The Mobile Book – Smashing Magazine

The Mobile Book Cover

The Mobile Book by Smashing Magazine 

By day I work as Senior Designer for a small digital agency in the centre of Birmingham,UK. Much of my day is spent designing websites and the rapid increase in users accessing the web via Mobile and Tablet devices has created new and exciting challenges for myself and the developers I work alongside.

One of the sites I check daily for useful web related articles and resources is Smashing Magazine. They were kind enough to send me an advance copy of their latest book and I’ve included an overview below. You can pre-order the book here

(I’m including this on the Ammo blog because I know a lot of Ammo readers are also web designers. Apart from the free book I won’t receive any commission or other benefits from this post. I love the idea that Smashing Magazine have decided to release printed books and want to support their efforts as much as I can.)

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The book is neatly split into easily digestible sections and begins with an overview of the current ‘Mobile Landscape’ by Peter-Paul Koch and ‘The Future Of Mobile’ by Stephanie Rieger. Peter recounts some of his experiences on mobile devices and includes useful lessons he’s learnt along the way. He also gives a great overview of the way in which websites are actually deployed to mobile devices, something we might not consider in everyday use. This includes insights into Operators, Vendors and also hardware, browsers and OSs.

Stephanie provides insights into the future of mobile and the way it will increasingly become a part of our everyday lives and an integral part of our homes and environment. Examples include the possibility of ‘sensors, actuators and some form of connectivity or communication capability’ being incorporated into ‘day-to-day infrastructure, such as lamp posts, public transportation vehicles, product labels and parking spots’. When I consider mobile technology I automatically think of mobile devices but the technology powering our mobile phones can also be applied to other objects and most likely will be in the very near future.

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The next three sections of the book are written by key figures in responsive design – Trent Walton (Paravel founder), Brad Frost (mobile web strategist and front-end designer) and Dave Olsen (programmer/project manager with West Virginia University).

Each tackles specific areas within responsive design with examples (and in some cases code) to support their articles. I’m glad that there isn’t too much focus on the code as I feel pages and pages of code could become tiresome. I’m also sure that most developers will look for the most current examples of code and best practises online so it may not be suitable to include such specific examples in a printed book?

As a designer I consider responsive design to be the logical solution to the rapidly expanding variety of mobile displays. I’ve worked on projects that are designed with a specific output device in mind (eg. Apples iPhone) and also on responsive sites that will adapt to suit the users display. I prefer the responsive approach that will adapt each website to suit the individual user’s device. I’m keen to adopt a responsive  approach to my work and reading this book has given me a clearer overview of the processes and possibilities.

Chapters 6 and 7 of the book focus on ‘UX DESIGN FOR MOBILE’ with essays by Dennis Kardys and Josh Clark. I especially enjoyed these chapters as they give some great advice aimed primarily at designers.

‘…when the first design concept you show your client is a polished design, it’s inevitable that any critique or change requested by the client will feel like a compromise that waters down your concept.’  DENIS KARDYS

It’s an interesting book that will appeal to designers and developers (although I wonder if it’ll be in depth enough for some of the later?). Personally I found it an enjoyable read and feel that Smashing have selected some great contributors that clearly convey their thoughts without overdosing on jargon. The essays are quite in-depth and I’ve only given very brief overviews of each here.

Summary:

It’s essential reading for those involved with the design and development of web/app based output. The essays within  will encourage you to consider how people interact with mobile technology and help you to produce mobile friendly solutions to your projects. 

Dave Hughes

@DaveAmmo / Ammo Magazine

Lumberjacks

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Book Specs:

• 336 pages, 16.5 x 24.0 cm (6.5 x 9.5 inches).

• Quality hardcover with sewn binding and a ribbon.

• The printed book is also available as an eBook (PDF, EPUB, Kindle). Weight: 1,1 kg

• The 5 extra chapters are available in a separate eBook.

 

Pre-order the book here:

The Mobile Book



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