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The Elements of Mobile Design

As I wrote this chapter, I struggled with how to describe how to do design. I personally believe that good design requires three abilities: the first is a natural gift for being able to see visually how something should look that produces a desired emotion with the target audience. The second is the ability to manifest that vision into something for others to see, use, or participate in. The third is knowing how to utilize the medium to achieve your design goals.

Although I can’t teach you how to remap your brain (at least not in the scope of this book) to be a designer, I can teach you how to at least think like a designer. Doing this involves knowing the six elements of mobile design that you need to consider, starting with the context and layering in visual elements or laying out content to achieve the design goal. Then, you need to understand how to use the specific tools to create mobile design, and finally, you need to understand the specific design considerations of the mobile medium.

Context

I discussed context in Chapter 4. I won’t belabor the point except to say that context is core to the mobile experience. As the designer, it is your job to make sure that the user can figure out how to address context using your app. Make sure you do your homework to answer the following questions:

  • Who are the users? What do you know about them? What type of behavior can you assume or predict about the users?

  • What is happening? What are the circumstances in which ...

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