.

Tethr

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The most beautiful iOS design kit you’ve ever seen – and it’s free. Tether offers a comprehensive UI Kit packed with multimedia, social, navigation, e-commerce and 250+ other Photoshop and Sketch templates for use in your designs.

Facebook Pop

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Facebook Pop is an extensible iOS and OS X animation library, useful for adding animations in your apps. In fact, this is the same library Facebook used to design the animations and transitions for their Paper application.

We know there are dozens of other free app design resources out there, so if you have a favorite that’s not on the list, share with us in the comments.