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Android User Interface Design: Turning Ideas and Sketches into Beautifully Designed Apps

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Android User Interface Design: Turning Ideas and Sketches into Beautifully Designed Apps


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  • Thorough guide for differentiating Android app through design - stunningly beautiful, functional, and intuitive
  • The first best-practice guide to superb Android smartphone and tablet app design
  • Up-to-date best practices reflecting Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean)
  • Integrates graphics issues, implementation details, and the entire design process
  • Introduces graphic design principles developers may never have encountered before
  • Includes a hands-on case study section and extensive downloadable sample code, including complete finished apps


  • Copyright 2013
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-321-88673-9
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-321-88673-6

Build Android Apps That Are Stunningly Attractive, Functional, and Intuitive

In today’s crowded Android marketplace, it’s more important than ever to differentiate your apps. Great design is the best way to do that. Now, leading Android app design expert Ian G. Clifton shows you how to make your apps come alive and how to deliver apps that users will want, love, and buy!

Reflecting the Android 4.2 SDK, this book serves both as a tutorial for the entire design and implementation process and as a handy reference you’ll rely on for every Android development project.

Clifton shows how to create effective designs, organize them into Android components, and move gracefully from idea, to wireframe, to comp, to finished app. You’ll learn how to bring your own voice, personality, and style to your app designs; how to leverage advanced drawing techniques such as PorterDuff compositing; how to test designs on diverse Android devices; and much more.

Android User Interface Design details each step of the design and development process and contains extensive downloadable sample code, including complete finished apps.

  • Learn how Android has evolved to support outstanding app design
  • Integrate app design with development, from idea through deployment
  • Understand views, the building blocks of Android user interfaces
  • Make the most of wireframes and prototypes
  • Build efficient layouts and integrate smooth animations
  • Make apps more useful by automatically updating ListViews
  • Combine views into custom components
  • Use image compositing and other advanced techniques
  • Work with the canvas and advanced drawing
  • Leverage Google Play and Amazon Appstore assets

One step at a time, this guide helps you bridge the gap between Android developers and designers so you can work with colleagues to create world-class app designs...or do it yourself!



Download code samples files here


Author's Site

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Sample Content

Online Sample Chapter

How to Handle Common Android UI Components

Sample Pages

Download the sample pages (includes Chapter 10 and Index)

Table of Contents

Introduction     1

Part I: The Basics of Android User Interface
Chapter 1: Android UI Overview     5

A Brief History of Android Design     6
The Android Design Website     7
Core Principles     8
Standard Components     16
Supporting Multiple Devices     19
Notable Changes     20
Summary     21
Chapter 2: Understanding Views--The UI Building Blocks     23
What Is a View?      24
Displaying Text     29
Displaying Images     33
Views for Gathering User Input     36
Other Notable Views     40
Listening to Events     42
Summary     44
Chapter 3: Creating Full Layouts with View Groups and Fragments     45
ViewGroup     46
Fragments     57
Summary     60
Chapter 4: Adding App Graphics and Resources     61
Introduction to Resources in Android     62
Resource Qualifiers     62
Understanding Density     67
Supported Image Files     68
Nine-Patch Images     69
XML Drawables     71
Other Resources     81
Summary     84

Part II: The Full Design and Development Process
Chapter 5: Starting a New App     87

Defining Goals     88
High-Level Flow     91
Wireframes     94
Summary     106
Chapter 6: Developing the App Foundation     107
Organizing into Activities and Fragments     108
Breaking Wireframes into Views     116
Creating Themes and Styles     131
Summary     132
Chapter 7: Finalizing the Design     133
Wireframes and Graphical Design     134
App Visual Style and Personality     134
Text Considerations     143
Standard Icons     148
Dynamic Content Considerations     149
Navigation and Transitions     150
Error Cases     150
Summary     150
Chapter 8: Applying the Design     153
Working with the Designer     154
Slicing the Graphics Assets     155
Updating Themes and Styles     160
Breaking Comps into Views     161
Improving Efficiency     166
Basic Testing Across Device Types     174
Summary     175
Chapter 9: Further Improving the App     177
Hierarchy Viewer     178
Animations     184
Custom Fonts     194
Summary     198

Part III: Advanced Topics for Android User Interfaces
Chapter 10: How to Handle Common Components     199

Splash Screen     200
Loading Indication     210
Complex TextViews     212
Autoloading ListViews     217
Summary     222
Chapter 11: Combining Views for Custom Components     223
When to Combine Views     224
Combining Views to Simplify Working with Them     224
Implementing a Multibutton Toggle     236
Summary     255
Chapter 12: Developing Fully Custom Views     257
General Concepts     258
Developing the Custom View     263
Summary     298
Chapter 13: Working with the Canvas and Advanced Drawing     299
PorterDuff Image Compositing     300
Creating Custom Drawables     319
Summary     324

Part IV: Helpful Guides and Reference
Appendix A: Google Play Assets     325

Application Description     326
The Change Log     327
Application Icon     327
Screenshots     328
Feature Graphic     329
Promotional Graphic     334
Video (YouTube)      334
Promoting Your App     335
Appendix B: Amazon Appstore Assets     337
Overview     338
The Application Icon     338
Screenshots     339
Promotional Graphic     339
Videos     340
Appendix C: Common Task Reference     343
Indicating Loading in the Action Bar     344
Dismissing the Software Keyboard     350
Using Full Screen Mode     351
Keeping the Screen On     352
Determining the Device’s Physical Screen Size     352
Determining the Device DPI     353
Checking for a Network Connection     354
Checking if the Current Thread Is the UI Thread     354
Custom View Attributes     355

Index     363


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