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Android Design Patterns: Interaction Design Solutions for Developers by Greg Nudelman

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Chapter 4

Mobile Design Process

What makes an effective mobile design process? At the end of the chapter, I describe an end-to-end mobile design process case study that showcases the sticky-note mobile design methodology used throughout the book. However, before you jump to this section, I want to discuss the challenges of designing in the mobile age and some approaches to adopting the classic User-Centered Design (UCD) techniques to the new medium so they remain effective and relevant.

Observe Human-Mobile Interaction in the Real World

In the past, context was one of the considerations when designing software, but it often took the back seat to other methods of analysis. Why is that? Because, ladies and gentlemen, before the arrival of mobile devices, the context was a computer that the customer would sit in front of, unless you were designing a computerized coffee maker (vile abomination!). Thus at the moment of interaction with your software, your customers were basically sitting down in chairs in front of computer screens with keyboards and mice.

In contrast, in mobile design, context is king—context that you and your team should ideally observe first hand, in a real world. It is no longer possible to reliably imagine and model how the interaction would proceed (a person sits in front of the computer, grabs the mouse, and so on) because the person’s behavior and her interaction with the device is highly dependent on context. Even fundamental design parameters like device ...

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