I should mention i don't know the first thing about designing smartphones apps.

I hired a freelancer to create a mockup for a smartphone (Android/iPhone) app for me, and I was wondering if I'll be able to use some of the art he'll create in the final app, or are the apps using a different technology/format?

Edit (added): Should I ask him to work with a specific technology? (I'm guessing ps is the standard, but could it be that he'll work with another reasonable technology (i.e. not coal), and the mockup still will NOT be useful for the app?


  • 3
    It is hard to say since it's unknown what technology/format he is using for the mockups.. For all we (and you?) know, he might be doing the mockups into a tree bark..
    – Joonas
    Jan 22, 2012 at 13:41
  • 3
    I understand the traditional method for app mockups is to use coal on the back of a shovel. Jan 22, 2012 at 14:01
  • haha very funny you guys. Edited the question to accommodate for your wonderings
    – Oren A
    Jan 22, 2012 at 19:56

2 Answers 2


If he uses the native resolution for the smartphone (960x640 for iPhone retina) and

if he uses layers to separate the individual items, it should work.

So he should use PS or Pixelmator or any other application which can handle layers and he must send it to you in a usable file format like .psd or .tiff


There are a lot of considerations when working with the mockup so it's really best if you ask the designer his/her intentions. If you have reasonably decent Photoshop/GIMP/MSPAINT skills you can hack up a flat image and make elements for your app. BUT... there's always a but... you need more knowledge than just the static mockup. Should certain elements be displayed differently in different scenarios? Different colors when tapped? What treatment should be given (if any) for a swipe or a flick? These insights are things you can only get from your designer.

At any rate... bottom line is ask your designer!

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