This category features articles on best and emerging practices for responsive website design, Web apps and native apps. While the mobile Web is still in it’s infancy, we can learn from the experiences of professionals who are working on mobile every day. Curated by Derek Allard. Subscribe to the RSS-Feed.
There’s more to designing mobile apps than meets the eye. The task requires a deep knowledge of devices, and it often means changing the way we think — even if that means leaving behind much of what we’ve learned from designing for the web.
I started my career like many designers: working on print design projects. Shortly thereafter, I discovered the world of websites, which fascinated me and became the focus of my work for some time. Along the way I learned concepts related to interaction design and user experience, which I hardly knew existed until then.
Testing responsive websites is a laborious task. Until now, implementing a stable and maintainable automated solution for cross-browser and cross-device testing of a responsive layout has been nearly impossible. But what if we had an opportunity to write visual tests for responsive websites? What if we could describe the look and feel of an application and put this directly into our tests?
Upon considering this question, I decided to also look at another interesting side of visual testing. For quite a long time I have been a fan of the test-driven development (TDD) methodology. It helps me in my daily programming work. TDD enables me to formalize the task and to make sure everything is implemented according to the requirements.
In a previous article I introduced mobile back end as a service (MBaaS) which aims at giving app developers the ability to create seamlessly new feature-complete cross-platform native and web applications.
The next step is implementing a complete demo application using those ideas. Through this real working application, you will be able to see the areas in which MBaaS provides value. This first part will walk you through a messaging application demo powered by the Kinvey application and explore how to leverage user management, file storage and the data store.
It's just like that for your product, too: people rely on our products to work. Bugs erode trust, which in turn loses customers. So when we began updating Foundation, a responsive CSS framework, we wanted to ensure everything worked. Thoroughly. We know that many people rely on our software for their work, and maintaining that trust is paramount.
In this article you'll learn our methodology for testing responsively, not just on a case by case, page-from-PSD comp. See, we've developed a certain system to make sure that nothing's broken at launch on different devices.
Back in 2013, Google officially announced that it would begin to penalize websites that provide a faulty user experience on mobile devices. Specific examples included redirecting inner URLs to a home page when viewed in a mobile version of a website, as well as showing 404 errors to people attempting to access pages on mobile.
Toward the end of 2014, a Google spokesperson hinted that the mobile user experience would become a ranking factor. In January 2015, a number of website owners received messages warning about mobile usability issues on their websites, linking to a section of Webmaster Tools where they could review the problems.
You’ve put a lot of thought, time and effort into creating great content, and you want users to have a great experience with your content. While you might have created the best content in the world, you don’t get to choose how users access it. That’s why it’s important to make sure your content works beautifully on every platform and device, desktop, mobile or something else entirely.
Before you panic, I’m not advocating that you create individual content strategies for each device or network that your content is published to. That would be crazy, and it wouldn’t necessarily work better for your users.
The navigation system is often the most important and complex user interface component of modern websites. In recent years, small screens, responsive website techniques and ever-evolving hardware and software have only added to this complexity.
A quick query of “mobile navigation” returns thousands of opinions on navigation patterns, including the “hamburger” menu, front-end plugins, frameworks and plenty of other tools. Despite this changing landscape of tools and design trends, a successful navigation system sends users on the path to the exact content they need at the right time.
Working with text has long been the domain of desktops and notebooks. Yet the screen size, resolution and software of mobile devices have improved in recent years, which has made typing a fairly large amount of text quite achievable.
A number of apps and techniques are intended to make this task easier, thus increasing productivity and increasing the amount of text that can be comfortably created or edited on a mobile device.
There are many options available for prototyping mobile user experiences, but if you need to prototype native apps for mobile devices you should take a look at Proto.io when evaluating potential choices. This solution has many features for designing and prototyping mobile apps, including built-in component libraries for specific devices, great support for gestures and transitions, and an app that allows for easy viewing on actual hardware.
But the first thing to know is that unlike most prototyping tools, Proto.io is a web application, so you'll need an internet connection to do your work. This is a drawback compared to other options likes Axure RP, Blueprint, Justinmind, or iRise. It can have an impact if you plan to work somewhere where Wi-Fi connections don't always live up to their promise, like on a flight, in an airport, or in a hotel.
I’m a firm believer that the best way to optimize for fast-loading mobile sites is to optimize for everyone. We don’t know when someone is on a non-mobile device but tethered to their phone, or just on awful Wi-Fi.
In a previous article for Smashing Magazine I explained how you can speed up your websites by serving dynamic pages from a reverse proxy like Varnish. If you are new to Varnish then that article is the place to start as I'll be diving straight into configuration details here. In this article I’ll explain how you can benefit from using Varnish even when there are parts of your pages that can’t be cached for long periods, using Edge Side Includes.