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AT&D #58. Design Considerations in Applications

What are the design considerations for applications designed for small screens and handheld devices? Applications and features include “clicking to buy,” making credit card purchases with your handheld, doing online banking and making electronic deposit via a handheld.

When looking at design considerations on a mobile device with a screen, two key points must not be overlooked: presentation and accessibility. Presentation of an application must be done right with respect to labeling (buttons, directions, and menus to guide a user in picking their choice of selection when presented options) and visualizing (alongside labeling to further aid a user in seeing what selection needs to be made).

Accessibility of an application likewise must be implemented as conveniently as possible to aid a user in progressing through various areas of a program, where each area has their own commands and desired functions that a user must comply with. To connect with design principles, accessibility may be sometimes characterized alongside (or overlapped) with presentation, namely where functions that involve navigating via clicking or tapping and swiping heavily rely on a programmed user interface). This leads into workability, which basically describes how well or how smoothly an application can function (in starting up, running programs, shutting down, etc.) given a working UI that a user will experience (UX).

To further illustrate presentation and accessibility, let’s look at the apps in a smartphone; each and every one is presented in a uniform and particular shape (a square with rounded corners, almost like a button) and within each app are menus and / or directional screens designed in a particular manner (where the font, coloring and visuals of navigation pages guide a user sequentially toward a desired request). The accessibility in swiping a screen and touching an app (for initiating a scrolling bar and imitating a button respectively) is reliant on the presentation of an application, with additional in-app functions catering to specific designs (like a pop up ad going away at the touch of a corner where a small “x” is displayed).

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