5Building User Interfaces


At the beginning of the smart-phone era, Stephen Fry described the interplay of style and substance in the design of digital devices as follows:

As if a device can function if it has no style. As if a device can be called stylish that does not function superbly…. Yes, beauty matters. Boy, does it matter. It is not surface, it is not an extra, it is the thing itself.


Although Fry was describing the style of the devices themselves, the same can be said of the applications that run on them.

That sentiment has only gained relevance since then—with design and user experience becoming increasingly important in the success of smart devices, and a significant focus for Android application developers.

Bigger, brighter, and higher resolution displays have made applications increasingly visual. As phones evolved beyond purely functional devices, and Android devices expanding past phone form factors, the ...

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