At Konnect we understand that a good design is important for any application, despite what years and years of bad apps from vendors and IT shops have led us to believe. In the mobile context, good design is even more critical because the small screen and unsteady operating environment makes it even harder to use an app, which good design can overcome.
- Don't simply port what you have to other platforms (iOS to Android, Web to iOS, Android to BlackBerry, and so on). The look and feel should honor the target platform, which users chose for a reason. Also, capabilities may also differ based on what the platform offers, so developers need to decide when the platforms are too usefully different to deliver the "same" app across them and do related apps instead.
- Take advantage of mobile (especially smartphone) constraints to think creatively. An example is for an app to use facial recognition to auto-crop on the central focus of image rather than manually build all the views in the app's asset library. Anticipating all the sizes and crops is a daunting task, and storing them in the app only makes it fat, which clogs devices' limited storage space and consumes a lot of bandwidth during app updates.
- 3Take advantage of mobile capabilities not available on a PC.
- Design accessibly. It's common to see young designers use small text and tight layouts that are hard for older users to read and accurately tap. Avoid the Retina effect: Just because there are now smaller pixels that make text technically readable at even smaller sizes, if you're much past the age of 35, human eyes still can't read such minuscule text. Use adaptive design instead, such as preferences over text size that adjust the layout accordingly.