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Mobile Design Pattern Gallery: UI Patterns for Mobile Applications [Paperback]

Theresa Neil

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Mobile Design Pattern Gallery: UI Patterns for Smartphone Apps Mobile Design Pattern Gallery: UI Patterns for Smartphone Apps
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Book Description

March 16 2012 1449314325 978-1449314323 1

When you’re under pressure to produce a well designed, easy-to-navigate mobile app, there’s no time to reinvent the wheel. This concise book provides a handy reference to 70 mobile app design patterns, illustrated by more than 400 screenshots from current iOS, Android, BlackBerry, WebOS, Windows Mobile, and Symbian apps.

User experience professional Theresa Neil (Designing Web Interfaces) walks you through design patterns in 10 separate categories, including anti-patterns. Whether you’re designing a simple iPhone application or one that’s meant to work for every popular mobile OS on the market, these patterns provide solutions to common design challenges. This print edition is in full color.

Pattern categories include:

  • Navigation: get patterns for primary and secondary navigation
  • Forms: break the industry-wide habits of bad form design
  • Tables and lists: display only the most important information
  • Search, sort, and filter: make these functions easy to use
  • Tools: create the illusion of direct interaction
  • Charts: learn best practices for basic chart design
  • Invitations: invite users to get started and discover features
  • Help: integrate help pages into a smaller form factor

"It’s a super handy catalog that I can flip to for ideas."

—Bill Scott, Senior Director of Web Development at PayPal "Looks fantastic."

—Erin Malone, Partner at Tangible UX "Just a quick thanks to express my sheer gratitude for this pub, it has been a guide for me reworking a design for an app already in production!"

—Agatha June, UX designer


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Product Details


Product Description

Book Description

UI Patterns for iOS, Android, and More

About the Author

Theresa Neil is a user experience consultant in Austin, Texas, where she designs rich applications for start-ups and Fortune500 companies.


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Amazon.com: 3.6 out of 5 stars  14 reviews
26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The book in NOT in Color. March 20 2012
By Fausto Albamonte - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It is a good and much needed book, but unfortunately is in gray scale, so all the graphic examples/comparisons are difficult to fully appreciate and analyze.

Would have appreciate to be warned about it (all my other similar O'Reilly books came in colors). I'm returning it today.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good visual handbook on modern mobile UI design patterns March 29 2012
By R. Friesel Jr. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I just wrapped up reading [1] Theresa Neil's "Mobile Design Pattern Gallery" (published by O'Reilly), and I am happy to call it a worthwhile survey. I say "survey" because that's exactly what we have here: Neil takes a look at the dominant patterns (and anti-patterns) in the application interface designs that are targeted at mobile devices, and casts a wide net to cover as many of the major patterns as possible. The book does not take a particularly deep dive into any of the specific patterns--or even any one constellation of patterns--but it does hit the high notes for the critical interface paradigms that an application interface developer will face.

Neil covers these patterns as befits the survey style: by presenting each one (categorized/grouped accordingly), giving a short description of what characterizes the patterns, what situations present a good fit for that pattern, as well as pointing out the most common risks associated with that pattern. Each pattern then gets a series of screenshots from actual mobile applications which serve to demonstrate a successful or particularly illustrative example of that pattern. Neil covers: primary and secondary navigations (chapter 1); all kinds of forms and form elements (chapter 2); tables and lists (chapter 3) and charts (chapter 6); searching, sorting, and filtering (chapter 4); on-screen tools (chapter 5) and providing user feedback (chapter 8); as well as how to create accessible help messaging (chapter 9) and "invitations" within the application to draw users to those other elements (chapter 7). There is some repetition of patterns across chapters, but that helps to impress upon you how valuable these patterns are, and why they work the way that they work in those contexts.

The final chapter on "Anti-Patterns" was a particularly useful (and fun!) read, as well. Neil presents five anti-patterns in mobile UI design, [2] along with explanations on what makes them anti-patterns, and then suggestions on how to work within the previously discussed best practices to improve those designs. These case studies are useful because Neil is careful to break down each example into atomic mistakes, to identify the (likely) motivation behind those design choices, to explain why those design choices fail, and then to illustrate more sensible designs that accomplish the same thing but in a more intuitive fashion.

Though generally well composed, there are a couple of places where the book falls down a bit. First, the text and the images don't always match up--or, rather: the images that follow the text too often follow the text on the next page. Several times (especially early on) I found myself reading something, doubling back to look at the image, and being confused for a moment or two before advancing and "putting the name with the face"; this is an artifact of the medium, but it was a little jarring. Second, there are a couple of spots in the book that could have benefitted from another pass through spelling/grammar editors (e.g., "robust productivity tools *t* usually include tables", and "*state-full* buttons" (*emphasis* mine). Third, I could have used a concluding chapter to bring it all together--the "Anti-Patterns" chapter (sort of) does this implicitly, and there is a nice appendix [3], but I got to that final page and thought: "Where are the parting words?" Lastly, [4] the mobile space is moving so rapidly that this book may wind up feeling out-of-date in the not-too-distant future. There are several screenshots from several apps that are already out of sync with what's out there "in the wild"; this is good--because it means that those developers are innovating and changing their applications to improve their experiences, but it also seems to make these examples... less potent.

That being said, there are some important take-aways from Neil's book--whether you're doing mobile-specific development (her target audience for this book), or just designing/developing interfaces on any platform. Having big "tap" targets is critical for mobile apps, and though it's less important for a desktop application, the lesson about giving "more visual weight" to your primary call-to-action button? You'll carry that with you in all of your UI designs. With that in mind, I did find myself writing down notes that said things like: [5]

* *an axiom:* "Be deliberate when introducing novelty."
* *an axiom:* "Make it finger-friendly."
* *an axiom:* "If you cannot be native, be neutral and not novel."

The images were there--sometimes as screenshots, and sometimes in the illustrations--to capture these sentiments, but sometimes I felt like there needed to be pithy sayings like those to drive the point home. Something... sound-bite-size. Does the book suffer because it lacks these? No, it does not. Perhaps they were even left out intentionally, as an exercise for you (the reader) to digest and internalize the lessons.

------

[1] Is "read" the right word for a "gallery" book like this? When you effectively have more pictures than words?

[2] Though these anti-patterns are easily extended to interfaces on <em>any</em> device.

[3] Which is really just more of a quick-reference sheet anyway.

[4] And this is probably obvious, and probably true of any technology book.

[5] I just got done reading The Joy of Clojure, so I think I got the idea from the "Clojure aphorism" sidebars in there.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very good book but... too old April 3 2013
By Benjamin L. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Don't buy this book. Mobile UI have so much evolved since it has been published that it's almost useless now.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must Sept. 10 2012
By rdepablo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you don't trust me (in any case something very logical) you can download the preview. Really a good inversion, a second book with a more technical point of view, probably with examples in one or two technology (jquery mobile, ios) would be very well received.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finding a Pattern Language for UI in the Mobile Space June 12 2012
By Shawn Day - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Mobile Design Pattern Library by Theresa Neil is a useful if not essential addition to the library of anyone working in mobile application design today. Neil has systematically compiled a comprehensive means of describing interface elements and classifying between their current variations. She covers the most popular mobile OS's providing a profusion of screen captures and successfully develops a language akin to Christopher Alexander's work in architecture and design to identify the role and the way in which different choices interact as part of a larger system. The roughly 250 page volume is comprehensive and as many have already noted an excellent well of ideas for interface designers, not just in the mobile space, but more widely. As purely a mobile interface users rather than developer I have to admit a fascination with the art. I am using a Nokia Lumia 800 Windows Phone right now to contrast it with my iOS experience. I found no issues with iOS have been an eager proponent of its simplicity and ease of use. I have WebOS and Android phones around as sandboxes. I am currently quite fascinated/fond of the Metro UI and willing to give it a chance to impress. As a pure sidenote - the wireframes in Neil's book themselves bear a resemblance to the very simplistic approach of the Metro UI which I have a sense to why I find an immediate attraction: there's little or no metaphor in the UI. Well, maybe not - my experimentation continues. Interface experience is hugely personal and the role of appropriate design is aided greatly by this volume. It puts the pieces in a larger context, concisely demonstrates the variances in implementation between platforms and does so with appropriate nod to the art of user experience of the printed or digital eBook.
The organisation of the volume is logically divided into chapters on:
Navigation, Forms, Tables & Lists, Search, Sort & Filter, Tools, Charts, Invitations, Feedback & Affordance (the buzz word as of late), Help; and the very clever - Anti-Patterns.
These cover the bulk of interface elements from a process standpoint - and that is a serious element of the book - it steps away from isolated elements and identifies them as existing within a larger context. Most UX/UI designers today, especially within the mobile space can immerse themselves in isolated design guides prepared by OS manufacturers to ensure adherence or to express a vision. Conversely they can experiment deeply with implemented designs looking for successes and failures in others work. This book offers a third approach and I think a worthy one of attempting to think more broadly about an overall strategy and in this finds a place in the Neilsen school of thought.
Through screen captures, wireframes and brief discussions of the Neil includes a chapter of failures to appreciate UX in design and to my praise includes the ABC news app which I have to admit baffled me as well. The spinning globe out of any context with repeating stories. The demonstration of some geek in a back room playing with a new three dimensional algorithm with little or no sense of how it might translate into actual use. Over all, the book is a fine reference manual and a surprisingly good read through. It is of especial use to UI developers, but is even of interest to any web developer looking for design inspiration.
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