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Templates and stencils are (except for my use above of the older term for a piece of plastic you trace with) graphic items you can use with various drawing programs to create concepts, mockups, process diagrams, comps, or graphics for final designs.

For many years, there was no particular assistance provided to those seeking to design for mobile handsets. Over time, books and other documents and supporting information has emerged. Now, major software vendors like Adobe are embedding mobile-centric technology in their products.

New ones are constantly being added, or replaced, so please help us keep this up to date. Contact us with updates you may encounter.

Note that this is just those we’ve found, or found useful. Many more may exist, or be included as part of the various manufacturer and OS developer links in the “UI Guidelines” subsections. Also be aware that by no means are all of these reviewed for quality, and are just checked to make sure that (at the time of this writing) they were valid links to real files, and are in the right category.



Featurephones, by the classic definition, do not have a "named OS." More to the point, applications cannot generally be loaded in the native OS, so other methods must be used. These are listed below by their most to least important and common methods.

Do not call any of these "dumbphones." That is now too often a derogatory term for "not a smartphone" but actually is a useful distinction between featurephones (have a browser, and can install apps) and those that do not do this (mobile voice, SMS, may have other features and data connectivity but usually do not, and cannot install apps.). Featurephones are the most common now but there are many hundreds of millions of dumbphones out there so this distinction still matters.

Featurephones are big business still. As late as July 2013 Facebook has 100 million regular users of their featurephone app.

WAP & Old Mobile Web

I ran across a selection of old standards documents recently, and thought it a shame to let them sit in their dusty folders. Here are those I am pretty sure no one will yell at me for posting:

Native Operating Systems

Featurephones (and dumbphones) do have operating systems, mostly developed by the individual manufacturers, and native applications are in fact developed outside of the manufacturer's direct control for these devices. However, they generally cannot be installed by end users. These are created or specified by operators, and installed under controlled conditions. This is mostly stuff like a custom phone book. Even the default web browser is likely to be J2ME or BREW, but cannot be uninstalled, much like the same apps on your smartphone.

While UI guidelines do exist, these are generally proprietary so cannot be distributed. I have a few of them (hell, I wrote some of these), but cannot share them. Regardless, these documents would also be generally irrelevant; if you have to develop for this situation, you will be given the most applicable version by the operator and/or manufacturer, and have to work closely with them to get the software implemented.

Next: Emulators

Discuss & Add

Please do not change content above this line, as it's a perfect match with the printed book. Everything else you want to add goes down here.

Brad Frost's Mobile Web Resources

Too broad-ranging to include in any one of my sections, I've stuck it here for reference, because it's large and interesting. Lots of articles from his blog or something, not all of which are up to date. But lots of info.

Drawing Tool, Tips & Tricks

This is really just a list of items that we keep for ourselves, so we don't forget things. Feel free to add items, or even categories, if there's a tool you want to share your notes about. It is not provided in the printed book text, and shouldn't be as is too specific to our methods of work, or is not particularly mobile-specific. Or both.

Links, Guides, Other Stuff

Make a new section

Just like this. If, for example, you want to argue about the differences between, say, Tidwell's Vertical Stack, and our general concept of the List, then add a section to discuss. If we're successful, we'll get to make a new edition and will take all these discussions into account.

Drawing Tools & Templates (last edited 2013-09-04 04:31:49 by shoobe01)