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Designing For Mobile

18 October 2010COMMENTS

Since the arrival of Apple's iPhone back in 2007, the world of mobile design has never been the same. Gone are the days of designing everything extremely small, highly compressed, and generally not very well. Now we have apps, designing for mobile is a new, and relatively easy process.

After a brief scour of Google, I found some interesting articles, namely a study showing how people actually interact with the iPhone and touch screen devices. As a designer or developer, it's easy to assume that everyone knows how to use and interact with these devices. Research shows however, that users are actually quite slow when first using an iPhone, and interaction was not at all consistent throughout the provided applications installed on an iPhone.

With the introduction of iOS 4 - most of these issues have now actually been ironed out. Apple have now provided a decent interface, and with various tutorials and articles online, it's fairly easy to start mapping out your application.

Teehan+Lax iPhone GUI - Free download

So - you have an idea, now you need to turn that idea into reality. Where to start?

Thankfully, the folks at Teehan+Lax have already put together a pixel perfect rendition of the iPhone interface. Better still, there's a 'retina' version for designing apps at Apple's new native resolution for the iPhone 4. Infact, these guys have it all - including an iPad version too!

These can be downloaded in a neatly layered package.

There are no rights or wrongs in mobile application design, but as Steve Krug says - 'Don't Make Me Think'. Using any third-party application should be no-more difficult than any of Apple's pre-installed applications. People are used to the Apple interface now, and it's pretty much the most intuitive mobile software on the market (argue if you will), so keep that in mind when designing any application for the iPhone or iPad.

Some useful resources for Application design:

Beautiful Pixels

Well Placed Pixels

How People Really Use The iPhone (presentation)

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