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

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Chapter 9

Avoiding Missing and Undesirable Results

When customers attempt to operate tiny mobile screens with a fat thumb, using only one hand, or while being jostled in the metro and eating a sandwich at the same time, mistakes are bound to happen. You must realize that those mistakes are not errors. They are a natural outcome of mobile computing, which takes place in a fast-paced, multitasking world. This makes avoiding missing and undesirable results a priority. The extent to which your app assists your customers in figuring out how to resolve the missing and undesirable results condition determines in large part their sense of satisfaction with your app, their brand loyalty, and whether they will recommend your app to their friends.

Essentially, recovery boils down to three essential elements:

  • Telling the searcher that the system did not understand him
  • Focusing on providing a way out
  • Leveraging to the fullest extent the sensor and history information available in the mobile context of use

This seems like a straightforward strategy. Unfortunately, as you see in this chapter, most apps still struggle with relatively simple problems.

stop.ai 9.1 Antipattern: Ignoring Visibility of System Status

On a small mobile device with its frequent user entry errors, it is tempting to bypass telling a customer about the problem and instead just take corrective action. This is generally better ...

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