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Designing Mobile Interfaces Paperback – Dec 3 2011
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Patterns for Interaction Design
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
In the same vein as Jenifer Tidwell's Designing Interfaces book Designing Mobile Interfaces is a full color collection of 76 interface design best practices used in mobile devices. What makes this book unique is that the authors have canvassed not only advanced phones but also GPS units, PDAs, handheld game consoles and various other small devices with a screen and then made sure they had research or evidence to support the each best practice. As such this book is extremely thorough, researched and structured.
Each best practice pattern is broken into a 'Problem', 'Solution', 'Variations', 'Details' and 'Anti-pattern'. I really appreciate the structure of each but I have to say the images while abstracted and clear are kind of hokey due to the black, yellow and red color scheme. More than anything though I've really enjoyed the Antipatterns because they do a good job of contrasting the best practice with well the not best practice.
For instance, the Notifications design pattern. In it they state that if there are multiple ones they should be displayed all together (not serially) and shouldn't interrupt the users workflow. Once I read the best practice I could clearly see why the notifications in Apples iOS 5 make so much sense and why the previous notifications were flawed. That was the section that really validated that these guy know what they're talking about.
So far I've read through the first two sections of the book (I. Pages & II. Components) and I have to say that it is worth it. On the other hand, it has been a bore which is why I took one star off. They start the book with the vary basics 'Pages' and 'Titled' which led me to skip some pages but overall the information in is book has been very rich.
Who is this book for?
If you are responsible for the interface or information architecture of a mobile device or app then this book is a must read. I've been designing interfaces for mobile devices for the past two and a half years and this book has helped to expand my vocabulary and articulate why I make the decisions I make.
How to use this book?
I hate to admit it but trying to read this from cover to cover is going a slog but it will serve as a good reference when brainstorming new interfaces.
I recommend this book, because it forces developers and designers to go through the basics they thought was right, re-think that and adjust, rather than cut corners and dive into the excitement of mobile development. I would take my time and read each chapter on my down time and learn something new, rather than dedicate a whole chunk of my time in one go to it. It's the type of book that is a reference than a page-to-page necessity. If you are working on an iOS, Android or Mobile Web App, this book provides themes that are device-independent in a thoughtful, comprehensive and mechanical approach.
Designing Mobile Interfaces is a comprehensive reference guide for mobile design patterns, information architecture, and interactive design.
This book is published by O'Reilly and was written by Steven Hoober and Eric Berkman, a mobile designer and an interaction designer with more than 10 years of experience.
The authors start with a comprehensive tour of basic concepts of design and how they apply to mobile interfaces. They also introduce mobile interface design from a practical, end-user-oriented perspective, explaining in detail aspects of design that are often overlooked by novice developers such as: the environment, stimuli, human factors and interaction beyond the GUI.
The book is then dedicated to document in extensive detail using visual examples and pointing out differences across platforms and/or interaction constraints.
Each pattern consists of the following sections:
1) Problem - the situation being addressed through design (i.e. you want to display a list of data to the user)
2) Solution - the definition of the specific pattern (i.e. Vertical List, Scrolling, etc.)
3) Variations - a list of similar patterns
4) Interaction Details - a description of the actual interaction
5) Presentation Details - a visual representation of the pattern that is OS and platform agnostic
6) Antipatterns - things to watch out for when applying the patterns
The patterns are organized into the following sections throughout the book:
*) Composition (the "pages" where you display information)
*) Display of Information (organizing information for display)
*) Control and Confirmation (dialog boxes and feedback)
*) Revealing More Information (emphasis, hierarchies, displaying results)
*) Widgets (pagination, tabs, 3D effects)
*) Drill down (links, buttons, icons)
*) Labels and Indicators (tool tips, avatars)
*) Information Controls (zooming, scaling, searching, sorting, filtering)
*) Input and Output (text and characters, autocomplete)
*) Interactive Controls (Preses, gestures, cursors, hardware keys)
*) Input and Selection (forms)
*) Audio and Vibration (using voice)
*) Screens, Light and Sensors (LED, screen brightness, orientation, location)
This is not a book that you will necessarily read from beginning to end, but I encourage you to read the introduction of every section to familiarize yourself with the patterns, and the consult the details within the sections as needed.
The preface and introductory contents of the first chapter of the book have a lot of critical information about the successful application of these patterns, and understanding mobile design.
This book is a must-have reference for those who work or want to work on mobile application design, and I particularly recommend it for those one-guy/girl development shops, as an incredibly valuable asset to ensure an outstanding user experience.
Filled with full color pages 500+ in length, the publishers didn't skimp when it came to making this look as nice as they could. This might seem like a minor thing, but too many books are published with the choices of black, white and various shades of grey, taking a great book down a notch from what it could have been.
Mobile development is a different beast from the programming of old, and it's not going any where folks. In order to become a solid mobile developer, you have to learn about the users and what they have for viewing options. How controls work, how things should be, and what FEELS right. This is a huge topic that universities no doubt have classes dedicated to, as its the hottest programming trend in the last decade or more.
In many ways it's a blast 30 years to the past, when memory was expensive and cheap, and UIs were a new thing that the Macintosh tried to address, and address they did indeed. Now while memory is a lot cheaper, programmers have had to learn to re-learn many things, giving up 13-22+ inch screens for ones that fit in the palm of your hand.
If you are a mobile programmer that is looking to learn the right way and avoid the pitfalls of what the mobile world has in store for you, this is a great book to have on your shelf.
1. Lots of devices surveyed.
2. Ideas carefully organized into chapters and with excellent screenshots (with a real color scheme!).
1. Ideas themselves are really thrown into a big porridge of ideas. Do this. Do that. Do this. If you have a four way switch, do this. Some devices do this. Other devices do that. Do this. Do that.... And so on for hundreds of pages.
2. The writing itself is confusing. The beginning of the second chapter reads, "Look around you. Are you inside?" (Inside WHAT? A dog? Their minds?) I read that sentence five times before proceeding. After reading the next sentence I realized they meant "Are you indoors?" Big difference. The book is filled with confused writing. Perhaps poor editing, eh?
3. Much of the ideas themselves are too simple to merit the convoluted prose. Scrolling: shucks guys everyone knows what it is. Point out the valuable things and move on. You don't need to dedicate pages to the act of scrolling.
Disappointing, book was discarded.
Oreilly, what's happening in that idea factory of yours?
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