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Essential Mobile Interaction Design: Perfecting Interface Design in Mobile Apps

Book Description

Design User-Friendly, Intuitive Smartphone and Tablet Apps for Any Platform

 Mobile apps should feel natural and intuitive, and users should understand them quickly and easily. This means that effective interaction and interface design is crucial. However, few mobile app developers (or even designers) have had adequate training in these areas. Essential Mobile Interaction Design fills this gap, bringing together proven principles and techniques you can use in your next app–for any platform, target device, or user.

This tutorial requires virtually no design or programming knowledge. Even if you’ve never designed a mobile app before, this guide teaches you the key skills that lead to the best results. Cameron Banga and Josh Weinhold help you master the mindset, processes, and vocabulary of mobile interaction design, so you can start making better choices right away. They guide you through the entire design process, demystifying issues that arise at every stage.

The authors share hard-won lessons from years of experience developing more than one hundred mobile apps for clients and customers of every type. They cover important issues that platform-specific guides often overlook, including internationalization, accessibility, hybrid apps, sandboxing, and what to do after release.

This guide shows you how to

  • Think through your designs, instead of just throwing together UI elements

  • Allow an intuitive design flow to emerge from your app

  • Sketch and wireframe apps more effectively

  • Reflect key differences among smartphones, tablets, and desktops

  • Design for visual appeal without compromising usability

  • Work effectively with programmers

  • Make sure your apps are accessible to everyone

  • Get usable feedback, and understand what it’s telling you

  • Learn valuable lessons from today’s most successful apps

  • Refresh your designs in new apps and future versions

  • Discover new tools for designing more successfully

  • Packed with iOS and Android examples, Essential Mobile Interaction Design offers dozens of tips and solutions that will be equally useful on today’s platforms and on whatever comes next. Extensive resources are available at

    Table of Contents

    1. About This eBook
    2. Title Page
    3. Copyright Page
    4. Praise for Essential Mobile Interaction Design
    5. Dedication Page
    6. Contents
    7. Preface
    8. Acknowledgments
      1. Cameron
      2. Josh
    9. About the Authors
    10. Chapter 1. A Look at Mobile and Its Main Players
      1. The Field of Interface Design
      2. The Dawn of the App
      3. What Is a Mobile Device?
      4. The Industry’s Key Players
      5. Distinctions between Platforms
      6. Conclusion
    11. Chapter 2. Design for Humans, by Humans
      1. What Is Interaction Design?
      2. Goals When Designing an Interface
      3. Where to Begin
      4. Anticipating Your User Base
      5. Mobile’s Role in User Workflow
      6. Conclusion
    12. Chapter 3. Dynamic Differences in Mobile Design
      1. Understanding the Role of Mobile
      2. Mobile-Only Interactions
      3. Interactions That Aren’t Possible on Mobile
      4. Universal Appeal
      5. Complementing Traditional Workflows
      6. Conclusion
    13. Chapter 4. First Sketches of an App
      1. What Tools Do You Need?
      2. Becoming a Designer
      3. Planning for a Specific Platform
      4. Starting with a Workflow
      5. Creating Pixel-Perfect Digital Mockups
      6. Reiterating Before It’s Too Late
      7. Preparing for the Next Stage
      8. Conclusion
    14. Chapter 5. Finding the Right Design Flow
      1. The Big Three App Types
      2. Common App Navigation Methods
      3. Picking an Interaction Type
      4. Minimizing Interface Friction
      5. Preparing for Connectivity Failure
      6. Conclusion
    15. Chapter 6. Designing for Visual Appeal
      1. How Appearance Changes Interactions
      2. Creating an App Icon
      3. Finding a Unique Look
      4. Matching Art to Interaction Design
      5. Building Art That Scales
      6. Adding the Final Touches
      7. Conclusion
    16. Chapter 7. Working with Programmers
      1. Understanding Your Programmer
      2. Describing Your Design
      3. Communicating During Development
      4. Comprehending the Source Code
      5. Conclusion
    17. Chapter 8. Making Apps Usable by All
      1. Knowing Your Audience
      2. How Sandboxing Changed Mobile
      3. Interactions for the Mass Market
      4. Building Multilingual Interaction Designs
      5. Designing for Users with Disabilities
      6. Conclusion
    18. Chapter 9. Designing for Simplicity
      1. The Sophistication of Simplicity
      2. Simple Design Goals
      3. Interfaces That Do It Well
      4. Creating Simple Interactions
      5. Simplicity through Familiarity
      6. Testing Simplicity
      7. Conclusion
    19. Chapter 10. Gaining Valuable Feedback
      1. Showing Off Your Work
      2. Devising a Beta-Test Strategy
      3. Analyzing Valuable Test Data
      4. From Beta to Positive Changes
      5. Conclusion
    20. Chapter 11. Refreshing a Design
      1. Improving as a Designer
      2. Judging Who Is Worth Listening To
      3. Turning Requests into Changes
      4. Preparing Users for Design Changes
      5. The Resubmission Process
      6. Conclusion
    21. Appendix A. Standout Apps
      1. 1Password
      2. Amazon Mobile
      3. CNN News
      4. Coach’s Eye
      5. Evernote
      6. Facebook
      7. Flipboard
      8. Google Chrome
      9. Google Maps
      10. Instagram
      11. Instapaper
      12. At Bat
      13. Twitter
      14. TuneIn Radio
      15. Wolfram|Alpha
    22. Appendix B. Apps for Designers
      1. Adobe Photoshop
      2. Balsamiq
      3. Bugshot
      4. Dribbble
      5. Icon Slate
      6. MindNode Pro
      7. Pngyu
      8. Skitch
      9. Spark Inspector
      10. xScope
    23. Appendix C. Artwork Requirements for Android and iOS
      1. Android
      2. iOS
    24. Index