Monday, March 18, 2013

I See a Pattern

For anyone beginning to work on the design portion of their app, there is a fantastic site for mobile patterns at 4ourth mobile patterns wiki. In looking through the composition section of the site, there are a few areas where there are no examples. This week's post fills in a few of those gaps. (Note: All screenshots taken on iPhone).


The first category listed for design consideration is the way in which an application scrolls through items or screens. This picture from my "Contacts" menu shows how they allow you to jump through the scrollbar by clicking on a letter of the alphabet.

This screenshot shows an indicator bar at the bottom, letting me know how far I have scrolled through my photos.

And this one shows the "filmstrip" method of scrolling, which is my favorite. The indicator bar is a series of dots at the bottom. I enjoy this method because it provides information while being very nonintrusive.


I also feel it extremely important to address advertisements. Some developers will insert ads into the app as a "gate" of sorts, through which you must pass in order to get to where you are going, in much the same way as commercials appear on TV. You have to sit through them in order to watch the next portion of the show. Here is one such ad from Mr. Giggle.

For those that need ad support in order to fund their app, there are much better ways to integrate ads into the software. In this example, the company mobileDELUXE has place a clickable "thank you" at the bottom of the screen, which takes you to their company website.

An even better example of seamless integration is this screenshot from SoundHound. After identifying the song you are listening to, it offers the opportunity to purchase that song on iTunes.

Overall, a better choice for any app is one that is smooth and seamless. Intrusive ads can prevent a user from enjoying an app and sometimes will even cause a user to cease and search out a different app, even for a price.


  1. Great work - you've gone above and beyond here with lots of examples. My only minor suggestion would be that all the app names linked to the particular apps in the app store :-)

  2. I'll get those links updated this week!