The Complete Guide to Designing Mobile User Experiences

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Are you interested in designing beautiful mobile apps? Do you have an idea for an app, and want to make sure it's well-designed before handing it off to a developer? Do you want to learn the secret sauce that makes apps like Instagram and Snapchat explode, while others fade into obscurity?

Sorry, there's no magic formula. You simply have to learn a fair amount about the topic, and make good decisions based on correct information. I think I can help get you started.

I've been designing mobile and web applications since 1999. I've seen it all, and worked with companies like Sprint, Lowes, Hallmark and Samsung to design mobile applications and delightful user expeirences. I even wrote a book, Designing Mobile Interfaces (published by O'Reilly), to explore and teach this important topic.

Now, I've put together this course because I can only get to so many people by traveling and speaking. I'm tired of seeing great app ideas fail just because designers and developers don't understand a few basic UX principles. Through hundreds of launched projects over the last decade, I've learned so much about the principles and secrets that go into designing beautiful applications. I now have a design process (which I cover in the course) that allows me to quickly figure out how to design a delightful user experience and create an app that users fall in love with.

Does learning about the UX principles behind popular apps like Lyft and Google Maps excite you? In this course, you'll learn:

  • How to understand your users and their goals, and how to design a mobile experience that your users will fall in love with
  • The principles that all successful apps follow, and why some take off (and others fail)
  • How to run usability tests and find out the ideal design that will hook your users
  • How to understand the specific needs of the mobile user, and not just generic "web" usability

Mobile is the way of the future, and learning the ins and outs of mobile UX will be a critical part of designing that mobile future. It's not just me that thinks these skills are important. According to a recent report, "UX designer" and "UI designer" are two of the ten fastest growing job titles in the last 5 years. This course will teach you everything I know about UX principles, and make you a much more valuable employee or consultant.

This 13 part series will teach you how to develop a workflow for your idea, find the right way to design and build your app or website (or both!), and understand the design principles and considerations behind some of the most popular apps in the world.

After completing this course you'll be able to create an engaging mobile app design from start to finish, no previous experience is needed to learn the UI design principles. This course will benefit entrepreneurs, developers, and designers looking to move into the mobile applications market.

Only $26 for a year of unlimited access to all the videos, PPTs, newsletters, references, and calls.

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How to Take This Course

The videos are the simplest way to get the basic overview, but are fairly short and high speed. You can download the PPT and read them yourself at your own pace as well. Then, note the other two downloads. There's a deck of references, with links to go read them (some may be paywalls, sorry) and a discussion or quotes (or both) about why it's interesting. Sometimes, I even included charts or graphs.

And most of all, check out the exercise deck. The best way to learn this is to do it. So, download that, and either make a fake project or do this all for something you've been working on, already finished, or always wanted to try. The exercises, like the videos, string together so what you do in topic 3 you will use on topic 8. Best to keep the same sample project the whole time.

Details and especially references are, on average, suitable for everyone with a basic understanding of the interactive world. There are forays into coding and cognitive psychology. If you get lost on any of those, you are free to ignore them and just move to the next slide or reference item. It's always good to learn, and you can ask me if you need help with something, but you also won't miss much if you skip the occasional item that's uninteresting or not in your core interest area.

1 • The Phones Are Here to Stay

To understand how to design for mobility and people, first you have to know the technology. We'll briefly review the growth of mobile, how mobile radios work, basics of sensors and hardware, and the difference between featurephones and smartphones. You'll be all set to start thinking about the global, universal scope of mobile phones.
12:38 - 27 October 2015

Watch the Video for part one, and when done:


2 • People & Technology

Now we'll dig deeper into technology and use, and where the two overlap. You'll understand that people use different devices in different contexts, and even at different times of day. Expect to be amazed at how many sensors your phone has, and we'll start to talk about how you can use those effectively. And you will learn to think about designing for screens, batteries, location, and network problems.
10:44 - 27 October 2015

Watch the Video for part two, and when done:


3 • Platform Choices

Now we're going to start getting to tactics, and the choices you make to build your mobile digital products. At the highest level, this is about deciding whether to make a website or app, but there are more choices, and you probably actually need both.
7:05 - 27 October 2015

Watch the Video for part three, and when done:


4 • Hybrid or Native?

For a moment we'll assume you are making an app. Just like I said that the choice between mobile web and mobile app is not one, you probably will use a bit of the web in your native app, and need a bit of native code in your hybrid. Learn to know the pros and cons of each facet so you can make good choices.
9:15 - 27 October 2015

Watch the Video for part four, and when done:


5 • Adaptive or Responsive?

And now, we're going the other way, and assuming we need a mobile website. You will learn the pros and cons of adaptive and responsive, find out what adaptive is if you didn't know, and learn a lot of other choices you are presented (like separate site) are old, or red herrings. You will be able to talk more intelligently about what choice is best for you to build, maintain and make money with.
10:18 - 27 October 2015

Watch the Video for part five, and when done:


6 • Mobile Information Architecture

Now we will move from strategy and planning to actually designing your product. You will learn here how to start with the structure -- not pages and icons -- and to understand the unique ways mobile needs to be considered contextually, and non-linearly.
10:20 - 27 October 2015

Watch the Video for part six, and when done:


7 • Outside & Between

Continuing the Information Architecture discussion, we'll talk about intents, custom URI and other mobile-specific features you won't have on the desktop PC. You will learn to start designing the structure of your site or app for mobile, and why it cannot just be a port of your old desktop website.
9:59 - 27 October 2015

Watch the Video for part seven, and when done:


8 • Back & the Stack

To finish off the structure of your product, you need to consider how people navigate through the site or app. If you design in ways that aren't what they expect or are different from the OS conventions, this can be confusing.
7:53 - 27 October 2015

Watch the Video for part eight, and when done:


9 • Interface Designs by Zones

Yes, it has really taken this long before we get to interface design. But now we're ready, there's no need to fear blank page syndrome. You will learn how to design by checklist, placing items on the page by their relative importance. And it's not top-to-bottom, left-to-right like on desktop. Learn how mobiles are viewed and touched differently.
7:16 - 27 October 2015

Watch the Video for part nine, and when done:


10 • Interactions & Touch

Now that you have placed items on the page, you need to know how people interact with their phones, so you can use the right interactions. Moving from mouse driven desktop websites to the mobile is not just about making things bigger.

This is almost all from the original research I did myself, and is in large measure the same presentation I have given in other countries, at SXSW, and elsewhere. Others reference it in bits and pieces, but this is the original, so enjoy.
9:32 - 27 October 2015

Watch the Video for part ten, and when done:


11 • Input & Entry

You've already learned the general truths about interaction with the phone, but what if you need a form? Now, you will learn about how to avoid those, and what inputs to use to make sure they are easy to fill out, and you get good, accurate data and happy users.
7:21 - 27 October 2015

Watch the Video for part eleven, and when done:


12 • Interactions & Specifications

Now that the design is getting going, let's go back to discuss how to organize teams, how UX fits into that, and how to design and specify for the many devices out in the world.
10:28 - 27 October 2015

Watch the Video for part twelve, and when done:


13 • Design at Scale

We'll continue the discussion of design principles, and design organizing with more about users, context, and devices. And lastly, how some strict guidelines about size are lies, so you need to work around them and plan for the worst. Yes, even on iPhones.
8:46 - 27 October 2015

Watch the Video for part thirteen, and when done:


Have you not bought this yet? Come on, it's only $26 for a year's unlimited access to the 13 part Complete Guide to Designing Mobile User Experiences, and so much more.

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Fine print: I have a day job where people like me to drive around and show up at offices, so sometimes there will be delays in newsletters, updates to decks, or even the planned video call. You have the code, so if you want to be a cheapskate and share it with your friends or company, I can't stop you but please don't spread it around. Everything is copyright 4ourth Mobile and took a long time to make so please don't post the downloaded files for everyone to grab for free. If you are offensive to any individuals, mean or just a needless jerk on calls or comments, I reserve the right to delete your comments and un-subscribe you.