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Mobile first: A future friendly approach to UX design

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Thinking "mobile" is not just about devices, it's about better usability, optimizing for screen real estate, and simplifying design elements and layouts. Asher Blumberg, Mobile UX Designer at StumbleUpon, walks us through creating a unique design language for your app that bridges the chasm between iOS and Android.

Published in: Design
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Mobile first: A future friendly approach to UX design

  1. a future-friendly approach to experience design asher godfrey blumberg mobile UX designer // stumbleupon @ashergodfrey
  2. 1961 the first computer interface
  3. 1984 the apple macintosh computer
  4. 2007 iPhone
  5. 2009 kinect
  6. 2011 siri
  7. 2011 nest
  8. 2013 oculus rift
  9. 2015 apple watch
  10. 2015 amazon echo
  11. the future ?
  12. future-friendly strategies will allow our designs to work and look the best on devices that haven’t even been invented yet.
  13. we have such an intimate relationship with our mobile devices, we expect them to be extensions of ourselves. ~brad frost photo credit: brad frost
  14. reconciling iOS & android paradigms
  15. a common design language Create a design language that incorporates Apple’s “flat” iOS features and Google’s Material Design so as to feel native, yet unique enough that users realize they’re in a distinctly branded app Play by the rules (in the beginning.) Read the iOS Human Interface & Material Design Guidelines photo from ebli rumbaugh
  16. iconography One method is to style icons for their respective platforms, sticking to thin- stroked, hollow icons on iOS and going bolder on Android. Alternatively, create custom icons that can live across both iOS & Android.
  17. Stick with colors specified in your branding guide. This will help with consistency in the future when working across platforms. colors
  18. stumbleupon live style guide
  19. google material design
  20. above & beyond the guidelines Be intentional and back it up by good reasoning when you take liberties with the guidelines. Adapt your designs to varying contexts and blend different styles to create an authentic and meaningful UI. photo from material design
  21. pro tips
  22. Use good naming conventions. When exporting assets for development, stick to layer names that match your naming conventions. Use text styles for headlines and other repeating text types Create symbols for repeating patterns or UI elements. Take advantage of artboards for a multi-screen view so you can quickly see your flows and product depth. Doing this will help you stay focused on the big picture.
  23. developer friendly specs Ask the engineer what they are looking for in a spec. Some engineers might want flawless specs to achieve pixel perfection. Other engineers might not need super extensive markup, depends on the needs of the project.
  24. Scope of Work, Project requirements (Target Audience, Goals, etc.), client design assets friendly folder structures research Completed user research as well as research that still needs to be done discovery inspiration Anything you find that inspires you from pinterest, dribbble, behance, awwwards, designer news, etc..
  25. User journeys, personas, scenarios, flows, Information Architecture, white boarding friendly folder structures visual design Hi-fidelity mockups, Iconography, visual explorations UX prototypes InVision, Pixate, Origami, Keynote AfterEffects Framer, Hype Tumult, etc
  26. best practices
  27. value aesthetic integrity Aesthetic integrity represents how well an app’s appearance and behavior integrates with its function to create a coherent dialogue Take cues from classic designs and you may end up creating a timeless design. photo via shutterstock
  28. transform the noise into the signal The noise can become the signal, meaning the interface should be part of the goal. Create worthwhile experiences that value users’ attention spans. Tools like StumbleUpon, Pocket, Readability, Feedly, Flipboard and Facebook offer users an escape from the bombardment of obnoxious distractions, i.e. animated ads, popups, blogrolls, while seamlessly delivering content. photo via shutterstock
  29. concise & contextual Mobile mediums require vary in context of use so your method should be tailored with this in mind Describe functionality in your app on a ‘need to know’ basis Get rid of redundancy Trim copy to be as short as possible photo via shutterstock
  30. photo from artstechnica.com
  31. design for affordance An affordance in an interface is the interaction possibility of an element based on it’s size, shape and weight that intuitively implies its functionality and use. Animation serves as an affordance. Animations can suggest that the current UI came from somewhere, and that the previous one went somewhere. Good transitions take advantage of this by enabling that affordance.
  32. aibnb.com
  33. gestures are the new tap More apps are relying on gestures beyond the tap for their primary interactions. The number of gesture interfaces on today's screens is growing. Pinch, zoom, a long press, force touch, swipe menus, pull-to-refresh, flingable cards, edge swipes, and draggable side menus are now the norm. Takeaways: enforce more consistency, align with natural actions, include clear cues photo from hbr.org
  34. rotate paul flavius fechita via dribbble pull/unfold cuberto via dribbble clear swipe/drag rise cover to reveal peek
  35. understanding #trends
  36. mobile first wins Think mobile first: scale up from mobile to tablet to desktop Create a product that looks and functions well on mobile first given the many restraints that you face Since you’ve already synthesized your product to it’s most vital elements you get to decide how to make it even more robust, instead of deciding of what to cut or water down “Mobile first” is becoming less of a buzzword, it’s more of a requirement now.
  37. photo credit: brad frost
  38. responsive design Responsive design is a technique. It boils down to creating experiences meant to look and function beautifully to fit any screen size or device Responsive design involves fluid layouts, flexible images (and media objects), and media queries
  39. design by Q42, Fabrique for The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam
  40. why flat design? Flat design limits visual elements, exposing only essential functionality Flat design reduce the resource load on smaller devices Flat design make it easier to convey meaning with animation and focus on the micro-interactions Simple designs are easier to scan
  41. frankchimero.com
  42. post flat
  43. flat design is just the beginning. the real trend is towards simplicity and immediacy, and we expect that to go further than ever in 2015. ~Jowita Ziobro photo credit: ebli rumbaugh
  44. experiential minimalism Experiencing and learning a design with the minimal viable artistic elements communicating its concept. The goal of minimalist design is to simplify technology by developing a story that people can understand. A design is successful when it’s use case is clearly communicated design by sebastien gabriel
  45. pushing boundaries The only way we can push forward and innovate is by taking creative risks. New and inspiring work gives others a spark to push their boundaries. Even if you’re compelled to follow a layout or style trend, add a touch of creativity to make it unique. photo via shutterstock
  46. the best interface is no interface ~golden krishna photo credit: piyatat hemmatat
  47. the Sproutling
  48. photo from peter sweeney
  49. less interface = better interface Minimal interfaces perform better. We should strive to design interfaces that can fluidly interact with the complexities of the real world. The interfaces we design may effectively become invisible over time, but that will only happen if we design them to be legible, readable, understandable and to foreground culture over technology. photo via shutterstock
  50. ~ben watson, herman miller photo credit: pixabay as everything becomes available everywhere—in the physical and virtual world—more and more people will respond to designs that offer a mutable framework for personalization, individual expression, and adaptability.
  51. photo credit: brad frost

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