Constraints of designing for mobile devices

Strive to provide a balance between the best possible user experience, a long battery life, and efficient connections to the wireless network. When you design your application, consider the differences between mobile devices and computers. Mobile devices have the following characteristics:

Characteristic

Guideline

Smaller screen size

Stay focused on the user's immediate task. Display only the information that users need at any given moment. For example, a customer relationship management system can provide a massive amount of information, but users only require a small amount of that information at one time. Design the UI so that users can perform tasks easily and access information quickly.

One screen appears at a time

Use a single screen if possible. If your application requires multiple screens to be open at the same time, use a split screen or rethink the flow of your application.

Shorter battery life

Try to handle data transmission efficiently. The less often the device needs to transmit data, the longer the battery lasts.

Wireless network connections

Try to simplify how your application creates network connections. Compared with standard LANs, longer latency periods that are inherent in some wireless network connections can influence how quickly users receive information that is sent over the network.

Slower processor speeds

Avoid processor-intensive tasks where possible. Slower processor speeds can affect how users perceive the responsiveness of an application.

Less available memory

Free up as much memory as possible. For example, while an application is not being used, try to keep it from using memory.



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