Chapter 4

Mobile User Interface Design

WHAT’S IN THIS CHAPTER?

  • Using the screen real estate efficiently
  • How the user perceives design elements
  • Social aspect of mobile interfaces
  • Accessibility
  • Design patterns
  • Designing for the platforms

Design falls into the category of craftsmanship: you do something until you are good at it, and then keep doing it until you are better. But many developers are too excited to solve the next functionality puzzle to spend much time with interface questions like appropriate color contrast or font. Don’t miss out on amazing design puzzles.

The latest generation of mobile devices are portable enough to carry at all times, connected to voice and data networks, and contextually aware by using sensors and networks to preemptively complete tasks.

Current mobile limitations include bandwidth, times when users cannot access wireless Internet or phone networks, as well as a lack of technical capabilities, such as Flash, on many mainstream mobile devices. These constraints give application creators the opportunity to focus each application on a precise set of features. Mobile application creators can also use exciting new interactions with motion and gestures: zooming, swiping, tapping, turning, and shaking. These capabilities offer the chance to innovate.

Technology is changing and no device has a guaranteed market share in perpetuity, providing the easy excuse that the next device might change everything anyway. But like learning the syntax of one programming ...

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