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Smashing Android UI

ISBN: 978-1-118-38728-3
384 pages
October 2012
Smashing Android UI (1118387287) cover image

Designers and developers, create smashing apps for Android devices

If you're developing applications for Android smartphones and tablets, you know it isn't enough just to create the app. The application has to be intuitive, well laid out, and easy to use. Smashing Android UI shows you just how to do that. Starting with basic components, this practical, full-color book shows you how to create scalable layouts, make use of adaptive layouts and fragments, follow Android design best practices, and design sleek, intuitive user interfaces using Android UI design patterns.

One of the newest guides in the terrific Smashing Magazine book series, this book takes you beyond the basics with expert techniques and innovative ideas. Learn smart solutions that will help you avoid pitfalls while building apps that can scale up to a multitude of possible Android device-and-browser combinations.

  • Teaches practical techniques for developing and designing applications that work on all Android phones and tablets
  • Helps developers who have Android experience, but not necessarily design experience, as well as designers who want to follow Android design best practices and patterns
  • Starts with how to use simple components and then moves on to building scalable layouts
  • Covers adaptive layouts and fragments, responsive design, and how to design user interfaces using Android UI design patterns

Smashing Android UI: Responsive Android UI and Design Patterns for Phones and Tablets helps you create apps for the hottest thing in technology--Android devices!

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PART I: INTRODUCTION TO ANDROID DESIGN 1

Chapter 1: Introduction to Usability and User Interface Design 3

Considering Technology versus Design 4

Understanding the Mental Model 5

Designing for Users 10

No App Will Do Everything; Pick Your Battles 13

You Are the Expert; Users Are Not Designers 14

Know Your Users; Design for Real People 14

Summary 16

Chapter 2: Don’t Start Coding Just Yet 19

Prototyping 20

Tools for Design 22

User Testing 26

Summary 29

Chapter 3: Considerations in Designing for Mobile and Touch Devices 31

Designing for Mobile 32

Designing for Touch Interfaces 38

Summary 41

Chapter 4: Exploring the Android Platform 43

Challenges of the Android Platform 44

Android Versions 52

Android App Distribution 55

What Does Open Source Mean? 57

Summary 58

PART II: ANDROID PLATFORM FEATURES AND UI COMPONENTS 61

Chapter 5: Android App Structure and Online Guidelines 63

Android App Structure Overview 64

Android Project Structure Overview 67

Offi cial Android Guidelines 69

Summary 71

Chapter 6: Android Intents 73

Intents Allow Apps to Work Together 74

Using Social Networks And Sharing 76

Working with Browsers 76

How Do Android Intents Work? 79

Creating Your Own Actions 85

Intents Are Everywhere 85

Intents versus Th ird-Party APIs 86

Summary 86

Chapter 7: Android App Navigation Structure 87

Components of Android Navigation, Activities, and Intents 88

Android Navigation Controls 89

Summary 102

Chapter 8: Home Screen App Widgets 103

Uses of Home Screen App Widgets 104

Updating App Widget Data 108

App Widget Layout and Functionality 110

Implementing an App Widget 115

Summary 117

Chapter 9: Notifying and Informing Users 119

Android Notifi cation Methods 120

When to Notify Users 122

When Not to Notify Users 128

Avoiding Pop-Ups 129

Getting the Most from Status Bar Notifi cations 130

Summary 136

Chapter 10: Designing For Hardware Buttons, Input Methods, and Sensors 137

Designing for the Touch Screen 138

Designing Phone Hardware Buttons 139

Designing for the On-Screen Keyboard 140

Designing for Hardware Keyboards 148

Designing for D-Pads And Trackballs 149

Designing for the Stylus 150

Designing for Voice Control 150

Designing for External Keyboards, Mice, and Touchpads 151

Designing for Connected Smart Accessories 152

Designing for Sensors 152

Designing for a Second Screen 153

Summary 154

Chapter 11: Designing Platform User Interface Components 155

Using User Interface Widgets 156

Customizing User Interface Widgets 168

Adjusting the Typography 170

Using Icons 176

Using Animations and Transitions 182

Summary 191

PART III: SCALABLE ANDROID DESIGN 193

Chapter 12: Managing Android Resources 195

Using Android Resources 196

Designing for Screen Density 197

Designing for Screen Size and Form 202

Designing for Language and Region 204

Designing for Device Controls 204

Designing for Platform Versions 205

Designing for Device Modes 205

Summary 206

Chapter 13: Android App Layouts 207

Android Layout Strategy 208

Layouts from XML and Code 210

Layout Managers 210

Defining a Layout Size 220

Scrolling 220

Z Axis, Layout Order 221

Padding and Margin 221

Import and Merge Layout Files 222

Custom Layouts 223

Android Development Tools User Interface Builder 223

Debugging Layouts 224

Summary 225

Chapter 14: Scalable Graphics 227

Nine-Patching 228

Drawable XML 233

Drawing from Code 240

Summary 244

Chapter 15: Beyond Scalable – Responsive Design 245

More Android Devices Th an Just Phones 246

Understanding Responsive Design 248

Common Ways to Create Responsive User Interfaces 259

Summary 261

Chapter 16: Implementing Responsive User Interfaces 263

Introduction to Fragments 264

Fragment and Activity Architecture 266

Migrating Existing Apps 268

Looking at an Example App 269

Summary 282

PART IV: ANDROID UI DESIGN PATTERNS 283

Chapter 17: Introduction to User Interface Design Patterns 285

User Interface Design Patterns 286

Benefits of Using UI Design Patterns 287

Design Patterns in Android Design Guidelines 288

User Interface Design Patterns Found in Th is Book 288

Summary 290

Chapter 18: User Action Design Patterns 291

Using the Action Bar Pattern 292

Using the Quick Actions Design Pattern 300

Using the Action Drawer Design Pattern 306

Using the Pull-to-Refresh Design Pattern 308

Using the Swipe-to-Dismiss Gesture 311

Summary 314

Chapter 19: Navigation and Layout Design Patterns 315

Using Stacked Galleries 316

Using the Dashboard 318

Using Workspaces 322

Using Split View 326

Using the Expand-in-Context Pattern 329

Using Side Navigation 332

Summary 335

Chapter 20: Data Design Patterns 337

Using Dynamic Lists 338

Using the Image Placeholder Pattern 340

Using the Non-Forced Login Pattern 342

Using the Drag-to-Reorder Handle Pattern 345

Summary 347

Chapter 21: User Interface Design Anti-Patterns 349

Avoid Using the Splash Screen 350

Avoid Using the Tutorial Screen 351

Avoid Using the Confi rmation Window 353

Avoid Using the On-Screen Back Button 353

Avoid Using the Menu Button 355

Avoid Hiding the Status Bar 355

Avoid Using Swipe Overlay for Quick Actions 356

Avoid Using Non-Android Designs 357

Summary 359

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Juhani Lehtimäki is a passionate Android developer who loves good design and great innovation. Originally from Finland, he works as the head of Android and Google TV development at Snapp TV in Munich, Germany.

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