Smashing Magazine recently released a new book series beside their famous Smashing Book series which is called The Mobile Book. As its name, this book focuses on the mobile side. As you know, mobile space grows very rapidly right now and developers or designers have to understand this new medium and discover the right techniques and tools to design for it. And this book intends to serve for that purpose.
In general, there are three parts in this book (The Mobile Landscape, Responsive Web Design and UX Design For Mobile) with each part has some chapters on it, this book also has extra chapters which you can get later as an extra ebook. The first part has two chapters : “What’s Going On In Mobile?” by Peter-Paul Koch and “The Future Of Mobile” by Stephanie Rieger.
Koch told us the condition in mobile world right now and the reason of it. I like when He mentioned how operators and device vendors are afraid of commoditization and irrelevance and will defend themselves by influencing the user’s overall experience which sometimes isn’t good idea. He also showed some data of device, mobile OS, and mobile browser market shares which will lead us to know what should be prioritized for now.
Rieger’s chapter is all about the future. I like the idea of trends : “everyone will be connected” and “everything will be connected” that she brought in this chapter. Although those trends might be already seen by us right now, but they will be becoming more and more in the future. She also showed us the future technologies that wait to become mature and mainstream to be used in our daily, of course some of them might be fail in the processes.
By reading the first part you will understand what are really in mobile landscape, be it in the past, present or something in the future. Personally I prefer this part is made in only one chapter so it will become more compact and more to the point, but yeah I don’t know.
The second part of this book is all about responsive web design. There are three chapters on it : “Responsive Design Strategy” by Trent Walton, “Responsive Design Patterns” by Brad Frost, and “Optimizing For Mobile” by Dave Olson. Walton’s chapter started by defining the key points in responsive design and then mentioning some strategies that can be applied in each of those key points. Walton also showed us workflow for responsive design and how to move on our habit of designing pixel perfect to proportional and more flexible website.
In his chapter, Brad Frost made a list of design patterns that can be used in responsive design. From layout, navigation to carousel or even the data table. He is the one that made “This Is Responsive” anyway. Although those patterns are not perfect, you can still use them as starting point in your project to make it easy.
Dave Olson started his chapter by talking about how the weight of a web page is steadily increasing and why we should consider to make the website not only “responsive” but also “responsible”. He then listed several techniques that can be used to boost your website performance. He also explained to us why the the combination of responsive design and server-side components can help us better address the issues of website performance in mobile platform.
The last part consist of two chapters: “Hands on Design for Mobile” by Dennis Kardys and “Designing for Touch” by Josh Clark. In ”Hands on Design for Mobile”, at first Dennis discussed what assumptions we must change when designing for mobile. He then continued the chapter by covering some techniques and tools to help you in the process and workflow of planning the mobile user experience.
Finally, In ”Designing for Touch”, just like the title suggest, Josh Clark discussed the issues and things to consider when designing for touch devices whether it’s native-app or web-apps, whether it’s phone, tablets, or new category that has just flooded the consumer, the hybrid. Further in chapter, Josh also explained why and what the UX designer must learn from video games, in terms of how well the game designed to teach the player how to interact with the game as they play.
Overall, this is a great book. The chapters in this book are well arranged. At first, you’ll learn what are happening in mobile right now and what will wait you in the future. From there, you’ll discover some techniques or tools you can choose or use for your mobile projects. In the end you’ll learn how to make a great UX in mobile.
I really enjoy read this book because each chapter is well written and easy to understand. It may be irrelevant for the next few years, but if you want to start developing for mobile right now, then this is the perfect one.