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Designing Mobile Interfaces

Designing Mobile Interfaces

by Steven Hoober, Eric Berkman


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With hundreds of thousands of mobile applications available today, your app has to capture users immediately. This book provides practical techniques to help you catch—and keep—their attention. You’ll learn core principles for designing effective user interfaces, along with a set of common patterns for interaction design on all types of mobile devices.

Mobile design specialists Steven Hoober and Eric Berkman have collected and researched 76 best practices for everything from composing pages and displaying information to the use of screens, lights, and sensors. Each pattern includes a discussion of the design problem and solution, along with variations, interaction and presentation details, and antipatterns.

  • Compose pages so that information is easy to locate and manipulate
  • Provide labels and visual cues appropriate for your app’s users
  • Use information control widgets to help users quickly access details
  • Take advantage of gestures and other sensors
  • Apply specialized methods to prevent errors and the loss of user-entered data
  • Enable users to easily make selections, enter text, and manipulate controls
  • Use screens, lights, haptics, and sounds to communicate your message and increase user satisfaction

"Designing Mobile Interfaces is another stellar addition to O’Reilly’s essential interface books. Every mobile designer will want to have this thorough book on their shelf for reference."

—Dan Saffer, Author of Designing Gestural Interfaces

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781449394639
Publisher: O'Reilly Media, Incorporated
Publication date: 11/28/2011
Pages: 584
Product dimensions: 6.80(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Steven Hoober has been designing interactive systems for over fifteen years, in a variety of industries, and for all types of users. He has been involved in mobile design -- and documenting the process, principles and patterns -- for the past decade, working with everyone from startups to large operators.

Eric Berkman is an Interaction Designer and Experience Architect at Digital Eskimo, a leading user-centered design agency whose projects involve inspiring change. Eric's design career has included developing mobile UI experiences for global telecommunications companies, branding and packaging design for Coca-Cola, Miller Brewing Company and Bristol-Meyers Squibb, and interactive museum exhibitions. His expertise and interests focus on a user-centric, participatory design approach to create meaningful individual, social, and cultural interactions. He has both a bachelor's degree in Industrial Design and a Masters in Interaction Design from the University of Kansas. He currently resides in Sydney, Australia.

Table of Contents

Who This Book Is For;
What We Mean by “Mobile”;
What Is a Pattern?;
Where Did These Patterns Come From?;
Common Practice Versus Best Practice;
Reading the Patterns;
Successfully Designing with Patterns and Heuristics;
Principles of Mobile Design;
Safari® Books Online;
How to Contact Us;
Chapter 1: Composition;
1.1 A Little Bit of History;
1.2 A Revolution Has Begun;
1.3 Composition Principles;
1.4 The Concept of a Wrapper;
1.5 Context Is Key;
1.6 Patterns for Composition;
1.7 Summary;
Chapter 2: Display of Information;
2.1 Look Around;
2.2 Types of Visual Information;
2.3 Classifying Information;
2.4 Organizing with Information Architecture;
2.5 Information Design and Ordering Data;
2.6 Patterns for Displaying Information;
Chapter 3: Control and Confirmation;
3.1 Quiet, Please;
3.2 That Was Easy;
3.3 Understanding Our Users;
3.4 Control and Confirmation;
3.5 Patterns for Control and Confirmation;
Chapter 4: Revealing More Information;
4.1 It’s Not Magic!;
4.2 Context Is Key;
4.3 Designing for Information;
4.4 Patterns for Revealing More Information;
4.5 Summary;
Chapter 5: Lateral Access;
5.1 What a Mess!;
5.2 Lateral Access and the Mobile Space;
5.3 Follow the Principles of Wayfinding and Norman’s Interaction Model;
5.4 Wayfinding;
5.5 Norman’s Interaction Model;
5.6 Patterns for Lateral Access;
Chapter 6: Drilldown;
6.1 Get Ready to Push!;
6.2 Maybe We Won’t Have to Push;
6.3 Drilldown and the Mobile Space;
6.4 Patterns for Drilldown;
6.5 When to Use Links, Buttons, and Icons;
Chapter 7: Labels and Indicators;
7.1 Down Under and Backward;
7.2 Understanding Our Users;
7.3 Labels and Indicators in the Mobile Space;
7.4 Patterns for Labels and Indicators;
Chapter 8: Information Controls;
8.1 The Weilers, Version 1;
8.2 The Weilers, Version 2;
8.3 The Difference;
8.4 Information Controls in the Mobile Space;
8.5 Patterns for Information Control;
8.6 Summary;
Input and Output;
Chapter 9: Text and Character Input;
9.1 Slow Down, You’re Too Fast!;
9.2 The Status Quo;
9.3 Use What’s Best for You;
9.4 Text and Character Input on Mobile Devices;
9.5 Patterns for Text and Character Input Controls;
Chapter 10: General Interactive Controls;
10.1 Darkness;
10.2 That Sounds Like a Great Idea;
10.3 Gestural Interactive Controls;
10.4 Patterns for General Interactive Controls;
Chapter 11: Input and Selection;
11.1 The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round;
11.2 Mobile Trends Today;
11.3 Slow Down, Teen Texters!;
11.4 Input and Selection in the Mobile Space;
11.5 Patterns for Input and Selection;
Chapter 12: Audio and Vibration;
12.1 The Big Tooter;
12.2 The Big Tooter Today;
12.3 The Importance of Audition;
12.4 Auditory Classifications;
12.5 Audio Guidelines in the Mobile Space;
12.6 Audio Accessibility in the Mobile Space;
12.7 The Importance of Vibration;
12.8 Patterns for Audio and Vibration;
Chapter 13: Screens, Lights, and Sensors;
13.1 The Relationship;
13.2 The Breakup;
13.3 I’m Not “Everyman”;
13.4 Context of Use;
13.5 Displays;
13.6 Mobile Display Technology;
13.7 Sensors;
13.8 Patterns for Screens, Lights, and Sensors;
13.9 Summary;
Mobile Radiotelephony;
An Introduction to Mobile Radiotelephony;
An Introduction to Location Technologies;
Design Templates and UI Guidelines;
Drawing Tools and Templates;
Color Deficit Design Tools;
Mobile Typography;
Introduction to Mobile Typography;
Readability and Legibility Guidelines;
Typefaces for Screen Display;
Human Factors;
Human Factors and Physiology;
Brightness, Luminance, and Contrast;
General Touch Interaction Guidelines;
Fitts’s Law;
Works Cited;
Additional Resources;
About the Authors;

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