Chapter 3: Considerations in Designing for Mobile and Touch Devices

Mobile devices are very different from desktop or laptop computers. They differ in both the way they are used as well as where they are used. Phones and tablets are mostly used to consume information, whereas computers are also used to create information.

Modern smartphones contain some of the most advanced technology available for consumers, including very high-density displays and sensitive multi-touch capable touch screens. On the other hand, the devices still fall short in many other aspects like available memory and CPU power. The device capabilities bring both opportunities and challenges when it comes to user interface design.

It’s not all about technology, either. Mobile devices serve a different purpose in their users’ lives. They are also used in very different surroundings than the more traditional computing devices. Without understanding the limitations and opportunities of both the technology and the use context, creating good user interfaces is difficult.

Designing for Mobile

Not all Android devices are mobile phones, but the vast majority is. It is safe to assume that if you are building an Android app it will be running on a phone. In order to successfully target phones, it is necessary to look into the limitations that mobility brings into the game.

Use context of mobile devices

Mobile devices are used, as the name suggests, on the move. The environment is noisy and users are interrupted all ...

Get Smashing Android UI now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.