Level Up Your Apps: Mobile UX Design and Development

Paris Buttfield-Addison (Secret Lab), Christopher Neugebauer (AlphaSights | Python Software Foundation), Jon Manning (Secret Lab)
Location: Portland 252 Level: Novice
Average rating: ****.
(4.09, 23 ratings)
Slides:   external link


People using mobile devices demand excellent user experiences from your apps. In this design-heavy workshop for existing object-oriented programmers, you’ll learn how to craft an application that’s not only functional and useful, but also a pleasure to use.

You’ll learn how to think about designing a mobile app that users love: we’ll start by building wireframes, and you’ll learn how to translate those wireframes into actual working code, and how to evaluate your designs for future improvement. Attendees will come away confident with the skills to build an application for for any mobile platform rivalling the best iOS apps in usability and look. You’ll come away with a functional app that looks pretty and works great on the latest phones and tablets.

You don’t need to be an existing mobile developer to attend this workshop, and while we’re teaching the coding parts using the Android SDK in this workshop (and you don’t even need to know Java to enjoy this), it’s a largely platform-agnostic workshop that focuses very heavily on teaching you great design skills.

We’ll teach you to:

  • Design a UI that’s awesome, and doesn’t just rip off elements from other apps and platforms
  • Code an Android application from scratch using best practices for mobile development
  • How to make an app that scales from small screened phones to large screened tablets
  • Deal with the fact that Java doesn’t suck on Android
  • Make an app that people will fall in love with

What’ll you be able to do after this:

  • Design, engineer, discuss and complain about mobile applications in new and original ways, understand iPhone users’ smug sense of superiority and general state of confusion.

Please make sure you have Eclipse, the latest Android SDK, and a GitHub account –– you’ll probably want to bring your laptop, too.

QUESTIONS for the speaker?: Use the “Leave a Comment or Question” section at the bottom to address them.

Photo of Paris Buttfield-Addison

Paris Buttfield-Addison

Secret Lab

Paris 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 2 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 is a semi-professional nerd, based in Hobart, Australia, doing freelance Android app development for clients throughout the world. Since he likes it when developers share their experiences, he has organised developer-focused miniconfs at Linux.conf.au since 2010, and is co-organiser of PyCon Australia, taking their 2012 and 2013 conferences to Hobart.

When not coding, Christopher can be found taking long, artificially-lit walks down fake beaches, arguing the benefits of Python to anyone who won’t listen, and watching other people drinking beer. He enjoys presenting on Mobile development at Open Source conferences, and presenting on Open Source development at Mobile conferences.

Photo of Jon Manning

Jon Manning

Secret Lab

Jon is the co-founder of Secret Lab, the world’s least not-evil mobile development studio. Jon heads up the development team at Secret Lab, developed mobile applications for Meebo (acquired by Google), and is a PhD student at the University of Tasmania in Australia.

Comments on this page are now closed.


Picture of David Klann
David Klann
07/24/2013 4:00am PDT

Didn’t attend the session, but just ran into Christopher and installed the Android app from the session. Awesome! Thanks Christopher and crew for the less bad OSCON 2013 schedule app!

Picture of Christopher Neugebauer
Christopher Neugebauer
07/23/2013 7:52am PDT


If you want to check out the materials from today’s tutorial, you can find the relevant info at http://blog.secretlab.com.au/2013/07/23/mobile-ux-design-and-development/

Feel free to post any questions, and we’ll answer them!


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