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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.
Four years ago, Jason Grigsby asked a surprisingly difficult question: How do you pick responsive image breakpoints? A year later, he had an answer: Ideally, we’d set responsive image performance budgets to achieve "sensible jumps in file size."
Cloudinary built a tool that implements this idea, and the response from the community was universal: "Great! Now, what else can it do?" Today, we have an answer: art direction!
With the tools getting more user-friendly and affordable, virtual reality (VR) development is easier to get involved in than ever before. Our team at Clearbridge Mobile recently jumped on the opportunity to develop immersive VR content for the Samsung Gear VR, using Samsung’s 360 camera.
The result is ClearVR, a mobile application demo that enables users to explore the features, pricing, interiors and exteriors of listed vehicles. Developing this demo project gave us a better understanding of VR development for our future projects, including scaling, stereoscopic display and motion-tracking practices. This article is an introductory guide to developing for VR, with the lessons we learned along the way.
To err is human. Errors occur when people engage with user interfaces. Sometimes, they happen because users make mistakes. Sometimes, they happen because an app fails. Whatever the cause, these errors and how they are handled, have a huge impact on the user experience. Bad error handling paired with useless error messages can fill users with frustration, and can lead to users abandoning your app.
In this article, we’ll examine how the design of apps can be optimized to prevent user errors and how to create effective error messages in cases when errors occur independently of user input. We’ll also see how well-crafted error handling can turn a moment of failure into a moment of delight.
If there is one thing that will stand the test of time, it's thumb placement on mobile devices. This makes consideration of the "thumb zone", a term coined in Steven Hoober's research, an important factor in the design and development of mobile interfaces.
Have you ever interacted with a mobile website or app that simply didn't play nice with your thumbs? Perhaps you've had to stretch to get to an important menu, or swiping turned into a battle with multiple swiping elements. Mishaps such as these reveal poor consideration of the thumb zone.
SGS (formerly Société Générale de Surveillance) is a global service organization and provider of inspection, verification, testing and certification services across 14 industries. SGS’ website (along with 60 localized websites) primarily promotes the organization’s core services, as well as provides access to a multitude of useful services, supplementary content and tools. Our goal was to transform sgs.com from being desktop-only to being responsive.
This presented a unique set of challenges, especially around the legacy navigation system, which in areas was up to seven levels deep (divided into two parts) and which consisted of some 12,000 individual navigable items.
The common wisdom for most companies that set out to build an app is to build a native Android or iOS app, as well as a supporting website. Although there are some good reasons for that, not enough people know about the major advantages of web apps. Web apps can replace all of the functions of native apps and websites at once. They are coming more and more to the fore these days, but still not enough people are familiar with them or adopting them.
Here, you will be able to find some do’s and dont’s on how to make a progressive web app, as well as resources for further research. I’ll also go into the various components and support issues surrounding web apps. Although not every browser is friendly to them, there are still some compelling reasons to learn more about this technology.
The bar is set high for today’s mobile apps. First, apps must meet the standard of quality that app markets expect. Secondly, mobile app users are very demanding. Plenty of alternatives are available to download, so users will not tolerate a buggy app.
Because mobile apps have become such a crucial part of people’s lives, users won’t be shy about sharing their love or hate for an app — and that feedback gets in front of millions of users in seconds.
I recently sat down with Rock Zhang, a Chinese mobile entrepreneur. Rock is my classmate from business school, and we have both worked in the mobile industry for a while. In an age when the best marketing is good product management, Rock knows how to make millions of Chinese users fall in love with an app. I asked him to share his thoughts on app localization.
For me, China has always been a hard market to crack. I’ve marketed several mobile apps in European and US markets, and my apps have been featured many times in the App Stores in Russia, Israel, Spain, Germany and the US. But in China, our growth was stalling, and I don’t think we ever got a request for promotional artwork to be featured in the App Store. Truth be told, my “Asian expansion strategy” usually boiled down to hiring freelance translators through Elance to help me localize App Store pages in Chinese, Korean and Japanese.
Progressive web apps could be the next big thing for the mobile web. Originally proposed by Google in 2015, they have already attracted a lot of attention because of the relative ease of development and the almost instant wins for the application’s user experience.
A progressive web application takes advantage of the latest technologies to combine the best of web and mobile apps. Think of it as a website built using web technologies but that acts and feels like an app. Recent advancements in the browser and in the availability of service workers and in the Cache and Push APIs have enabled web developers to allow users to install web apps to their home screen, receive push notifications and even work offline.
One of the hardest decisions to make when starting a new app is which platforms to target. A mobile app gives you more control and better performance but isn’t as universal as the web. If you’re making a mobile app, can you afford to support both iOS and Android?
What about trying to build a mobile app and a responsive web app? Ultimately, the best experience for your customers is for your app to work everywhere, but the development and maintenance costs of that can be prohibitive.