Chapter 1

Design for Android: A Case Study

This book is about what works: design patterns. Design patterns in this book build on the official Google Android design guidelines by communicating best practices while addressing the complexities involved in real design problems. The official Android guidelines (available at form the foundation; this book shows you how to bring these guidelines to life as complete solutions to real-world design challenges.

With this chapter, I am laying the foundation for the 58 patterns (and 12 antipatterns) in the book by providing a case study of an app that could benefit from a more refined design—the AutoTrader app. The appropriate patterns are referenced in each section of this chapter; feel free to flip to the relevant pages to explore design solutions in more detail.

The AutoTrader app is a typical example of a straight port, which is to say that it is basically an iOS app that was quickly and minimally made to work for Android. The following sections show you how to redesign this app for Android 4.0+ (Ice Cream Sandwich). The entire app isn’t covered because this would be exceedingly tedious to write (and even more tedious to read). Instead, three representative screens are discussed: home screen with a search form, the search results screen, and the item detail screen. These three screens should give you a good idea of some unique and interesting aspects of the Android visual ...

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