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Mobile UX is a whole new world, specially apps. Over my past experience I got deeper & deeper into how browsers work & finally build an experience around it.

I agree some fundamentals would be true for both the platform but I was looking for tips and resources to help understand the difference between both of them.

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

Hi Siddharth and welcome to!

I have a similar background: After several years of web UX I and startet working on mobile UX about 1 year ago. I think many basics aren't different from web UX but there are some things to keep in mind and some additional possibilities. Here's what comes to my mind (I'm talking of smart phones only):

  • It's touch instead of click: No mouse over, no double click, bigger active areas etc.
  • Additional gestures (swipe, shake etc.)
  • The screens are small: Smart use of space is crucial
  • Two orientations (portrait/landscape)
  • Text input should be reduced to a minimun (much slower than on real keyboard)
  • Location services can add real value to your app or mobiel site
  • Push notifications (apps only)
  • Different connection speeds: 3G is slow, WLAN usually isn't. Make use of that (and don't make the user wait for things he doesn't need)
  • High resolution displays are beautiful, make it pop ;)
  • Some different patterns (e.g. drill down, slotmachine UI etc.)
  • Specific input options: numbers for numeric fields, phone keypad for phone fields, a keyboard with an @ symbol for email addresses etc. (added after Ben's comment, thanks!)

To start I would suggest you read some guidelines:

And take a look at pattern and design collections:

And of course install tons of apps and visit big mobile websites like, etc.

Hope that helps, Phil

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I would also add specific input options. Show only numbers for numeric fields, phone keypad for phone fields, a keyboard with an @ symbol for email addresses, etc. – Ben Durnell Jun 18 '11 at 16:47

I recently designed an interface design for an android app. I am not a expert, a learner.. here are some experiences i had..thought it would be useful if i share them

The screen Space is NOT BIG so you need use the space judiciously.

Make sure the buttons and other clickable elements are big enough to trigger the particular action.

Make sure you give space for every element such as field, submit.. so that the user doesn't find it difficult to click what he wants to.

use HTML5 & CSS3 properties.. reduce images to speed up app load.

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I've done some mobile design and have a web background and it's certainly challenging.

Phil covered a lot of the resources above. one point to be aware of is the difference between the various mobile platforms and the different standards that they have. For example Iphones etc generally have a software based back button where as android devices have a button on the device.

Smashing magazine do an ebook on mobile design (iphone ipad):

Also I have heard good things about: Tapworthy: Designing Great iPhone Apps (Just ordered myself a copy)

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