Designing for Android

I’m currently working on an Android app design, and have found a number of resources that have proved to be very valuable. Because Android is a open platform, it can be very hard to find a good set of standards, or any standards at all. Not to mention, many designers unfortunately make the mistake of trying to port iPhone applications onto the Android, which has a different set of menus and interactions that need to carefully be considered. The following resources should be helpful for designing and building on the Android.

First and foremost, I recommend reading my post reviewing Josh Clark’s workshop on mobile applications. There are some very specific differences between Android and iPhone users, not to mention the different OS’s that should be taken into consideration.

Design Guidelines: Mutual Mobile has done a fantastic job starting to outline design guidelines for the Android, something lacking from the Android developer website. There are also some nice websites dedicated to patterns: Android Design Patterns and Android Patterns are two.

Design: I recommend downloading Vector images and using Photoshop or Illustrator to get started. Axure is another great option, which a stencil set for Android. For you PowerPoint fan’s Keynoteopia has a great set of images. Open Exhibits has some great gesture images for showing interactions in design.

For more, Speckboy offeres a great post with more links for design.

Working Prototypes: If you want to make a working prototype I recommend downloading the App Inventor by Google for Android. There is an excellent set of instructions and tutorials to get you up and running, so you can play with the drag and drop design interface and test your ideas in the emulator, and on your phone in no time.