09
Jul
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Last Updated: August 2nd, 2013

Are you an Android developer? Are you struggling with a good design for your app? Fret not, boys and gals – Android Police has teamed up with Wiley to offer up 10 copies of Android Design Patterns: Interaction Design Solutions for Developers.

This contest is now over.

The final results are listed below. If you've won, you will be contacted in the near future. Congratulations!

Everyone else - keep participating and stay tuned to Android Police so that you don't miss our upcoming giveaway announcements. You can follow AP on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and RSS.

  • Ezhik
  • DavidW
  • Ron Lamb
  • bertraze
  • mainAymard
  • Vaqueiro Ferreira Filho
  • kerjani
  • RoshanKarki
  • Vu Viet Anh
  • Anthony Restaino

1

This book's a must have Android devs across the board, and will help will specific goals:

1. Use effective Android UI Design Patterns:

  • Identify the right design approaches to use for specific situations.
  • Avoid antipatterns and mobile design dead-ends.
  • Create intuitive, delightful, empowering experience for your customers.
  • Design usable, delightful, modern Android 4.x apps.

2. Design consistent brand experiences across touch platforms:

  • Understand the key differences between today’s leading OS: iOS, Android 4, Android 2.3.
  • Take full advantage of the unique features and native controls to get the most out of Android 4.x.
  • Recognize when “build once, deploy everywhere” method works, and when it’s a terrific recipe for mediocre apps.

3. Celebrate Android fragmentation:

  • Apply practical, ergonomics-based approach to solving Android fragmentation.
  • Design for and support Android across 3,997 distinct Android devices, screens sizes and resolutions (ref).
  • Know which devices to test with and which to ignore.

4. Make the most of the latest trends and technologies:

  • Design with responsive design, augmented reality, voice search, GPS locator, QR codes, and NFC.
  • Utilize natural multi-touch and accelerometer gestures so your design “dissolves in behavior”.
  • Prototype and test interface transitions using inexpensive, practical, effective strategies.
  • Create the right UI for each device type; scale your app for 7- and 10- inch tablets.

5. Build and user-test your designs with effective, inexpensive prototypes:

  • Be inspired by hand-drawn sticky-notes wireframes that come with almost every pattern.
  • Utilize the blueprint of light-weight guerrilla user testing strategies that work in the real world.
  • Employ detailed case studies of what works and what doesn’t.
  • Use Android interpretations of great ideas from other mobile operating systems.
  • Put to work specialized design patterns from chapters devoted to Mobile Banking and Tablets Design.
  • Push the envelope with experimental patterns which explore the cutting edge of Android design.

Yeah – all that. If you'd like to throw your name in the hat to win a copy, simply answer this:

Post your Android Design Question -- the best questions get to win a copy of Greg's book.

Greg will personally commit to answering these questions for 30 minutes each day until the end of the giveaway, so be serious – ask thoughtful, real-world questions. With that said, please don't post coding questions. Instead, here's a list of some good options (these are examples; please come up with your own question):

What's the best way to design drag and drop?

Should I ask people to sign up in my mobile app to save their history?

I have a calendar app - what's the best way to design a date and time picker?

What's the best way to help users select from a long list (such as a Country)?

Should I have a welcome animation?

I am doing X: should I have a tutorial?

How should I implement a tutorial for a special gesture I'd like to have?

What's the difference in designing for tablets and mobile?

And anything specific -- something I can ideally post a screenshot or hand-drawn wireframe from the book (there over 100) and mention page numbers for is great.

And that's basically it. This one will run for one week, so it's over on Tuesday, July 16th at 11:59 PM PT. After that, we'll select the best questions and notify the winners.

Good luck!

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • Chris D Mathews

    Is Google Maps the best mapping platform to base an app on for Android, or are there others I should consider?

    • Greg Nudelman

      Google maps I think is the 10,000 lbs gorilla in the room. That said, Google Earth is pretty slick too, if that works for your app.

      The biggest thing to avoid is the integration anti-patterns like I describe in chapter 13 -- where many choices for finding an address come up, but all those yield zero results! Beware of poor map integration.

  • Jay

    Are there any negatives to changing my old navigation drawer to the new one now? How do I know if I should or shouldn't change it?

    • Greg Nudelman

      Jay, by "old" do you mean pre- 4.x as in the one that opens on the bottom of the screen? Could you post some images/examples of what you mean by old/new? -Thanks!

      Greg

  • Alex Sherer

    What can we as developers do to encourage other developers to move away from the old method of; develop for iOS, release for iOS, port from iOS directly to Android, release almost a month later?

    Do you believe this sort of change is going to take some kind of ulta matum from Google or do you think we can change the industry from within?

    • Greg Nudelman

      I think with the iOS 7 the platforms are converging nicely. It's no longer "which one is first", but "which patterns are best". My first choice is to use the best mobile design principles to build "equal opportunity offender" app like Flipboard, Twitter, Netflix, Facebook, etc. that look similar and work great in every platform.

      If you can't do that, look at your audience and business model: are users young, tech-savvy, international? Will the app be free and monetized internally? Build Android first.

      Or are your users fairly well-off Americans/Canadians/Europeans? Will the app cost $0.99 or more? iPhone is the way to go.

      Always test everything with the customer -- my book provides a guide for how to do that with sticky notes in Chapter 4, PLUS practically every one of the 70 patterns is drawn as a detailed sticky note wireframe.

  • Chris Moles

    How do you see wearable devices (smart watches, Google Glass) influencing android handset design and/or interaction patterns?

  • http://www.ninetwozero.com Karl Lindmark

    As we all know, NFC is a great new (and exciting) hardware component in our devices, but unfortunately it's not available for a wide range of older devices. That said...

    How would you approach the attempt to gracefully fallback to something (almost as reliable) when NFC isn't available on certain device? Bluetooth? P2P? Barcodes?

  • redct

    How should an application developer translate their UI and interaction paradigms on a regular app to a Google Glass companion app?

  • German Alonso Pimentel Vera

    Pros & Cons of double and triple finger swipe...
    it's really a must?

  • Andy_in_Indy

    How do I make a selection screen that lets me slide pictures and or icons into different selection groups (e.g. I want to drag and drop pictures of my facebook friends into the "To:" field to select who gets added to my group message)?

  • David Margolin

    oh... i actually need some help with my current work.... im developing a camera app and im having trouble deciding on a good tablet layout... most cam apps on the play store just seem to scale up and im wondering if i should do the same...

    so my question is ---> "Does a camera app really need a diff layout for tablets?"

  • ovidiu roatis

    As a developer, when working on a project with a designated creative team, how do you avoid the pitfalls of the "one for all platforms" approach that you see especially with designers coming from agencies?

  • http://www.facebook.com/shantanu.sj6 Shantanu Joshi

    I just started developing on Android and learned some basic stuff from developer.android.com
    My question is where should I learn to design layouts that are not based on Halo and why it is discouraged by Google?
    Wouldn't it be better if different apps use different layouts which make them stand out? like Flipboard, feedly etc.

  • Nick Saulino

    Greg, which Android phone(s)/tablet(s) are you using right now, and why?

    Thanks!

  • David S. de Lis

    What are the best designs to provide blind users a good experience in my app? For example, long lists to pick a value are cumbersome as it is very easy to lose your position, but long streams of smaller panels make hard to know where you are and what you were trying to do after several "next"s... Thanks and congrats for your book!

  • Kieron Quinn

    Greg,
    Do you think you need to do different layouts for 7", 8" and 10" tablets?

  • wdziemia

    I'm a developer, I'm into design. I like the guidelines but i also like to think outside of the box. Some apps stick to the guidelines, but thats it. There is no innovation, no cool views, just a plane jane app. My question, how do we promote the use of the android guidelines while promoting innovation and the evolution of android UI design?

  • DavidW

    Should a game still use native Android widgets for the menus?

    • Greg Nudelman

      Great question! I'd say it depends. Native widgets will help people understand what you are doing. On the other hand, custom widgets will add personality and immersion - key game features.

      As a rule of thumb, use native for mission-critical 1-time things like registration. Use custom widgets, buttons etc. for in-game experience (Angry Birds is an excellent model for the latter). If you do go custom, don't forget to provide Watermark Tutorial Pattern (Chapter 13) -- it helps teach your customers without (as Alan Cooper said) "interrupting proceedings with idiocy".

  • Leo Kanellopoulos

    What would be the best approach when displaying instructions on how an app works? using arrows on a half opacity background is not fun at all!

  • https://twitter.com/futureuxer Christophe Blythe

    I'm studying to become an Interaction Designer. I'm starting Graphic Design (3 yrs) in September, then will go on to study Interactive Digital Media (1 yr). My passion is interaction on mobile devices (particularly Android since I love what it stands for) and I have zero experience building apps (though I give developers feedback as detailed as possible when I can).

    Q:
    Do you have any suggestions on how I could build a quality [mobile] interaction design portfolio? And do you know any resources that could help me understand how development of Android apps works (I may not become a developer, per se, but understanding their side of things would be invaluable when working in a team)?

  • Guest
  • Alex Vidrean

    I am not a fan of popups on web, but I am still not decided. It's wise to use popups in you application? I don't necessary refer to the date chooser or the information popup. I refer to the popups containing a form or a large piece of text.

  • Christopher Lee

    I'll bite-- UI/UX is one of the few things I'm very, very interested in studying.

    Is it better to use a "built-in" tool for handling certain actions (for example, Press, Flipboard, and many "reader" applications generally have a custom web view for loading pages that don't make full articles available via RSS, but they maintain the app navigation controls on top of the web view for easy access), or use an intent to launch the default app (which will generally offer a better experience, at the cost of removing the user from the app)?

  • Magy

    Hello Cameron and congratulations for your new book. I will definetely read it, as far as I am concerned to state a thesis for my Msc Mobile Computing diploma based on different types of design patterns on mobiles. Tan tan tan ! This book, will be my first reference so far. But, as a student, it would be interesting if you could suggest a method or an idea on how I could evaluate and most important contrast two different design patterns such as iOs VS Android. Thanks in advance. Good luck.

  • will

    would love to start learning

    • Greg Nudelman

      My book, Android Design Patterns is a great place to start.

  • Clemens Schartmüller

    To keep it short: I am 19, studying Computer Sciences and probably not the best guy to ask question about good user interaction, etc. However, I do have 2 apps and want to further increase the quality and amount of my apps. Besides that I want to develop a little "brand" with it. However, I lack an essential thing: A company logo. I do know several people which are hobby designers, etc. All of them ask for my requirements. I want the brand to reflect the Android philosophy. What's probably the best way to tell them? What would you exactly want to know if you'd need to build a logo which represents an Android-focused company?

    P.S.: Will your book be available as ebook? ;)

  • Fernando R

    Google has said that using visual cues instead of text (such as the light that appears if you reach the end of the list), but keep text to a minimum when needed. How do you know when to use one approach instead of the other?

  • isobsr

    What do you think about having swipe from edge opening a menu/drawer and swipe in the middle to swipe panes, both possible in the same screen? Do you think that gives a bad UX?

  • Thomas Ostfeld

    Design is one of the most important things for me when developing apps, I'm just not good at it. I love very clean an modern designs like google keep or pinterest. I also think animations add a lot to them. But are animations a mistake for a clean design or should one try to animate as many interactions as possible. Whats the right amount between a static desgin and overwhelming the user? And should the animations be as subtle as possible or impress the user?

    • http://www.vanderbie.net/ Joey

      Apple mostly uses animations to show you how the navigation works to support your mental model (look at how it launches an app) Google also tends to follow this concept. (Think of the animation that shows the end of the home screen.) Therefore my advice would be: use your animations to show the user how you app works to fit his mental model. Your animations should be as subtle to show the working, feel fast, but does not make you feel in a rush.

  • Michael

    When I refer to someone referring to the iPhone, they tend to say that it is designed simply. But when I hear someone talking about Android it's too complicated. Design wise, what makes Android that much harder to understand than and iPhone.

  • Mihir Chheda

    What is the best way to store minimum cache so that your previous location can be saved for future usage?

    • Greg Nudelman

      Hmm... I think that's a coding question?

      • Mihir Chheda

        Opps, my bad!
        While designing, what is the best way to generalize it for devices with different pixel size & different Android versions?

  • Johannes

    As I'm really struggling with this question at the moment:

    I'd like to show two different Views (scales of a diagram) in one place (not at the same time).

    How could I make this stand out to the user and how can i use one button to achieve three actions: show scale A, show scale B, hide scale?

    thanks in advance!

  • Kcls

    What is the best way to implement Google's new "Swipe-to-refresh" since it hasn't been added to their official guidelines yet?

  • Sambhav

    How good is a minimalist approach to a colorful one? Specially if you are designing for e-commerce.

  • Rishi

    As the new Navigation Drawer is becoming really popular, what do you think will be more useful for showing in the navigation drawer? (Obviously apart from showing the different views in your app.)

    This is all I could think for now.

    Thanks!

    • Greg Nudelman

      Global Navigation with badges for updates.

      One useful modification is to put a drawer at ever "top level" IA node, not just at the updates level as in Google Plus.

  • dleony

    What design would you recommend to show a three structure? For example: Categories, Subcategories and Products.

    • Greg Nudelman

      That's one approach, sure. The other is to show 2 levels at a time with the 2-D More Like This pattern (chapter 14) such as one that is used by Netflix and Gowala. I recently used it in a design of an app for a major food retailer with what client termed "spectacular" results.

  • bertraze

    What's the best way to handle the wide variety of screen sizes for Android devices and scaling the interface to fit them all?

    • Greg Nudelman

      What a GREAT question. In the book in Chapter 3 I suggest a very sensible model to deal with the "shrapnel explosive in a ball-bearings factory" Android Fragmentation. My approach is ergonomics-based: I suggest there are only 5 types of devices:

      mini phones

      full-size phones

      hybrids

      small tablets

      large tablets.

  • Janito Vaqueiro Ferreira Filho

    What is the best way to design a selectable list (as in a single choice dialog) that also allows items to be added, removed and edited?

    • Greg Nudelman

      2 ways: one is "Atomic Entity Pattern" Chapter 10 as in Calendar > New Event > Attendees. The other is a single-select version of a "Multiple Select Pattern", as in Contacts > Add Contact > Group > Add Group. But there are some caveats and warnings around the current implementation in Contacts app. Here's a quote from my Chapter 10:

      "One last note of caution: When your form or lightbox contains a
      single text field, strongly consider launching the form with the keyboard
      already in place to save your customers an extra tap. For example, in the Contacts app, when creating the new group, the lightbox with the single entry field is shown without the keyboard. The customer must tap the field to launch the keyboard. Another weird thing happens after the customer taps the OK button on the lightbox: The focus shifts upward to the Address field (see Figure 10.40).

      Layout: Insert Antipattern icon

      Figure 10.40: In the Contacts app, the single text entry lightbox
      is launched without the keyboard and focus shifts randomly.

      A better interaction would be to launch the lightbox with the keyboard already in place (refer to the screen on the right in Figure 10.40) and shift the focus to the groups Multiple Select field after the new group name has been selected."

      I hope that helps. Good question Janito!

  • Ron Lamb

    What is the best way to replace right mouse button click context aware menuing on a map interface in a mobile interface? Hover box with options does not seem to be very easy to navigate.

    • Greg Nudelman

      Tap-and-hold seems to be the standard. Also on a map you need a tap target, so pin drop seems to be the way to go, although I have yet to meet someone who was able to "intuit" this functionality -- most people discovered it by accident just tapping on the map trying to get a menu. I guess a better interface is still to come.

  • Kcls

    Google has 3 different time pickers across their apps (4.2 Clock App, 4.1/4.0 Clock App, and the new Calendar Time Picker). Which one do you believe is best, or would you scrap them all and design a new one?

  • varunkb

    I have been trying to teach my mother to use an android phone. Unfortunately, the vast amounts of applications on android implement their own ways of displaying options. Some need the menu button to be pressed, some rely on hidden menus..i.e. needs a swipe from the corner of the screen, and some others need the long-press of a button.

    Although all of that adds to joy of 'finding' things in apps, it's difficult to answer when she asks why you need to swipe to change inboxes in the Gmail app, while the Maps app has the layers options (which also is an option menu) right there on the main screen of the app.

    Irrespective of where google is heading with the swipe-to-show settings/options, what do you think is the best way to show the options/menu items in an app, to the user?

    • Steven80

      You can also click on the button in the upper left to display the drawer in apps like Gmail and YouTube. The swipe gesture is secondary.

    • Greg Nudelman

      See my answer to Alexandre Leites question.

  • Julio García Muñoz

    What would be the best way to let the user know about some features in an app that aren't apparently visible in plain sight? i.e. having menu options, available gestures (swiping, pinching, etc.)

    • Greg Nudelman

      See my answer to Alexandre Leites question above.

  • Steven80

    During the Structure in Android App Design session at IO this year the presenters focused on workflows to determine navigation decisions such as choosing between; tabs, a spinner and the new drawer.

    Do you agree with the presenters, or do you think that navigation decisions can also be influenced by the look and feel (or branding) you're trying to project in your application?

  • Matthew Fry

    What app do you think exemplifies best practices for Android app design (other than Google's)?

    • Greg Nudelman

      Not sure there is such a thing :-) Google Plus itself changed 4 times!! since I started writing the book. A client recently asked me to "design it as though Google would do it" and we did, and found some things we needed to tweak even while trying to adhere to Halo as stringently as possible. HOWEVER, that said, the results were excellent, both in testing and internally and the app looked great. So I'd say strive for 80-90% adherence, but don't lose your sleep over it: tweak what does not work.

  • Ezhik

    Is it a good idea to use a swipe gesture for both showing the menu and switching app tabs?

    • Greg Nudelman

      Wow, great question this one -- I guess it depends. I rather think Google is still trying to figure that one out :-) I guess this will work best if the drawer is the left-most tab, although that is not the standard implementation (such as Play Store tabs).

  • Anthony Restaino

    What is the best way to implement tabs in a web browser?

    I'm the sole developer and designer of a small Android browser and I've simply put them at the top like all the desktop browsers. I think there is a better way to do this and I am genuinely interested in what you have to say about tab UI and how to improve them.

    • Greg Nudelman

      Hmm... more of a responsive design question I guess, but sure, great question!
      Some tabs options include:

      1) present a closed vertical list of tabs only, no content, so person has to drill down

      2) open 1 tab, list others in a vertical list below

      3) drawer of tabs accessible via menu in top left corner (similar to Facebook)

      4) use overflow menu: show 2-3 tabs, the rest in overflow

      5) use icons instead of text to fit more on the page

      6) Use a drop-down/select control

      7) a variation of #1 with some teaser text and/or thumbnail to help users to select the right tab.

      etc.

      I hope this helps.

      Greg

      • Lalit Mali

        I like #3
        All your open tabs go into the left(or even right) sidebar!

  • Alexandre Leites

    What's the best way to show to the user that two panels (fragments) have some iteraction between each other (on a tablet, for example)? Like you drag'n'drop files to e-mail folders...

    • Greg Nudelman

      I get that question a lot. A quick tutorial layer (Pulse, Google Earth) is all that is needed. It's best to gently guide customers with progressive disclosure (Watermark Tutorial Pattern - Chapter 13) without stopping everything for a long tutorial. Major Mayhem is a great example of this -- you can keep playing through the tutorial.

  • Rushil Perera

    Does every game require some kind of animation or graphics to make it fun or could you just move stuff? For example, playing poker, would it be required to have an animation to move the card or will it be just as fun to play without an animation.

    • Greg Nudelman

      One word: Words with Friends. Well actually that's 3 words. :-)

      The answer is a resounding "yes" but you have to design it well.

  • http://www.modminecraft.com/ Nick Coad

    I've always struggled with designing on such a small area - the temptation to go for icon-only buttons is a big one and I worry that it makes the app harder to understand as there are no text labels. On the web, I would just use tooltips on mouseover to display a text label. Is there a good way that you can provide similar information to users on mobile? Obviously mouseover doesn't make sense for a touchscreen.

  • http://www.gundamaustralia.com/ cameron charles

    something im asked a lot, so i shall ask here, is it always the best plan to make one app for all devices or are there situations, in android development, where the phone and tablet apps say should be completely separate entities?

  • Jonathan Koren

    For my company's app, we've had to stray a little from the standard navigation guidelines because we sort of have two levels of navigation. The top level are sections of the app, and the second level are features within a section. The user is always presented with a "feature" screen (though some features let them dig deeper to screens with no navigation besides back/up).

    Currently we have a tab bar at the top to switch sections, and within each section we have a ViewPager with PagerTitleStrip to swipe between different feature fragments (not PagerTabStrip -- tabs on top of tabs is yuck).

    It's working pretty well, but we're looking into other ideas (the new DrawerLayout seems worth a try, for instance). In general, how could you tackle this sort of two-level navigation structure that maintains discoverability and easy access without consuming too much screen space?

  • Jonathan Koren

    If you were on Google's Android UI/UX team, what would you change (or add or remove) about the ActionBar pattern?

    • Greg Nudelman

      Yes, I'd change it quite a bit -- I've been testing several ideas. But they may not like my answers... and they'd have to compensate me pretty well for it.

  • pallu

    How do I create apps that will run reasonably well even on older phones? I myself am reluctant to part with my Galaxy S with CM10.1, yet many of the newer apps (Facebook, Yahoo mail) just freeze my phone.

    • Greg Nudelman

      Wow, not a design question -- maybe some coders out there will tell you why your app crashes?

  • Shreyas Sood

    What is the connection between Holo UI and the Android design guidelines?

    • Greg Nudelman

      Ahhh, a very philosophical question :-)

  • Sebastiano

    In my case, I have an item details view that works perfectly in portrait. But, in landscape and on big screens, there's just too much space to fill in. I don't have control over the data, so I can't get ultra high-res graphical assets, long content descriptions, etc.
    Generally, I follow the pattern of having sets of items showing up as list items or grid items, depending on the width to fill, and I use a card-ish UI for the elements themselves. This works really well, with lists. I'm trying to kinda keep detail views using similar UI patterns (cards, list versus grid composition,...), but then again, landscape views and tablets are a nightmare. I'd have to write completely different codebases to accommodate drastically different designs, this has to be taken into consideration as well, as I absolutely can't afford to.
    Is there any way to rethink content distribution and gap-filling, other than for example using paddings for large widths?

  • sky

    I want to make a wifi tv remote app based off networking ip address of the tv whats the best way to get a tv remote code (actual physical tv remote two sided to-> wifi app) that already is a full keyboard remote layout but not yet a wifi tv remote app

  • Outrager

    If I put a small slideshow tutorial at the start of my app for first time use should I have a skip button not to annoy people who hate these kinds of tutorials or force them to go through it (or they'll probably most likely just flip through it as fast as they can) just so they don't get frustrated when they can't figure out something that was shown off in the tutorial?
    Now that I read my question I wonder if the app is relying too much on gestures which might make it harder to use for first timers, but would probably make it better for people who stick with it compared to buttons or something of that nature.

    • Greg Nudelman

      See Watermark above.

  • Lucas Abido Figueiro

    My father and I are developing a home automation app, mainly for turning lights on and off and dimming.
    Would be better to have a sidebar with the rooms or horizontaly scrolling pages of rooms?

    • Greg Nudelman

      I'd say draw it up for your house both ways and test with your friends. See if they can do normal tasks.

  • Nick Schiwy

    If you have an app that does most of its work in the background, is it still necessary to have an aesthetic presence, particularly one that adheres to the current design guidelines?

  • Vu Viet Anh

    Should you make a multi-platform application's UI to be native to each different platform, or should you try to create a unique Ux+Ui flow that can basically maintain the consistency of your application throughout?

    • Greg Nudelman

      Great question -- it depends. If you can pull off Flipboard, Evernote, Facebook, go for the "equal opportunity offender" app. Otherwise stick to guidelines.

  • http://www.vanderbie.net/ Joey

    I am building a camera app for the visual impaired but also for non-visual impaired which can read text on the picture taken. I want to define the controls by using gestures or fixed buttons. I think I have two different mental controls: controls for options on the current screen (like turn flashlight off, refocus camera, save picture/text and read text on picture) and controls for page navigation (between camera page, stored pictures and 1 selected picture).
    What kind of gestures or fixed buttons/action areas do you advice me to use for the control of options and navigation.

  • RoshanKarki

    1) My activity is scroll view and has a date picker in middle. What is the recommended way to put the date picker(size, margin, padding etc) so that user don't get mixed up while scrolling either one?

    2) For text in app we have to use sp. But what about the design text?

    • Greg Nudelman

      There is a whole section on date pickers with 2 experimental patterns in the book. Great question.

  • Lalit Mali

    Is the Google's Card UI(GNow) and the new "Hamburger"+slider sidebar(new Gmail) the way to go?
    Where should we use these designs and where should we not?

    • Greg Nudelman

      I'd say follow the latest guidelines -- hamburger for Drawer is what I like at the moment.

  • Xpgamer7

    Is there a place for dropdown menus as design ideas move towards sidebars and other off/onscreen implied menus?

  • Dario

    does it breaks the user-flow when I implement a vertical-swipe (content) and horizontal-swipe(slidingmenu)?

    • Greg Nudelman

      Depends on the flow -- test with customers using a paper prototype.

  • momentai

    With the large amount of screen sizes and ratios that Android devices have, in your opinion is it best to design the ui in your app to use a vector graphics engine so that they scale properly, or should this be handled by the multi-sized images (and a screen size/ratio check)? [I've just realised that a similar question was asked below >.< doh!]

  • kerjani

    How to awoid the incosistence when using both navigation drawer and multi pane layouts (on tablet layouts mainly). Navigation drawer look familiar with left pane layout, this is why the user might not be thinkink about there is anything hidden on the left side. S what could be a good solution?

    • Greg Nudelman

      I have a whole chapter on this in the book, including how to present an icon-only drawer, an experimental pattern. Good question!

  • Zvonko Grujić

    Hi Greg. Which approach would you take for a map based location picker?
    From my experience, the two most common approaches are 1) using the center of the map and 2) long tapping on the map. Which approach would you recommend? Care to tell some pros and cons for both of them?

    • Greg Nudelman

      Are you talking about dropping a pin? I have not played with these two enough to recommend one or the other. Sorry. Test with target customers, I'd say!

  • Oloan Sembiring

    Hi Greg,
    Today, the clear design is very popular but sometimes, user needs a time to learn how the app should work because there's not a 'clear' information about the app. Nah, what do you think about 'HELP' layout design, important or not? should I put movie there (it will eat the memory space I think), or put text paragraph and some images? Oh I've been very confused here, because many apps bring user to the official app web page when click on the 'HELP' menu (factually, this is a kind of offline app, no needs about internet connection). Thanks :)

    • Greg Nudelman

      You do not need HELP pages. If you do, I'd you are doing it wrong. Please see earlier I referenced Watermark pattern.

  • Iwan

    Swipe up/down XOR swipe left/right (as in Chrome or Pulse) are sometimes difficult to differentiate when handling your smartphone one-handedly. It is however IMHO a very useful feature. How would you propose to improve this design ?

  • Pietro Marrone

    by now, android versions > 4.0 are spread almost on the majority of android devices. In this contest (and, well, in the future), it is still considered important to think about compatibility issues with gingerbread and previous versions (i'm talking obviously from a design point of view), or designers/developers are now free to focus their own efforts specifically on ICS/JB, just making use of the UI elements and stuff offered by the platform (i'm thinking about actionbar, expandable notifications etc.)?

    • http://www.vanderbie.net/ Joey

      The new UI elements are mostly improvements or best practices, so I would say yes please use them to improve the user experience for all Android users!

  • Ivo Santos

    How can you design an app for seniors that takes in account their physical limitations (button size, swipe speed, color blindness) but can se be used by those with less limitations without feeling less usefull?

    • Greg Nudelman

      Sit down with them with some ideas using my light-weight methodology. You will uncover all sorts of amazing things!

  • Vladimir Prenner

    What is the most correct way to fetch the user's location?

  • MichaelOberhausen

    I often find myself wanting to add the latest UI designs into apps I need to create at work although the general consensus on layout is to have big simple buttons that allow for a quick and easy to understand UI (for a older and non-techy crowd). Is it wise to sacrifice things like a Slide Menu Panel and actionbars that, in my eyes, clean and better organize the UI rather than having a "menu screen" with big buttons that lead to various pages?

    • http://www.vanderbie.net/ Joey

      If your non-techy crowd is techy enough to use a smartphone and install your app, you're pretty save. Just make sure you keep your navigation options as visible as possible. Tabs are a safe option. A start screen with big buttons is actually not that good for non-techy users, since they have the difficulty of navigating back to this screen using the back button.

  • Omar Al Matar

    Should developers follow Design guidelines, In case they have cross-platform apps, Should They adhere the design to the platform's guidelines, Or should they keep the look consistent between platforms?

    Should a developer go crazy/original and make an interface on his own or should he instead just follow the design guidelines...More like, When should we follow them, And when should we break them? O.O

  • brunodmjr

    It would really help me out :D

  • BlackEco

    How can I make the most #HOLOYOLO app ever ?

  • bolehland

    Is it feasible to build an app using WebViews to create an Android app that mimics a native app in look and feel? This is probably a good question for developers who already have existing mobile pages and are looking for quick ways to create apps that add additional functionality over what they already have on their mobile site.

    • http://www.vanderbie.net/ Joey

      Yes, it is really easy using frameworks like jQuery Mobile and Phonegap. You can specify your view using pure CSS! (Logic is done using Javascript) It is the way I would advice if you only know web technologies and want to build an app for both Android and iPhone. I created a course for Interaction Design students at the Hague University of Applied Sciences using only web technologies to build smartphone apps. And a lot of students know how to create their views really fast!

  • MidnightNinja

    What do you think is the biggest reason for the discrepancies between user interfaces between apps?(specifically, apps that are user downloaded)

  • Sam Monty

    As demoed in yet to be released Ubuntu OS, does it make sense to have all 4 sides of an android device (Tablet, Mobile or huge slate with multi-user-multi-interaction capability) programmed by native Android apps or in Android OS itself to perform certain actions for better user interaction ?.. say while playing games and so on.

  • jreid

    Do you need programming experience to create an intuitive application?

    • https://www.facebook.com/max.chen2 Max Chen

      No, but you're probably going to either learn or get a programmer if you want to make the app :)

  • Maxwell Kozlov

    Should I work on the tablet or mobile version first?

    • http://www.vanderbie.net/ Joey

      Luke Wroblewski says: design for mobile first. But I would say: design for both at the same time, since the Android framework allows for easy responsive design and it shortends the developing time.

  • eclectice

    Is there a good AUTO vertical-scrolling of TextView pattern that takes into regards screen re-orientation?

  • RomainAymard

    Does the UI really need a "BACK" button ? (that would do the same action as the phone physic button "RETURN")

    • http://www.vanderbie.net/ Joey

      Needing is a big word, but realize that the return button not always means navigating back one view. And the back button (best practice on the left of the action bar) does always navigate you back one view.

  • Yalla Tschikowski

    How do i tell my Users about advanced features that aren't obvious? Especially Swipe gestures. Or are swipe gestures that arent obvious a bad idea to begin with?

  • David Chwalisz

    I have been trolling the Web and your book for ideas to pick teams. You have a list of players, and must select a subset of them to add to a team. IN some cases you automatically add the remaining players to new teams. I considered check boxes in each player list element to pick them. Perhaps a team list dropdown instead of a check box? Any ideas or examples?

  • Joao Reis

    Which type of flow - all-in-one menu or one screen per task - fits better an App targeted for parents and sons ? I'm kinda stuck on a project of mine.

  • Yuku Sugianto

    How do we indicate that an item inside a ListView or GridView has additional menus (for instance: Delete, Rename) when long-pressed? In order to prevent users from not knowing there are additional actions when an item is long-pressed, I made short tap to show a popup menu where user can Open the item as well as Delete and Rename, but this will make the user have to tap too many times just to Open that item.

  • Design Deeper

    I'm a web designer with an idea for an Android app. I'm having a hard time finding a good starting point for learning about creating Android interfaces that will be easy for a programmer to work with. Where do you draw the line between presentation and functionality?

    • http://www.vanderbie.net/ Joey

      I would advice using to take a look at the Android Design guidelines http://developer.android.com/design/index.html . Also in Android you can create your views using XML and a drag and drop WYSIWYG interface. So you can even build the interface for the developer.

  • velocity303

    When designing applications for a younger audience, such as an educational app, how do you make sure you keep things easy to use without having settings hidden away in menus?

  • Andrzej F.

    What do you think about writing applications for Android in HTML + JavaScript (treating Java only as a wrapper) instead of pure Java? Would it be an efficient way to developing when you plan to create your app also for iPhone in the future? Or maybe it is better to stay with native languages in case of both systems?

    What is your opinion if we would like to add to this group the FirefoxOS?

  • Trisha

    I have been struggling with an app where the user needs to select options out of multiple filtering categories to arrive at the best result. eg: Watch a comedy show (1. genre) tomorrow (2. day) evening (3.time span) featuring Mr X (4.actor/actress)?

    So these 4/5 categories need to be selected quickly and easily. What would be the best interaction pattern to make this work?

  • Oscar

    If you are to develop a cross-platform Android app in HTML5/JS, which of the commercial HTML5 UI frameworks would you personally use, and why? Examples of such frameworks are: Sencha Touch, KendoUI, IgniteUI, Wijmo.

  • Kacper Rychard

    How much can I personalize my app's Action Bar? Size, graphics (e. g. logo), color, background shape (second color), gradient, 3D or colorful icons, additional functionality / unusual behavior?
    Where's the boundary of a good taste?

    • http://www.vanderbie.net/ Joey

      Design wise: follow the Android design guidelines combined with your own style tile and your app will both look good and fit the Android interface. And more importantly fit the mental model of your user, since he is used to these kind of interfaces.

      Technically there is not much that is limiting your design, but keep in mind that some theme options may collide with Samsung, LG and other manufacturers custom themes. This is visible for example in dialogs where setting a custom background color may break the dialog background color within the app on Samsung devices. So be sure to test on multiple devices of multiple brands. If you are not able to test on a lot of different devices I would advice to keep your theme as close to the default (light or dark) theme as possible and only theme buttons and actionbar.

      • Kacper Rychard

        Thanks for the comprehensive answer.

        One more thing: in my app I've got a few screens with Split Action Bar. On the others the only icon on the main Action Bar is the Action Overflow Menu.

        The question is: should I move the overflow icon down to the Split Action Bar on the screens that have it? On the one hand it helps to visually fill the bar in some cases (in my opinion 4 icons look better there than 3), but on the other it may confuse the user by casuing the 'jumping icon' effect while navigating through the app.

  • Ian Kavanagh

    I've 2 questions that I'm sort of stuck in the middle of which would help me a lot if you could answer them.

    What's the best pattern to follow for an about section for your app, the Gmail version with a full screen or the Android calendar version with a small section built into the settings?

    Should you include a changelog in your app in say an overflow menu item and/or as a pop up after your app has been updated?

  • bobygk

    I am designing an enterprise app that displays KPIs. Based on the user preference, they may choose to display the data as graphs or tables. What is the best way to design?

  • mcmb03

    What are some common "roadblocks" you see people beginning development needing to overcome, with regards to design, in order to create a successful application?

  • Kiran Parmar

    How different are the design patterns here as compared to the ones explained in Head First Design Patterns or the GoF -apart from being a bit tweaked for mobile platforms maybe?
    I think I'd probably end-up buying this book if I don't win a copy here :)

  • Salkras

    I want to make a menu come in to my app from the left side, and another menu from the right for commenting etc, Would having 1 button that when pressed, brings up a miniature options menu to choose the respective menu, be any better than having users swipe the respective way for the menus to be "pulled" onto the screen?

  • Etienne Savard

    When upgrading an existing Android App, what is the best way to deal with sqlite database schema changes (ie: adding, removing columns) while preserving user data?

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