10 iPhone User Experience Anti-Patterns

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The iPhone provides a great experience because of the subtlety with which everything comes together. The learning curve is relatively shallow, and strong guidelines provided by Apple help designers and developers stay within the comfort zone for users who have embraced the new interaction patterns.

In the App Store gold rush, teams release applications very quickly and often without rigorous validation such as user testing. The assumption is that “great artists ship” and updates can be made at any point to refine, to iterate over new feature requests, optimizations, and services. Along the way many examples of what not to do have been created.

The purpose of this talk is to help teams with existing applications, or teams planning applications, to step back and look at common implementation details that often lead to a less refined user experience. The takeaway will be twofold:

- an understanding of 10 common missteps that, while not catastrophic, could be easily avoided or corrected;
- a refresher on the importance of a unified, cooperative user experience and some of the concepts that help applications fit together

A talk about anti-patterns might sound negative, but in reality it’s simply an expression of agile principles: build, release, inspect, and adapt. The anti-patterns address functional areas such as Web integration, state management and data persistence, rotation support, progressive enhancement, error handling, and user interface/gesture planning.

The knowledge will be applicable to all iPhone UI designers, and developers, but will not be very technically intensive. Since the iPhone is becoming the de facto mobile app platform this will be useful for anyone working on mobile apps regardless of the platform.

  • Caveat re: the prior session

The original session was going to cover an interaction pattern for iPhone applications focused around inter-operation. Unfortunately, many aspects of the pattern have changed in light of the iPhone OS 3.0 beta, and the Apple NDA prevents discussion of the details of the new operating system.

This talk will be lighter where code is concerned and more robust around interaction and usability.

Photo of Toby Boudreaux

Toby Boudreaux

Control Group

I’ve been doing this stuff for a while, and still can’t quite say what “this stuff” means. I can guarantee that it has to do with technology and usability and transparency and the goal is to make your day better. At least.

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