App Review – Canva for iPhone

If you’re a designer (or even if you don’t know the difference between #FFFFFF and #000000), you may have heard of Canva, one of the most popular browser-based design apps available in recent years.

Since its founding in 2012, Canva has grown exponentially, and in 2015, their userbase grew from 1.8 million to 7 million.

In 2014, they launched an iPad App to accompany the browser-based version of their software, and just today they announced that the app had finally become a universal app—meaning that it was now available for iPhones, and they hinted that an Android release was in the works as well.

Now, I admit that I may be a bit biased in this review, as I am a past Canva user, but even so, I think that if I hadn’t had any prior experience with Canva I would probably still be as impressed with the app as I am. It’s a great release, and immediately upon opening the app it’s easy to tell that the development team had UX in mind, or were at least cognizant of it during the development process.

The app feels fluid and easy to navigate, with no hiccups or snags as far as the interface goes. The onboarding process is also simple and easy to follow, making it easy for users to start creating quickly.

To get started, users either log into an existing Canva account or create a new one. Then, they are greeted with a welcome screen.

Canva for iPhone | App Review | The Design Jedi

Next, the user is taken to their Home screen, which displays what’s essentially a miniature version of the web app’s dashboard. It allows the user to select from their existing designs (if they have any), or they can select from hundreds of professionally designed layout templates for popular types of sizes or file types. For example, users can select to create a graphic that is perfectly sized for various social media outlets, or a business card, or a flyer or invitation, among other things.

Once an initial layout option is selected, the user can then begin customizing the design.

Users have several options for customizing their design through Canva for iPhone. These include adding a custom image (either from the camera roll or by using a stock image available within the app), then any custom image that a user adds can be further customized using filters and other image adjustments.

Canva for iPhone | App Review | The Design Jedi | App Screenshots 1

In addition, similarly to Canva’s web version, users can also further customize their design by adding design elements, custom text overlays and/or shapes to their design.

Canva for iPhone | App Review | The Design Jedi | App Screenshots 2

Just as they do in the web app, users have the ability to make adjustments to fonts, colors, and the placement of items within their layout.

Once the user is happy with their creation, they can simply tap the Share button at the top of the screen to either save their design to the camera roll, print it, or share it via email or other popular social media networks.

Canva for iPhone | App Review | The Design Jedi | App Screenshots 3

Overall, I was really impressed with the 2.0 release of Canva’s iOS app. Not only were they able to successfully  a solid design but they also captured the feeling that a user has while using the Canva browser app and port it over into the mobile version without losing any brand equity. When you use Canva for iPhone, it feels like Canva, and in my book, that’s the sign that you’ve nailed mobile UX.
Canva for iPhone is available as a universal app starting today as a free download in the App Store. The app does offer in-app purchases for credits (to be used for purchasing stock photos, etc.)

Here’s a few examples of some things I’ve created since downloading the app a few hours ago:

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