Now available: Design for Impact by Erin Weigel

Mobile Design Strategy: Don’t Make This Mistake


On September 12, our next event, The Mobile UX Summit, is coming to your virtual office! We’ve asked Josh Clark, Brad Frost, Theresa Neil, Greg Nudelman, Jason CranfordTeague, and Mike Fisher for 27 tips and 2 case studies on designing mobile experiences. You’ll walk away with new mobile UX insight and skills, get some questions answered—and the session recordings are included with your registration.

This week we talked to Greg Nudelman about an important mistake to avoid in mobile design strategy:

Greg Nudelman: I think one huge mistake people make is to assume that by using a simple app porting service they can turn an iOS app into an Android app. While this may work for some games (well… sometimes… and sort of), the same assumption FAILS for any content or search-driven apps in most other categories. The truth is there are about one million apps in each of the app stores (Android and Apple) so the competition is fierce in every category.

There is simply no substitute for knowing the OS conventions and using some of the basics as the anchor to start your mobile design. And OS formats are changing rapidly—witness nothing less than fundamental changes in both leading mobile platforms from Android 2.x to 4.x and Apple iOS 6 to iOS 7. And if you do decide to break the app conventions, it helps to know them first—that’s where design pattern books can be of help; books like Theresa Neil’s Mobile Design Patterns Gallery (O’Reilly Media, 2012) and my own Android Design Patterns (Wiley, 2013) are great resources. So to succeed with your mobile app, you will need to:

  1. Understand the conventions of the OS you are building for
  2. Start with a simple paper or sticky notes prototype to allow yourself to explore various design directions, fail quickly and cheaply and iterate rapidly
  3. Test early and test often to make sure the app uses the appropriate patterns and meets your customers’ needs and does so in an original, intuitive and delightful way

Good luck and see you at the Summit!

Sign up now to reserve your virtual seat at our Mobile UX Summit on September 12!