The problem

I am planning a mobile / tablet app that aims to combine ‘knowns’ - a largely static, pre-defined UI-UX as is the nature of compiled binaries - together with a potentially quite wide scope of UI-UX-related ‘unknowns’.

This exists

Think of smartphone OS’ themselves; they ship with ’N' UX and functionality, but go on to develop ‘Y' UX and functionality as the user adds whichever third-party apps they discern are most relevant for their needs.


I’m comfortable where it comes to dedicated views for these ‘apps’ as they would get to own the whole space and there is little or no interaction or modification to existing compiled controls - tables, layout, etcetera.

The challenge

But how would one best manage interactions between these ‘unknowns’, and the static or ‘known’ view layouts and activities when one of these “apps” has something to say or show in response to [some] activity?

The Plea

I can think of pretty boring solutions such as notifications, or a static view committed to a dynamic interface such as a web view, but something tells me there’s a more elegant solution out there.

Any ideas UX community?

  • I'm not entirely clear what you are asking. Are you talking about interoperability between apps--some of which you may not know the UI of?
    – DA01
    Commented Apr 23, 2014 at 4:19

1 Answer 1


You can't control the user interface or the user experience of these unknown apps somebody else developed. But if the unknown app comes with an application programming interface (API), you can use your own user interface on the unknown app services, which would be great. If the app doesn't come with an API, your only option is to follow the design guideline of the Smartphone/Tablet OS and hope for that the unknown app follows the same official guideline.

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