Android Design Guidelines

Posted by on May 28, 2012 in Blog, Design | No Comments

I can’t concentrate. My mind feels like it’s floating away – probably due to the heat and the opiates.

So it’s with the utmost effort that I started my plow through the Android Design Guidelines this morning. I now know that 9 patch exists, and how to use it. (It’s a simple way to visually annotate a button to indicate which parts can be stretched and which parts can’t, so that it’ll look good in different sizes.)

Ingenious! It reminds me a little of the sliding doors technique in CSS, another fairly simple way of getting a button image to stretch elegantly depending on the content size. 

Other lessons so far:

  • the difference between the Back button (hardwired into most Android phones) and the Up button (a highly recommended software implementation)
  • lots of guidelines about designing for a variety of screen sizes 
  • tons and tons of nitty gritty details like minimum target size (48dp or 7-10mm) and the gap between UI elements (8dp), even before I’m halfway through the guide!

Hopefully I’ll retain enough of it to design good Android apps in the future.

Speaking of which, I was looking around for decent apps to help me keep track of my medication and daily pain levels. There are none that do both, and the best that I could find were uninspiring. I’m going to play around with them a little more before I post screenshots of them in action.