This category features articles on best and emerging practices for responsive website design, Web apps and native apps. While the mobile Web is still in it's infancy, we can learn from the experiences of professionals who are working on mobile every day. Curated by Derek Allard. .
Popular tags in this category: Android, iPad, iPhone, iOS, Tablets, CSS, HTML.
There is a prevalent belief amongst developers that design is a skill that can't be learned — you either have it or you don't. While much of this can be attributed to the perception that heightened creativity is required to produce good design, the truth is anyone can create attractive applications and good user experience by following common design patterns and applying guidelines for the particular platform being targeted.
So rejoice, Mr. "Not-a-Designer," this article was written just for you. This article is targeted at the everyday developer looking for practical guidelines and tips to leverage in their Windows Phone application to build compelling Windows Phone UI-compliant apps with solid user experiences. Think of it as a checklist of sorts to ensure that your app avoids the common design problems found in Windows Phone applications.
Icons are scattered throughout our history as a species; early man painted pictures onto stone depicting their triumphs over their hunted prey, Egyptians had an icon-based writing system in their hieroglyphics, and in the early church the symbol of a fish represented a Christian meeting place or tomb. Icons have always served a definitive purpose throughout mankind's history on this planet: to inform and instruct.
Icons are still prominent today in our everyday lives, as they serve the same purpose as they always have. As the craftsmen of the Web industry, we must ensure that we use correct representations of actions to inform users of their consequences.
As the Web has evolved over the years, we have established a (fairly) standard set of icons — a trash can or a cross has come to represent deleting or removing something; an envelope has become the indicator for a message or mail. These are little visual cues to help people along their way. Some icons have established such strong associations that they can exist on their own without supporting text, meaning, they can remove language barriers to form their own universal language. We need to use the right icons to communicate the right things.
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The expansion of the Web from the PC to devices such as mobile phones, tablets and TVs demands a new approach to publishing content. Your customers are now interacting with your website on countless different devices, whether you know it or not.
As we progress into this new age of the Web, a brand’s Web user experience on multiple devices is an increasingly important part of its interaction with customers. A good multi-device Web experience is fast becoming the new normal.
Managing a personal device lab can be quite hard with an ever expanding number of devices. It’s not only expensive, but also bad for our environment. Think of a situation where every web developer would purchase a large pile of gadgets and keep adding new ones as they are launched — this wouldn’t make much sense. Thankfully, there are better ways to handle the problem.
During the spring of 2012, Jeremy Keith wrote on his website that anybody is welcome to visit their device lab at Clearleft’s office in Brighton, UK and use their devices. What they didn’t expect, though, was that in response many local developers offered to add their own devices to the collection as well. Two weeks later Jeremy Keith and Remy Sharp also presented this idea at the Mobilism conference in Amsterdam and the people attending loved it. A few months after Mobilism, similar labs started popping up in places like Amsterdam, Berlin, London and Malmö.
As a designer looking to broaden your skill set, you’ve decided that learning to make native apps for Apple’s iOS platform is an attractive and potentially lucrative prospect. With a frisson of excitement, you start to do some research. The euphoria is short-lived however, as you quickly discover that unless you are an experienced programmer, the task is far from easy.
This post will help you get to know the iOS SDK a little better. It leads you through some choreographed steps of iOS app development, even if you have little or no programming knowledge. It covers some key principles and applies these directly to something useful and relevant: the creation of a simple but functioning portfolio app for the iPhone.
Back in 2009, when coding version 10 of Opera Mobile, my Opera colleagues decided to tune the Opera Mobile build machine so that it would churn out builds not only for common mobile platforms, but for Windows and Linux as well. Originally intended for quality assurance and testing, these desktop builds proved also to be useful for Web development; being able to use Opera Mobile on a desktop machine took away the need to do all testing on a phone, and the mobile browser window was suddenly only an
Alt/Command + Tab away from our text editor — exciting!
So, we decided to iron out the wrinkly bits, added a Mac build channel, and turned it into a publicly available developer tool, called Opera Mobile Emulator. Coming in at a fairly small size, Opera Mobile Emulator can be downloaded for free from Opera’s developer website or from the Mac App Store, and installing it is straightforward. The engine and UI are exactly the same as when you run Opera Mobile on a phone, while desktop-specific hooks, such as the profile selector, keyboard shortcuts and command-line flags, give you a bit of extra debugging power.
The US presidential race is heading into full swing, which means we’ll soon see the candidates intensely debate the country’s hot-button issues. While the candidates are busy battling it out, the Web design world is entrenched in its own debate about how to address the mobile Web: creating separate mobile websites versus creating responsive websites.
It just so happens that the two US presidential candidates have chosen different mobile strategies for their official websites. In the red corner is Republican candidate Mitt Romney’s dedicated mobile website, and in the blue corner is incumbent Barack Obama’s responsive website.
Validating a design through user testing is necessary for the success of almost any product. And it’s even more critical in the mobile application space, where context and individual devices play an important role in how a product is experienced.
Fortunately, interactive prototyping is a time-tested way to quickly get your design onto a user’s device and into their hands. So, let’s look at why prototyping matters and explore one powerful tool that will enable you to do it quickly.