Chapter 4

Planning and Building Your Application's User Interface

What's in This Chapter?

  • Mobile UI guidelines
  • Building a UI for Android
  • Examining the layout of controls
  • Exploring the UI controls
  • Designing screen-independent UI

In this chapter you'll learn about creating your application's user interface (UI). You'll get a look at a base set of guidelines for building a successful user interface on Android, examine the options for building a user interface, and see how controls are laid out in Android. Finally, you'll get to explore the controls available to Android developers.

Guidelines for a Successful Mobile UI

Before you dig into building a user interface, it's important to understand some guidelines for doing so successfully. These guidelines affect how users will use applications when they are mobile, as well as how your applications can be good citizens when running:

  • The device's screen size is much smaller than that on a desktop system. As such, applications should limit the number of screen controls presented to the user at one time.
  • Applications should require the users to enter the smallest amount of data possible. A spinner control (similar to a drop-down list box), where the user is required to select a pre-entered value, is preferable to requiring the user to type in some amount of text. Typing on a mobile device is problematic. Tapping several times is preferable to entering 30 letters into a text form.
  • Be a good citizen on the device. Caching data locally is ...

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