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I'm switching for web development to Android development. I know some things about web usability and I see that UX is too often left behind on Android from my I experience with it.

As the interaction paradigms are pretty different from the web, I'm looking for resources about Android UI guidelines/best practices.

Could you give me some pointers here?

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closed as not constructive by Ben Brocka Aug 3 '12 at 15:34

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See this question for some more on the topic: ux.stackexchange.com/questions/6876/… –  Rahul Jul 10 '11 at 16:59
    
Google has since released official design documentation: developer.android.com/design/index.html –  Ben Brocka Jan 13 '12 at 20:10

5 Answers 5

up vote 28 down vote accepted
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Could you add some information to each link to indicate what's being offered? –  Rahul Jul 10 '11 at 16:51

Motorola have a good page on Best Practices for User Interfaces with some videos. I think it's a great place to start.

To summarize each section title here (copied from the page above):

  1. Read the UI guidelines
  2. Understand and design for touch mode
  3. But, support multiple interaction modes
  4. Use notifications and the window shade
  5. Support interaction between applications
  6. Keep your UI fast and responsive (see Google I/O talk: Writing zippy Android apps)
  7. Use widgets and live folders
  8. Handle screen orientation changes
  9. Use images wisely
  10. Use layouts that adapt to multiple devices
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http://androidpatterns.com is a nice resource as well, but beware of some inconsistencies and less accurate information, not to be used as a solo reference.

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Google launched Android Design which provides design guidelines to achieve a consistent style across the platform. It includes information about:

  • General principles such as consistency ("If it looks the same, it should act the same") or use of unobtrusive notifications ("Only interrupt me if it's important").

  • Layout and visual style including icon design, typography (Roboto typeface), color scheme, themes, considerations for multiple screen sizes and densities.

  • Interaction patterns and specific widgets to support them. You can find design guidelines to resolve common problems (navigation, user notification, etc.) and widgets the platform offers (buttons, lists, text fields, etc.) with recommendations for their use. I have included below an image used to illustrate the design of notifications:

Parts of a notification

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The following excerpt from those guidelines had me laughing though: When the previously viewed screen is also the hierarchical parent of the current screen, pressing the Back key will have the same result as pressing an Up button -- this is a common occurrence. However, unlike the Up button, which ensures the user remains within your app, the Back key can return the user to the Home screen, or even to a different application. (from the "Back vs. Up" section in the Patterns chapter, Navigation page) –  Kris9000 Jan 15 '12 at 2:36

I just stumbled over a Android Design Site where design principles of Android 4.0 are shown, quite similar to Apple and Microsofts Guidelines. So for archive purposes this post.

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