Android is a gorgeous platform for builders, however not all designers share our enthusiasm. Making an app look and feel good on hundreds of devices with different combinations of screen sizes, pixel densities and aspect ratios is no mean feat. The variety of Android supplies many challenges, however creating apps that run throughout the complete ecosystem of gadgets may be very rewarding.
At Nevada we construct Android software program for manufacturers begin ups and gadget producers. We regularly work with visible designers who’re new to Android. The brand new Android Design web site is the primary useful resource we advocate. It’s best to undoubtedly test it out. Nonetheless there may be loads extra to choose up! The objective is to create apps that individuals love to make use of. Considerate UX and aesthetically pleasing visible designs assist us get there.
This text gives a set of sensible ideas and design issues for creating Android apps. I’ve tried to incorporate one thing helpful whether or not you’re crafting pixel good graphic property discovering an optimum person stream or getting your palms soiled growing XML layouts.
Visual design is very important in the perceived quality of an app. It can also improve usability. Most developers know something about UI patterns, but developers with visual design skills are rare. They really need you. Providing high-fidelity mockups, draw able resources (i.e. graphic assets) and guidance to developers is the best way to provide an aesthetically pleasing experience to the end user.
Android is a platform of many display densities. There is no such thing as a set of resolutions to focus on, reasonably a density unbiased measurement scheme for graphics widgets and layouts. That is coated in depth in a earlier Smashing article and the official documentation, so I’ll simply add a point out of this neat net software for calculating density pixels.
Optimizing graphic assets for each density is not always practical. The platform can reduce resources reasonably. However, it’s always worth testing designs on low-cost devices and optimizing resources that scale badly.
BE STATE FRIENDLY
Touch states provide critical confirmation of clicks and selections. When customizing widgets like buttons, it’s important to create drawables for all necessary states like default focused pressed and disabled. Focus state is consumer suggestions on gadgets that assist directional pad or trackball navigation.
Size is also important. Touch input is imprecise and fingers block the UI as they interact with the screen. Touch targets should typically be at least 45 dense pixels in width and height.
USE 9-PATCH DRAWABLES
9-patch drawables allow PNGs to be stretched and scaled well in predefined ways.The marks alongside the highest and left edges outline the stretchable areas.The padded content area can optionally be defined with marks along the bottom and right edges. 9-Patches are important for creating and customizing UI widgets.
HANDLE DESIGN LEGACY
Honeycomb Android 3 and Ice Cream Sandwich Android 4 modernized Android’s visual design with the Hole theme. Nonetheless, some machine producers have a poor repute for retaining platform variations updated. A few of right this moment’s hottest units won’t ever be upgraded to Ice Cream Sandwich.
CREATE HIGH-FIDELITY MOCK-UPS
High-fidelity mockups are a great way to communicate the visual design to the developer responsible for the implementation. Android Design web site gives templates in PSD and different codecs. It is important to test mock-ups on real devices to confirm that they feel right, that UI components are sized and placed sensibly. The Android Design Preview tool allows you to mirror mockups directly on an Android device connected to your favorite design software.
A sensible method for mock-ups is to work towards the display screen traits of the preferred units. Ideally, create mock-ups for every various format required by display screen dimension or orientation.
BRING THE APP TO PLAY
User experience considerations should not end in the app. It’s worth putting a little thought into the Google Play Store listing to make sure it’s immediately clear what the app does and why a user would want it.
These graphic asset guidelines will help you create promotional materials appropriate for the different contexts and scales in which they appear. Some of these graphics are also prerequisites for being featured.
Layouts, Styles And Themes
Android has a visible structure editor and it’s getting higher on a regular basis. Nonetheless I nonetheless discover myself creating XML layouts by hand. This part will get right down to implementation particulars protecting some greatest practices for crafting maintainable and perform ant layouts. Visible designers may need to skim this part however some consciousness of implementation particulars can’t harm.
The most common purpose layouts are Relative Layout and Linear Layout. Relative Layout should be preferred for performance, while Linear Layout is useful for distributing space between views using weights. Grid Layout was new in Honeycomb. That is helpful for creating complicated layouts on massive screens with out nesting. Nested layouts are equally bad for deep performance and code readability.
So you are introduced to the platform and tools. What next? Finally, one of the simplest ways to get a really feel for Android is to make use of it every single day. Some of the most satisfying app designs include consistency across platforms, attention to detail, and clean visual design. The first two can at least be picked up by using and analyzing existing Android apps.
Android has come a good distance previously few years. Platforms and apps have gradually gotten better. Functionality is not sufficient at this time. There are about half a million other apps out there and users want polish.
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