Thursday, October 19, 2017

Android UI Crash Course

You need to design an Android app… yesterday.

You know something about UI design or GUI design so fortunately you aren’t new to design.  Maybe you’ve already learned how to design for iOS (iPhone/iPad) on this site.  But you’ve heard that there are a huge range of Android devices with different screen sizes, buttons, and form factors from phones to tablets. What can you do to be sure that your design works correctly across so many devices?  What are the questions you need to ask, specific to Android, that are important to ensuring success when you sit down with your client or team to discuss design goals?  What are the basic UI elements and paradigms that you’re expected to know as an Android designer?

You need to become an expert fast — preferably in a day.  You don’t have time to waste, so here’s what we’ll cover:

  • Step 1: Specify the Design Parameters. There are too many different screen sizes/densities, input mechanisms, and device features for you to design to them all.  You have to pick and set expectations accordingly.
  • Step 2: Learn the Standard Android UI Elements. These are the familiar UI elements that Android users already understand and expect. Although you might decide to have some custom UI elements to make your app unique, this is where you need to start.
  • Step 3: Ask the Right Questions. In order to deliver the product your client expects or that your customers want, you need to ask the right questions at the beginning to be sure you understand the business and user needs.
  • Step 4: Study the Best. There’s no point in reinventing the wheel. With thousands of apps out there, don’t waste time looking at them all. Study a small set of the most successful and relevant apps to learn what to do and what to avoid.
  • Step 5: Get Tools for Prototyping. There will inevitably be many cycles of iterating your design before you reach consensus. You need prototyping tools that will allow you to mock up (and update your changes) quickly.
  • Step 6: Know the Essential Facts and Tricks. There are a few facts and tricks that every Android designer is expected to know.  This will prepare you to answer the most common questions from your client or team.

Go to Android Crash Course – Step 1: Specify Design Parameters >>

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