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UI guidelines for business apps on mobile platforms
Started by ksan Apr 30 2013 08:32 AM

6 replies to this topic
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#1

ksan

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ksan
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Hi. Thought this might be a relevant topic to throw about here. Join in please if you have any input you would like to share.

 

I have a background in developing, deploying and running business apps in a global MNC setting. As I interact with others working on business apps for mobile platforms I realize that many others have similar backgrounds. 

 

Many moons ago, I used a Newton and impressed the 'heck' out of myself. I lived the PalmOS revolution and cut my teeth on CodePilot and GCC. Then came the WinCE and XDADevelopers... Fun times were had waiting for the so called "killer application" to come and sweep the nations. Well... it appears the time is finally now with more smartphones being sold than their dummy brethren... As I try to make a come back and fire the neurons once again into learning more, I am finding one major shortcoming on my part. No, its not the slowing brain due to age issue... That is #2...

 

#1 shortcoming I feel is that I am bringing my years of business app building experience into the mix here. It is actually not an asset but a hindrance. The UI I imagine is rooted deeply in my desktop experience. While it works mechanically as well as a tank it looks and fares no better on the user experience front... This is exactly why Palm was an instant hit and WinCE/WinPhone suffered big time for so long. You can't and shouldn't try to cram a whole big desktop experience into a little handheld device...

 

So long story short, I'm in a search. Please post links, references, blog posts, anything that you feel might be relevant to UI design guidelines, choices for mobile business apps. What worked and didn't work for you? What did your clients love and hate?

 

I appreciate any sharing and input. I hope this will be a valuable thread in time to come for all oldie-transformed-into-newbies like me. 

 

Best regards,

Kerem



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#2

ksan

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ksan
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Not a very exciting topic I suppose. Still interested in other's thoughts. Is everyone busy running to the flat look?



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#3

ponywolf

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Apple's UI Guidelines are actually very good...
 
 
...and I think apply to pretty much every platform.


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#4

ksan

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Yep. That's a great read. Thanks for sharing. 



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#5

ksan

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ksan
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A good article on this topic... Particularly on forms and ways to capture input. Enjoy! 

 

http://applidium.com/en/news/good_practices_for_mobile_forms/



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#6

Gremlin Interactive

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Interesting topic. I don't have anything to add right now (replying from phone) but found this to be an interesting read.

Thanks for sharing your experiences.

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#7

selamar63

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Hi, I was thinking along the same line... Having 25+ years of desktop programming in SMBs business application I too feel that trying to take the same approach to the smartphone would be an error (and less fun, also!). Of course *there are* business apps that work well on the smartphone and the tablet, and there are Apple as well as Microsoft guidelines to design optimal user interfaces. But the ui design is only half of the game, the other half being all the subtle or substantial "effects" the standard smartphone user expects today (see for example this guide from Microsoft that covers such topics as animations, launch, suspend, and resume of apps, layout and scaling, notifications and other user interactions). Of course we "business men" don't really need *all* of that but we surely need to devise an app "model" that while still retaining essentially a data-driven logic could result in an overall experience that the user finds familiar. So, let's put out some ideas! One topic that I find recurring is how to "squeeze" the myriad of textboxes we put on a desktop form on the smaller smartphone or tablet screen... of course we need more forms, but giving the user a ton of tabs doesn't seem the best approach. One other thing I find puzzling coming from the desktop world is the missing "Edit, Save, Cancel" buttons, mostly (but not only) on Apple devices, to confirm the data the user has input. It seems that the standard approach is something like "the data the user inputs are automatically saved, he can always come later and change them", but in a business context this might be a nightmare. What's your approach?

 

Sergio from Italy




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