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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.
You can’t underestimate the importance of consistent, high-quality web design across devices of all shapes and sizes. Responsive web design is the way forward — but it’s often linked to performance issues. This is critical when 64% of smartphone users unforgivingly expect websites to load in under four seconds, yet average page weights continue to rise.
The best designs balance aesthetics and performance by working with mobile in mind from the start. From setting strict performance budgets to implementing client- and server-side optimization techniques, I’ll share the current mobile performance optimization processes we use at Cyber-Duck.
When your design looks beautiful and polished, how do you know if it performs well? While it is easy to predict the appeal of a clean and simple UI, design that converts is always a shot in the dark for marketers and designers.
We worked with the team at FiftyThree to test their app store landing page before they launched ads in China. After tweaking background color, graphics, screenshot order, and localization, we achieved a 33% increase in app page conversion. In this article, I’ll share some ideas about app page design. I'll also argue that dropping your assumptions and testing is the only way to find content that not only looks and reads great, but also helps your bottom line.
Noah was concerned. He was the "UX guy" for the corporate office of a regional Quick Service Restaurant (a fast food chain) that was in the process of creating a mobile app to allow patrons to customize their meals, place orders and earn rewards.
Note: This is an experiment in a slightly different format for Smashing Magazine – using a storytelling approach to convey the same lessons learned that a traditional article would have provided.
As I was leading my course in responsive web design between 2011 and 2012, I kept stumbling over the process of wireframing. My students tended to focus on the wireframe as being the end game in the planning process. They didn’t understand that responsive design focuses on how users will access the content.
You can only imagine my relief when I happened to come across a video by Stephen Hay speaking at the Beyond the Desktop conference in 2012. There, in his talk on responsive design, he presented the concept of the content wireframe. This was a huge relief to me. I just knew there was a step before the process got real, but I couldn’t articulate it. In this post, I’ll describe the methods I use to get from content to responsive wireframe — and how you can, too.
In May of 2015, Facebook unveiled its new in-app publishing platform, Instant Articles. A month later, Apple declared that the old Newsstand experience (essentially a fancy folder full of news apps) would be replaced in iOS 9 with a brand new news-aggregation and discovery platform called Apple News.
Four months later, it was Google’s turn to announce its own, somewhat belated but no less ambitious, plan to revolutionize mobile news consumption with an open-source web-based solution called Accelerated Mobile Pages, or AMP. In just a few months, we’ve seen the relative tranquility of mobile digital publishing erupt into yet another full-scale platform war as Facebook, Apple, and now Google compete for both the loyalty of publishers and the attention of readers.
Mark Zuckerberg once said, “The biggest mistake that we made, as a company, is betting too much on HTML5 as opposed to native… because it just wasn’t there. And it’s not that HTML5 is bad. I’m actually, long term, really excited about it.” And who wouldn’t be excited by the prospect of a single code base that works across multiple platforms?
Unfortunately, Facebook felt that HTML5 didn’t offer the experience it was looking to build, and that’s what it’s really about: the experience. I believe what Mark was really trying to say was that their biggest mistake was making a technology-driven decision instead of a user experience-driven decision. At the end of the day, we should be making decisions that deliver value to our customers, and sticking to a particular technology is generally not the best way to achieve that.
Responsive images have been around long enough for most of us to have taken them for a spin, or at least to have learned from the experiences of those who have. Beyond doubt, the responsive images specification is a great win for the web. However, quite a few reports from the front lines suggest that responsive images can become pretty ugly.
They’re probably the most familiar interfaces on the planet: the numeric keypads on our mobile phones and calculators. Yet very few notice that the keypads’ design has remained unchanged for nearly half a century in the face of evolving global design norms and conventions.
Even fewer users notice another startling design feature: the phone’s keypad is the inverted version of the calculator’s. This article explores the roots of this disparity and proposes a better solution. We will discuss how to simplify and adapt a traditional numeric interface to a minimalist design norm by taking advantage of modern touch-driven modes of human–mobile interaction.
The incredible growth of mobile and the proliferation of mobile devices has made the UX designer’s job more challenging and interesting. It also means that user-testing mobile apps and websites is an essential component of the UX toolkit.
But unlike the desktop environment, no out-of-the-box software packages such as Silverback or Camtasia are specifically designed to record mobile usability tests. Even if you’re not developing a mobile app, chances are that a large proportion of your website traffic is coming from mobile. Running regular mobile usability tests is the only way to gauge how well this channel is working for your customers.
Apps and devices designed to improve people’s health are becoming more pervasive. I serve as VP, Director of User Experience, in the New York office of a global agency with both healthcare and consumer clients. During my 13 years of working in the healthcare space I have never before had such a rich opportunity to directly affect health behavior.
In this article I’ll guide you through best practices when designing consumer-facing healthcare apps. (We’re not covering medical devices that need to be approved by authorities.) We’ll explore how to plan and conduct research, design moments of delight, integrate data from third-party devices and develop a messaging matrix. We’ll also look at examples of apps live in the wild that have been designed for delight at every moment of interaction.
Remember all of the wisecracks about executives and their BlackBerry addictions? Back then, constant contact was limited to the few and the mighty — relatively speaking, of course. But now, the last laugh might be on us. In record time, our smartphones have become indispensable, and as mobile technology has become integrated into nearly every aspect of our lives, our smartphones are shifting from device to dependency.
But while it’s now clear that we are locked in an intense relationship with our smartphones, one has to wonder why this courtship hasn’t turned into a love triangle with tablets. After all, no matter how sleek our iPhone 6 is, our iPad or Android tablet is equally smooth and packed with life-organizing apps.
“We're all back at square one again.” That was the overwhelming lesson we learned while designing our first major Apple Watch app for launch. To be successful in designing for this device, the entire way we think about app design will need an overhaul.
The patterns and processes that became standard for other devices are of little help here and, in many cases, can actively hinder efforts to create a beautiful, functional and user-centric watch experience.