Iphone app essentials

December 15, 2010
    Kill the clutter:

  • Embrace the constraints of a small screen! Zero in on doing one or two functions in an amazingly focused way.
  • Strip out features that are not absolutely essential to the functioning of the app. Less is more.
  • Break the interface up into logical screens and don’t try to do too much on one screen. Though minimizing the number of taps required for a function is always optimal, sometimes functions are easier to understand if they are split up into multiple screens.
  • Only display UI elements that are essential for a given screen to function.
  • Padding and whitespace are your best friends.
    Design for context. Though contexts vary, there are some general mobile design principles that are often ignored:

  • Design big, bold, and minimal. Folks generally aren’t paying full attention to the interface and are often using it while doing something else. They don’t see the interface, they see a blur. Make the important elements pop.
  • Beef up the font size. Don’t let the simulator deceive you; fonts look much smaller on the actual device. Be careful not to limit testing to retina-display devices like the iPhone 4. Smaller fonts look great on retina displays but absolutely fail on older devices.
  • Do one thing really well and trash the other features. If you’re porting a desktop app or website to mobile, don’t just optimize for mobile; rethink the entire experience.
  • Our fingers are very big and imprecise so make targets big.
  • When designing forms, don’t forget the digital keyboard is going to take up about half the screen when the user taps on the first field.

From Jeremy Olson: 10 Surefire Ways to Screw Up Your iPhone App

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