The 8 layers of an application

By Johan
May 15, 2012
2 min read

I have been thinking some about the different parts or layers that make up an application, independent on the OS. I all goes back to the insight that in creative meetings, briefs, workshops etc focus is always on the features/content of the mobile solution (usually an application).

A client also tend to focus on the features (yes, together with cost, previous experience, the team, promised timeline etc) when judging an application and comparing it with other companies proposals in a pitch.

In a current pitch meeting with a client I wanted to emphasize that parts of the app that is really hard to show in a pitch might be the success factors of the application – the application layers that creates the user experience and the feeling. These might be the layers that separates an application with similar problem identification, similar concept, similar solution and similar content (if any) from another application.

The 8 layers

  1. The challenge/problem for the end user/brand/company
  2. Concept = the creative idea
  3. Solution (including technical demands, resources etc) = how to solve the problem for the user, brand, company
  4. Content = part of the solution, includes features, images, copy, data
  5. Structure, logic, Information Architecture = organizes the content in an understandable way
  6. Visual design = presents the content in visually appealing format
  7. Interaction (tap, swipe, pinch, tilt, long press etc) = makes the content available and possible to interact with
  8. Feedback – animation, sound, tactile feedback = makes the interaction understandable

I believe that the layers 5. structure, 6. visual design, 7. interaction and 8. feedback creates the user experience and that 6. visual design, 7. interaction and 8. feedback creates the feeling.

What would for instance the todo list application Clear be without the user experience and the feeling – just an ordinary todo application.

Tagged: application · branding · clear
Thanks, glad you liked it since yes – I have done the illustration 🙂
I stumbled upon your blog from visiting which listed you as someone who blogged about Back of the Napkin.
Anyway, I just wanted to say that I liked that illustration, if it was done by you.

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