Mobile is a huge and increasingly growing technology in modern days. The affordability of mobile devices, convergence of cloud computing and real pervasive broadband services has made every people of our society bow down to this. Interestingly a recent prediction made by some pundits that by 2015, mobile phones will overtake desktop computers as our primary means for accessing the internet. So in order to cop up with rapid pace of the modern technologies are designed and developed day by day the developers have started to think about Mobile as their primary project.
Although a Smartphone and a desktop are always lumped together as computing device, but they are different: small screen or big screen, low or high bandwidth, reliable or discontinuous internet connection, battery powered or plugged in; everything matters. But if anyone thinks that a mobile phone is underpowered version of a PC, it would be a stupid thought. In fact mobile phones are more convenient to use rather than a desktop computer. They are more personal and always stay with us. They are directly addressable device that can sense location, movement, climate, orientation etc. I have assembled 10 principles of Mobile Interface Design that will help people to get familiar with the actual involvement of mobile platform to our world.
The mindset of a mobile phone is certainly very different from desktop computers. In order to design it you should pay attention to these features:
Do not edit and add up your features brainlessly as adding up may not make it better.
You have to be unique and different. There should be a special feature in your interface that will make someone to go for it.
Mobile phones are profoundly personal object. They are our constant companions so the charismatic quotient should be on the higher note to make pleasant and delight to use.
The context of a mobile phone is extremely important for a designer. Think of someone who is getting bored at home and got nothing to do. A mesmeric and delightful context can change the entire situation. Apps like Facebook, Twitter, and Angry Birds can boost up your mood. On the other hand someone with a busy and hectic schedule, context with huge targets and bold design can make it. Or to make someone familiar on alien condition apps like Yelps, Foursquare should do the job.
Different apps are being known for different designs, approaches and techniques. There are some global guidelines which should be followed:
Responsiveness is absolutely necessary here. If the interaction between the user and the app is not correct and instant then the interface does not worth making.
Something polished in nature is always noticed and appreciated and there is no exception in case of smartphones too.
Thumbs have become a real critical feature after the arrival of touchscreen technology as it will not look convenient that the user is interacting with two hands instead of the thumbs.
Content is very important with the advent of touch interfaces as the user directly interact with the contents.
Always try to avoid scrolling. A non scrolling screen will be more dependable than it.
There are a lot of navigation models for mobile apps but among them you have to choose which one will be appropriate for your app.
- None: Single screen utility apps (e.g. Weather app on iPhone)
- Tab bar: Three to six distinct content areas (e.g. Twitter for iPhone)
- Drill down: List and detail content hierarchy (e.g. Settings app on iPhone)
Nowadays on popular smartphones there are hefty amount of keyboard variations are available. You should pick the best one which will be most useful for data entry. Also if your app needs a lot of typing then go for the landscape orientation mode.
In modern touch based interfaces the gestures has become an iconic aspect. For example the invisibility of an app makes it cool as it will be fun to reveal their existence to the user. On the other case; while someone is busy with a cup of coffee in one hand and the Smartphone in the other; it becomes a bit troublesome. To make it perfect the interface requires multi-touch gestures with two-handed operation.
Orientation is also an important factor. So far by the statistics people mostly use the portrait orientation but if their app requires a lot typing the switch back to landscape mode for a larger keyboard.
The developers should take extra cautions on the means of communications while designing the apps. Because the user will always expect an instant feedback for every interaction; but if that not happens they will think it has hanged. To eradicate this problem display a process bar for every interaction. Confirmations are also important features because the user should be asked for confirmation for an action. For example: when you want to delete something from your phone, then the confirmation should come up with a dialog box like “are you sure” or something.
At the last the launching which should be displayed with a content less image of your app so that can keep the user’s interest for the app intact. Otherwise anything with an interactive content (like icons, buttons, and links) will create annoyance.
First impression for anything is particularly important. You have to remember that the app or icon you have is going to compete with a millions of others. It should be polished and pleasant that can be easily noticed and also in case of launching the product, launch it with a simple and user-friendly atmosphere.
Mobile computing serves as an astonishing platform for web designers and developers who want to become effective and popular. So try to use your skills, experience and register yourself in the league.
This is a guest post by Janice Noel. Janice is a web developer and creative writing expert. She loves to use responsive Website Templates by MotoCMS in her client’s websites.