July 20–24, 2015
Portland, OR

Cross-device, cross-platform: Designing for the entire mobile universe

Paris Buttfield-Addison (Secret Lab), Christopher Neugebauer (AlphaSights | Python Software Foundation)
1:30pm–5:00pm Monday, 07/20/2015
Mobility Portland 252
Tags: Android, UX UI
Average rating: ****.
(4.23, 13 ratings)
Slides:   external link

Prerequisite Knowledge

This session is designed for almost any audience. It will be of use to people who are programmers who are working on/might someday work on a mobile app, or people who'd like to understand a little more about mobile design/UX, or just want to understand how to think in terms of a good mobile application.

Materials or downloads needed in advance

Attendees should have paper and pens/pencil.


Limitless power and storage was making your life as a software developer too easy, and your users don’t want to be chained to their desks in order to use your software. They’re carrying around little glowing rectangles, and each one is a different shape, size, and has a different ideology. You need to run your software in these little pools of light. Let’s sort that out.

We’ll begin by taking a deep dive into the unique challenges of mobile devices, and understand why they’re designed the way they are, and why the platform designers made the choices they did. We’ll then start examining the rules for mobile app developers, and drill down from there to look at special cases that apply to certain platforms. Along the way, you’ll design wireframes for our own app, think about how to translate those wireframes into actual working code, and how to evaluate designs for future improvement.

By the time we’re done, you’ll be confident with your skills in designing an application for any mobile platform that rivals the best apps in usability and look.

You don’t need to be an existing mobile developer to attend this tutorial, and we won’t be writing a single line of code. It’s a largely platform-agnostic tutorial that focuses very heavily on teaching you great design skills.

We’ll teach you to:

  • Understand why mobile UIs work the way they do, and how and why they’re different from desktop and web UIs
  • Design and implement a mobile UI that’s awesome, adapts to multiple platforms, and doesn’t just rip off elements from other apps and platforms
  • How to make an app that scales from small screened phones to large screened tablets
  • Make apps that people will fall in love with, no matter what device they use.

After spending three hours with us, you’ll know exactly how good mobile applications work. In no time at all, you’ll be able to counteract your critics’ general state of confusion with a robust and informed knowledge of what makes a fantastic mobile experience, and be in no danger of producing a Fire Phone.

Photo of Paris Buttfield-Addison

Paris Buttfield-Addison

Secret Lab

Paris Buttfield-Addison is co-founder of Secret Lab Pty. Ltd., leading production and design efforts in the mobile game and app development space. A frequent speaker at conferences, workshops and training sessions, Paris enjoys discussing engineering, product development, design and other facets of the mobile and game development worlds. Recent conferences include Apple Australia’s /dev/world/2012 in Melbourne (and 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011), a keynote at CreateWorld Brisbane 2010 (and a speaker in 2009 and 2011), IxDA’s Interaction 11 in Boulder (March 2011), XMediaLab Location-Based Services in Malmo, Sweden (January 2011), a tutorial and a session at OSCON 2011 and OSCON 2012, linux.conf.au, and many others.

Paris is the co-author of the books iPhone and iPad Game Development For Dummies and Unity Mobile Game Development For Dummies. The books cover game development on mobile platforms such as the iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, and Android devices in languages/frameworks such as Objective-C, CocoaTouch, Open GL ES, Unity, C#, and JavaScript. They also cover game design techniques, principles, and patterns. Recently, Paris released Learning Cocoa with Objective-C Third Edition for O’Reilly, covering iPhone and Mac development.

Paris is a highly experienced software developer, product, and project manager. Key experiences include Objective-C/Cocoa on the Macintosh and iPhone/iPod Touch and iPad platforms, Java on Blackberry, and Google Android and C# on Windows Mobile. Open GL ES and Unity are also favourites.

Paris recently spent two years leading Meebo Inc.’s mobile strategy; Meebo was one of the world’s fastest-growing consumer internet companies, and was acquired by Google in 2012. Paris is currently working on his next book, also with O’Reilly, whilst working towards the completion of his PhD in human-computer interaction, focusing on the iPad.

Photo of Christopher Neugebauer

Christopher Neugebauer

AlphaSights | Python Software Foundation

Christopher Neugebauer is an Australian programmer who lives in the Tasmanian city of Hobart. He currently works as an Android developer, which means his day job involves more Java than he would like. Christopher is strongly interested in developing the Australian and International Python and Open Source communities: he a past convenor of PyCon Australia, a board member of Linux Australia, and has been a fellow of the Python Software Foundation since 2013. He’s also director of linux.conf.au 2017, Australia’s grassroots Open Source Conference, to be held in Hobart in January 2017. In his spare time, Christopher enjoys presenting on mobile development at open source conferences, and presenting on open source development at mobile conferences.

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Picture of Paris Buttfield-Addison
Paris Buttfield-Addison
04/28/2015 10:46am PDT

Hi Frank!

I’m one of the presenters (for both things); Christopher and I will be presenting this tutorial.

Jon and Tim will be presenting the Swift training.

I will be joining Jon and Tim on the second day.

The schedule is a little wrong with the names at the moment. Sorry for any confusion, I’ll get it sorted with O’Reilly.

Let me know if you have any questions!


Picture of Frank Wang
Frank Wang
04/28/2015 10:44am PDT


I just noticed that these speakers will also be teaching the training for Swift at the same time. How is this possible? Or is this afternoon section going to join the Swift training?