Designing for Android

Sebastiaan de With:

Designing the app was difficult. It wasn’t just difficult for the obvious reasons, like implementation details, aesthetic preferences, and because you want to add more and more to an application as you go along designing it, but also because Android is simply a really hard platform to design for.

Take for instance all the screen technologies and qualities between the hundreds of Android devices out there. doubleTwist Alarm uses a very dark color scheme to ensure it is pleasant to use in dark spaces and uses a small amount of battery power on most Android devices — AMOLED screens actually use over double the power of ‘normal’ screens, like the iPhone’s, when displaying bright colors — and it prompted numerous other designers to ask me what the secret was: how did we overcome the challenge of designing for such a wide target and ensure a legible design that didn’t appear banded, jagged or otherwise completely screwy on [insert screen technology]?

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If you liked this, you'll love my book. It's called Designed for Use: Create Usable Interfaces for Applications and the Web. In it, I cover the whole design process, from user research and sketching to usability tests and A/B testing. But I don't just explain techniques, I also talk about concepts like discoverability, when and how to use animations, what we can learn from video games, and much more.

You can find out more about it (and order it directly, printed or as a DRM-free ebook) on the Pragmatic Programmers website. It's been translated to Chinese and Japanese.