User interface design is an important aspect of application development for any environment, but UI design for mobile applications can be especially tricky. The environmental constraints of mobile devices (such as limited memory and processing power) don’t just affect the functional aspects of mobile applications, but also the user interface. In a mobile device environment, more than any other platform, each layer of the application architecture must be carefully considered and prioritized to maximize the device’s physical capacity.
In this column you’ll see how the architectural perspective developed in previous columns can be applied to designing a highly usable mobile application user interface. I’ll start with the outer layer of the architectural view, with a careful evaluation of the physical limits and capacities inherent to mobile environments. Next, I’ll focus on the particular requirements of the user interface. And finally, you’ll see how these two layers of analysis, combined, impact the implementation of the application UI.