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Mobile Design and Development: Practical concepts and techniques for creating mobile sites and web apps (Animal Guide) Paperback – 3 Sep 2009
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About the Author
Brian Fling owns and runs mobiledesign.org, the largest mobile design and development discussion list on the web. He's been in both the web and mobile industries for close to a decade as an entrepreneur, consultant and employee. Brian has helped big brands navigate the mobile space and he's worked with a lot of well funded mobile companies that have failed miserably. Over the years he's learned that his insight into mobile is quite unique, avoiding hype describing tried and true principles and techniques to building cost effective mobile experiences.
Brian wrote the dotMobi Mobile Web Developers Guide, the first complete guide to mobile authoring. It was a free guide and while he doesn't have exact numbers, dotMobi informed him it was downloaded "over 15,000 times in the first few weeks."
Brian's intentions in the mobile space is to advocate and build awareness, not to make money. He believes that the mobile web is primed to change everything we think we know about how people search and gather information. His goal is to foster invention and innovation of the next generation of websites in a medium that is device and context aware.
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Top customer reviews
The book covers topics from understanding the mobile eco-system, the differences between mobile and traditional design, putting mobile work into context, pros and cons of native application development versus mobile web apps, usability, testing and justifying the choice to work for mobile. All in all this book provides an excellent introduction to designing for mobile - something which is becoming increasingly more important in the current climate. With the convergence of various technologies it seems as though many of us are now carrying around small multimedia computers in our pockets, not just phones. These permanently connected devices provide so many opportunities for the budding mobile designer and content provider, and understand what makes these platforms different in vital to the success of any project.
The book is divided in half, with the first section serving as an introduction to mobile technologies and giving details on two basic principles; the need to know the different facets of the mobile medium, and the need to know how to leverage mobile technologies to address context. The second half of the book is all about how to leverage the right mobile technology for your particular need. This is key as although there are many, many ways to achieve a particular goal (when working in mobile), the most important factor for many projects will be choosing the right approach. In order to do this it is important to understand all the pros and cons prior to beginning development - as changing tact midway through a project can be costly in terms of development time and budgets!
Those looking for a technical manual telling them exactly how to master a particular mobile approach should stay away, this book is so much more than that. Mastering the technologies is merely a simple google search away, this book is about learning the underlying principles and making solid decisions throughout the development of a project. The book can be read and understood by Project Managers and Developers alike, and I fully intend to recommend clients read certain chapters of this book as well. Refreshingly honest and cleverly written, the book is not afraid to point out weaknesses within the technology and provides sound advice for those looking to make their first steps into the world of mobile design and development.
Although not an instructional technical manual as such, there are excellent examples of best practice code within the pages, and these are surrounded by explanatory text detailing the reasons for the approach, as well as any situations where it would not be used. Illustrations and diagrams are used throughout, helping to explain points in more detail, and these are of a high quality as well.
In summary, Mobile Design and Development is an excellent read for those looking to develop their knowledge of the mobile space. I thoroughly recommend it for Project / Account Managers looking to understand the approaches required for developing for mobile, and for developers looking to check any mobile specific knowledge required for making decisions regarding the correct techniques for a specific project.
Reasonably up-to-date in a fast changing world.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
If you recognize yourself in this group, this book is resolutely not for you.
There is literally no useful information for developers or designers. The author glosses over what could be relevant info here and there (tidbits of HTML/CSS, UX design, etc.)-- but it is definitely not a design or development book as its title would suggest.
There are chapters dedicated more to the business development side of things-- adapting a mobile strategy for your existing products and websites, etc. But even here, information lacks too much depth to be of any relevant use.
One could argue that this book could serve as a good introductory text for non-technical people who need a first exposure to mobile ecosystems, and that a more representative title for this book would be "Overview of the mobile landscape". But these people won't need to learn about the intricacies of CSS transformations or mobile agent detection in PHP, and as such a number of chapters in the book while just be useless to them or even worse, confuse them.
All in all, Brian Fling's book is too scattered to provide anything of value. If you're looking to get into mobile development, pick up an intro book about Objective C for iPhone or Java for Android. If you're looking to get into mobile design, pickup a book about mobile UI/UX design. If you're a suit wanting to grasp the business implications of mobile, get a book about just that. Regardless, avoid this title at all costs-- your library is better off without this title.
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