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User Interface Best Practices for Android Developers
What is User Interface? Well to simply put it, it is everything you see when you start an app. An app is only good if the user is able to interact with it fully without facing any sort of problems. The user interface is everything that your user interacts with on the app, so clearly it is one of the most important aspects to looks into when creating an app.
What makes a good user interface? If only it were that simple, a one liner that could explain everything, but sadly it is a bit more complicated than that. People go through a lot of app development training just to understand the basics of User Interface and how one can make it almost perfect.
Here are some of the best practices for Android Developers when considering building a good user interface:
Designed For Multiple Screens
So many devices and so many screens to keep in mind. Android is an OS that is not only limited to tablets and smart phones, but is now heavily used in smart TVs too which means, more screens to keep in mind when designing your own app.
Another important thing to keep in mind is that your app supports different screen densities. To make your compatible with all types of screen densities, it is a good practice to not use absolute pixels to define size and distance. So it is better to use the “dp” or “sp” units to specify dimensions. “dp” are density independent pixels which responds to the actually physical size of a pixel according to 160dpi. “sp” is a unit that works in a similar way, but scales according to the user’s set text size. Use these units when defining text size, but not for layout design.
For different screens you should also have different adaptive UI flows. For different layouts, the UI flow may vary. As an example let’s suppose the app is in the dual pane mode. The left pane item will display an item in the right pane. In case of single pane, the content will display on its own.
Your UI Should Be Responsive With A Constraint Layout
Constraint Layouts are very helpful in creating layouts that are considerably large, complex, and based in a flat-view hierarchy. It’s just like a relative layout, but all the views are shown in accordance with parent layout and sibling views.
Add An App Bar
When you learn android development, the first thing you will be taught is to make sure the user gets everything done through the minimum amount of clicks. An App bar which also may be referred to as the action bar is one of the key elements that guides the user through the main pages and aspects of your app without the user having to switch a lot between windows. With interactive elements familiar to users, it become very easy for them to navigate throughout the app.
Key functions to put inside your app:
- A specific space that should both display the identity of your app and show the user where they are in the app.
- A search bar which allows the user to navigate through the app at will.
- The bar should be able to support different tabs opened in the app.
When creating custom views, your android training will always put specific stress on one thing, good design. It integrates both an easy to use interface and a set of functionality that caters to all new and veteran app users. The custom view should be able to use you’re the devices memory and CPU efficiently so it is quick in loading and getting the job done for the user.
The main elements that should be present in the custom view are:
- The view should be according to android app standards. This will aid users while using the app as it would be a familiar kind of interface.
- You can stylize your attributes, but they should be compatible with Android XML layouts.
- Should successfully forward accessibility events.
- It should be compatible on several android platforms.
UI design undoubtedly is one of the key components that make or break your app. There are thousands of apps coming out on android every day, but most don’t make the top downloaded page because they don’t have the proper interface to qualify as a good app. App development training can teach one a lot about proper UI implementation and design to help a developer perfect themselves in UI design. With proper training, you won’t just develop UI, you will innovate.