January 16, 2011

Content and Navigation - General Principles

Q: What are the best practices to display content and navigation on mobile?

follow the operating system specific guidelines
don't cover content with hand, or widgets
use device physical size and orientation
design for large tablets in landscape
consider physical keyboards
please, no Apple look - alikes on Android
the content provided will define the design 

It is important to follow the guidelines, especially from Apple, or your app may not be accepted.  Consider if you want user to cover the content with their hand, if not don't put the selections on top. Consider the physical size of the device and orientation, if user holds the device usually in one hand and select with the other, you should make it easier to do so. Consider that user often use thumbs in landscape on tablets, place the selections lower within the reach. Consider that many users like to use physical or Bluetooth keyboards, don't force the virtual keyboard usage. Android user in most cases do not like Apple look-alike functionality, the menu works differently, navigational buttons should be utilized, the settings should make the app easy to use and flexible to customize.


Uki's Google Java Technology blog