Practical Mobile UI / UX for Developers

10d21184dd4238cdb334ed3939a1d0bd?s=47 SmartyP
October 08, 2013

Practical Mobile UI / UX for Developers

In this talk we covered the basics of sketching, wireframing, creative process, and practical advice on creating graphical assets for your mobile apps and games.



October 08, 2013


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    SKETCHING THE APP Every app starts with a sketch. If

    you don’t have any sketches yet, then it’s little more than an idea. • Draw what the primary screens of the app might look like (repeat, repeat, repeat) • Nail down functionality of the app, how a user might use it, and navigational flows • Initially focus on quantity, not quality • Work towards final screens
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    GETTING STARTED SKETCHING It’s simple - just draw a rectangle

    and go from there. • Focus on functional elements (buttons, text fields, labels, menus, etc.) • Iterate, iterate, iterate - evolve from a loose idea to one (or several) series of screens that illustrate how the app might function
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    MORE ON SKETCHING Sketching tips • Start early, better to

    do over time than quickly • Use a bound notebook over loose-paper • If you’re using grid paper, a 2-to-3 ratio (ex: 16x24) matches the older size of iPhones (320x480) • Print templates online ( More information • Attend local UX meetups (IxDA Atlanta, Chi*Atlanta), attend regional UX conferences (SXSW, Big Design, etc.) or find presentation recordings on sketching • Attend local sketching workshops • Plenty of books on the subject
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    MORE ON WIREFRAMING More information • Attend local UX meetups

    (IxDA Atlanta, Chi*Atlanta), attend regional UX conferences (SXSW, Big Design, etc.) or find presentation recordings on wireframing • Attend local wireframing workshops • Plenty of books on the subject
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    GETTING STARTED WITH MOBILE Review each platform’s design docs: •

    iOS Human Interface Guidelines userexperience/conceptual/mobilehig/ • Android Design • Windows Phone
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    GETTING STARTED WITH MOBILE Get familiar with mobile design •

    Spend time looking at all the apps you use from a design perspective. • Seek out and frequently use apps which are getting buzz. Look at how they are differentiating themselves. • Stay on top of industry trends • Collect screenshots of apps you find interesting, consider storing them in something like Evernote.
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    • • • • etc. Source:
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    EVERYTHING IS FUZZY Everything you design today should be designed

    with flexibility of screen size in mind. There are no fixed sizes.
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    STACKED VIEWS / TABLE VIEWS A large majority of views

    in mobile apps use stacked views inside of vertically scrolling areas. This allows for a (mostly) fixed height per row, and limits scaling to vertical (which tends to have smaller variance). Note: Row heights can change per row, not illustrated above
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    iPHONE PSEUDO-FIXED-SIZE LAYOUTS Since all iPhones have the same width,

    iPhone designs can always assume a specific width. Combined with vertically scrollable areas, fixed-sized layouts can be achieved.
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    NAVIGATION Off-screen navigation Tabs One of the biggest mistakes in

    poorly designed apps is a confusion of various navigation schemes. Be sure you understand the difference between these items: Action bar
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    Make sure you understand your navigational flows. Consider how users

    drill into, and back out of your screens and how tabs or other navigational elements factor in. NAVIGATION
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    DESIGN ON THE RIGHT CANVAS The single biggest mistake you

    can make when designing for mobile is to never see it on a mobile device until you’re finished.
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    DESIGN TIPS • Be weary of contrast, brightness, and color

    variance across devices and screen types • Screen protectors (often used with Otter- boxes) make the screen seem sparkly and small text harder to read
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    TIP: TRANSPARENCY PAPER FTW Use transparency paper to trace successive

    passes at what you have in mind. Gradually evolve into a refined structure.
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    KEEP IT SIMPLE Keep as close to the native stylings

    and interactions as possible with limited but intentional branding.
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    IMAGE ASSETS You will need every image in your app

    in numerous resolutions. • iOS is a bit easier in that you know the width of the screen to render at, and just have to provide retina (@2x) and non-retina images • Android has a lot of screen variance, so it supports defining various layouts for based on screen width or classification • Android supports numerous image sizes to support low memory devices to tablets. You typically will have 2-4 versions of each image at various resolutions (ex: 75%, 100% (baseline), 150%, 200%)
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    IMAGE ASSETS (Continued) Tips for dealing with image sizes: •

    Use image scaling automation whenever possible. • There are scripts for Photoshop and Fireworks for generating ldpi (0.75x), mdpi (1.0x), hdpi (1.5x), and xhdpi (2.0x) sizes for Android. • Icons • There are numerous templates for generating icon sizes from one master 1024x1024 or 2048x2048 image • You will likely need to touchup any smaller icon images that are generated
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    IMAGE ASSETS (Continued) Image source: 9-patches are useful on

    Android to ensure higher- fidelity image scaling. This is useful for background images on scalable areas for example.
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    IMAGE ASSETS (Continued) Android Resources: Android Asset Studio studio/dist/index.html

    Supporting Multiple Screens screens_support.html
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    MARKETPLACE ASSETS iTunes App Store allows images other than screenshots.

    Make sure to spend time creating any ‘featured app’ assets as well.
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