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.
With all the talk about responsive Web design, designers and coders are moving even further from the fixed pixel layouts of design’s print-based history. We’re finally thinking in terms of fluid layouts and expandable, interactive content. But when you get down to it, we’re still thinking of the fluidity in terms of desktop, tablet and mobile sizes.
Chances are that your responsive websites have media query breakpoints at precisely the tablet and mobile widths, essentially creating three different versions of a website with the same code. While this is much more ideal than what we’ve all done until now, it’s not always the best way to approach things. Often, our content breakpoints (the viewport widths where content should be reformatted) are different from common device breakpoints (the viewport widths that reflect physical devices).
Testers are often thought of as people who find bugs, but have you ever considered how testers actually approach testing? Do you ever wonder what testers actually do, and how they can add value to a typical technology project? I’d like to take you through the thought process of testers and discuss the types of things they consider when testing a mobile app.
The intention here is to highlight their thought processes and to show the coverage and depth that testers often go to. At the heart of testing is the capability to ask challenging and relevant questions. You are on your way to becoming a good tester if you combine investigative and questioning skills with knowledge of technology and products.
Care to make a cross-platform mobile game with HTML5? No need to dabble in Java or Objective-C? Bypass the app stores? Sounds like an instant win! A handful of game developers are pushing the envelope of mobile HTML5 games at the moment. Check out the likes of Nutmeg and Lunch Bug for some shining examples.
The great thing about these titles is that they work equally well on both mobile and desktop using the same code. Could HTML5 finally fulfill the holy grail of “write once, run anywhere”? Now, as a Web developer you’re used to dealing with the quirks of certain browsers and degrading gracefully and dealing with fragmented platforms. So, a few technical challenges won’t put you off, right? What’s more, all of these performance and audio problems are temporary.
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.