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

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Chapter 6

Home Screen

See if you can spot a crucial difference between the following two statements:

A. “I heard this great joke on a train today. It was told to me by a gray-headed man while we were riding together on the train from Santa Clara….”
B. “A mushroom walks into a bar. The bartender says to him, ‘We don’t serve your kind here.’ And the mushroom replies, ‘What’s wrong? I’m a fun-guy!’”

OK, maybe that’s not the best joke, but I have a point to make: Even if both statements contain about the same number of words, there is a crucial difference between them: Statement A tells you about the story, whereas statement B actually tells the story. That is the difference between good and great home screen patterns: The good ones actually tell you the story. The rest, well….

6.1 Pattern: List of Links

Sometimes called Hub-and-Spoke (first documented by the User Experience (UX)w expert Jennifer Tidwell in her essential 2011 book Designing Interfaces from O’Reilly), List of Links is a popular and venerable design pattern used all over the mobile world on all manner of platforms and applications. Unfortunately, this pattern frequently tells people about the story, rather than telling the story itself. Here’s how to spruce it up to improve its usefulness.

How It Works

The home screen acts as a hub that presents a bunch of links or icons of primary functions or popular views that can be obtained with the app.

Example

You don’t have to look hard to find an example of this pattern. ...

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