Designing android apps begginers guide — introduction

Nemanja Kovacevic
May 16, 2013 · 3 min read

More often than not, designer I’m working on an any given project had no previous experience with android. That is way I want to write a series of articles as a beginners guide for designers entering the android realm for the first time.

Before we take off…

First of all: What resolution should I create in?

Well you have to start from somewhere so let’s that be a current android flagship phone, since it’s easier to scale down. Effectively those are Samsung Galaxy S series phones: original S i S II had 480x800px resolution, a current flagship S III have 720x1280px. When S IV takes it place on the throne I guess we’ll be starting with the full hd resolution but until that time comes I suggest to start design for the 720x1280px resolution.

Yeah, but…

After this I usually get a design that looks great on a computer monitor but can not be used on a phone. Text is too small or tap targets are too little. That’s why you should mind couple of things: Check your design on an actual phone size, in this case 4.8 inch diagonal. It may be helpful to know that pixel density for S III phone is 306 dots per inch. Secondly, abide by Google recommendation and make tap targets at least 48x48dp size (not px!) Here it means minimum 96x96px. Why is that, and what exactly is dp (a.k.a. dip), and why is it here in 1:2 ration with pixels is a subject for one of the next posts. Also consider status bar on the top of the screen, and possibly soft buttons on the bottom that use up some of the screen estate. I could tell you exact dimensions for these zones but I wont, because I don’t want to give you false hope that your design can be pixel perfect implemented on every android device out their. It can not, but it can come darn close.

P.S.

Don’t hesitate to ask or comment. A lot more info can be found on developer.android.com

Nemanja Kovacevic

Software engineer specialized in creating native android and iOS apps

Nemanja Kovacevic

Written by

Software engineer specialized in creating native android and iOS apps

Nemanja Kovacevic

Software engineer specialized in creating native android and iOS apps