I first saw Brian Fling’s book on Mobile Design and Development on a local connection. Mark A. M. Kramer, an Austrian maven of the mobile computer scene read and praised it – can the tome stack up in the largely empty area of mobile user interface design books?
Brian starts out by looking at the history of mobile and the mobile landscape as it is today. Long-term followers will not find much new stuff here, but it nevertheless makes for an interesting read.
He then moves on to “mobile strategy”. Topics include questions like “What is special about mobile”, the influence of “context” also is explained in some detail. Finally, various options for creating a mobile app are explained – some of them are somewhat obscure and definitely aren’t something you deal with every day.
The next part analyzes the design process for mobile applications. These chapters are what make the book really interesting – you are introduced to design, prototyping and user testing methods for touchscreen and non-touchscreen applications.
The second half of the book looks at the design and creation of mobile web sites: frameworks, compatibility et al get covered in extreme detail. Native application developers are largely left twiddling their thumbs…
As usual for O’Reilly, the book is well-written and readable even for non-native English speakers. Code examples are provided in various web languages; an ample amount of images is included for clarification where beneficial.
In the end, Mobile Design and Development is a great book if you want to create a mobile web app. Creators of native applications can’t use half of the book: if you are interested in the mobile design process, it is a good if somewhat paper-heavy tutorial. Web heads, on the other hand, should buy it straight away…the 23$ shouldn’t hurt…