On Tuesday, Apr 12 at 7pm I’ll be speaking at Refresh Austin about how to use mobile frameworks like Sencha Touch and jQuery Mobile to build cross-platform mobile apps. The presentation will be at Buffalo Billiards on 6th street. More info can be found at the Refresh Austin site.
Designing and coding great applications is hard; that’s why we spend so much time and effort thinking about it here at 2 Sides. While every application we work on in unique and has it’s own challenges, here are some useful rules based on our experience that can be applied to any project.
First off, I want to say I have been using Flash Catalyst to prototype device interfaces for the past month and it has worked out very well. When Adobe announced the product in November 2008 I anxiously awaited it. For a very long time. When it finally was released as a public beta, Adobe stated 3 main use cases for the product:
“We love the new interface design” … says the stakeholder… “but can you just make this blue. And add back that menu here. With the icons on them.”
“Sure , no problem…” you reply. Since they loved your new design, these are trivial changes.
Fifteen iterations later, you realize they are taking your new design back to their current design. The funny thing is that everyone loved the initial design. But over time, everyone keeps steering you back to their current design.
What is going on there? Why does this happen?
For my Austin friends:
Flash Catalyst (beta) is a very cool new tool for designers to prototype their designs. I have been playing with it recently and thought it would be useful and fun to meet up informally and talk about it. I highly recommend downloading the beta version and working through a tutorial before the meeting.
Over the years, I’ve read a lot of books on design, and while many of them are great reads, only a few have left permanent impressions on my day to day work. Here they are, in no particular order.
Let’s face it: most web applications and sites don’t need drag-and-drop, resizable windows or sortable lists? Websites are not desktop applications. They are different.
jQuery tools are a set of tabs, tooltips, accordions and overlays that offer those “web 2.0″ goodies that you have seen on your favourite websites. In a very easy to use package.
Google Wave pushes browsers to the limit to combine mail and chat in a fresh way. From the guys that came up with Google Maps. Good stuff!
The layout of Apple.com is simple and beautiful. Yet, one of the most awesome things about the website is the search functionality. It gives you suggestions (with images) about the several products they offer, making it really user-friendly. Marco has recreated the effect by creating a Fancy Apple.com-style Search Suggestion Plugin.