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Designing Mobile Interfaces [Paperback]

Steven Hoober , Eric Berkman

Price: CDN$ 52.99 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Book Description

Dec 3 2011 1449394639 978-1449394639 1

With hundreds of thousands of mobile applications available today, your app has to capture users immediately. This book provides practical techniques to help you catch—and keep—their attention. You’ll learn core principles for designing effective user interfaces, along with a set of common patterns for interaction design on all types of mobile devices.

Mobile design specialists Steven Hoober and Eric Berkman have collected and researched 76 best practices for everything from composing pages and displaying information to the use of screens, lights, and sensors. Each pattern includes a discussion of the design problem and solution, along with variations, interaction and presentation details, and antipatterns.

  • Compose pages so that information is easy to locate and manipulate
  • Provide labels and visual cues appropriate for your app’s users
  • Use information control widgets to help users quickly access details
  • Take advantage of gestures and other sensors
  • Apply specialized methods to prevent errors and the loss of user-entered data
  • Enable users to easily make selections, enter text, and manipulate controls
  • Use screens, lights, haptics, and sounds to communicate your message and increase user satisfaction

"Designing Mobile Interfaces is another stellar addition to O’Reilly’s essential interface books. Every mobile designer will want to have this thorough book on their shelf for reference."

—Dan Saffer, Author of Designing Gestural Interfaces

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Book Description

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.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.4 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Must read for people designing interfaces for mobile devices. Dec 2 2011
By M. Forr - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
tl;dr This is a must buy if you're an interface designer for mobile because it's a well researched, structured and thorough reference to interaction/interface design best practices.

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.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thick but juicy Jan. 3 2012
By Doron Katz - Published on
This book centralises the science of designing interfaces, void of any specific platform or device but rather allows the reader to think spatially in terms of UX for the thumb. The Mobile developer will be able to follow the various topics or 'best practices' in a familiar theme of Problem-> Solution, with commentary and options following that. Some of the topics are quite basic, stale and non-exciting but if you can follow the book and skip over sections you don't feel is appropriate for you, then this book accumulatively is great.

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.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last, an up-to-date visual guide to "Designing Mobile Interfaces" Feb. 19 2012
By Nerdy Geek - Published on
Whether you are a seasoned mobile developer or trying to make it into this field, this book has something for everybody.

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.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A patterns book Jan. 27 2012
By Jose Betancur - Published on
It feels more like a test book, if you plan to go from the begging to the end, this is a boring book.. But its a must have as a reference book.

The collection of patterns is huge, so it fits on every mobile project.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Learning Tool For Mobile Developers Dec 22 2011
By Dan McKinnon - Published on
First things first, this is is a great looking book!!

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.


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