We have updated the Asha design guidelines (minor edits to texts and graphics) and added some new material!
The Nokia Asha icon toolkit now includes templates for list and Category bar icons.
An all-new piece of the offering is the Nokia Asha UI Toolkit; a collection of realistic UI views and components that can be used to create mockups which are close to the final visual result. The toolkit contains drawing files representing LCDUI and LWUIT components for Nokia Asha.
The toolkit is available for Adobe Illustrator CS5 and Inkscape version 0.48 or above.
Go check them out!
I’ve recently run into some misunderstandings with developers regarding dialog interaction in Asha UI; I hope this post will help clarify things.
In my previous blog post I stated that backstepping is always done via the hardware back key and there mustn’t be software back or exit buttons on screens. This is completely true. However, when talking about dialogs, there is another aspect that needs to be considered.
Although LCDUI provides many ready-made components, some of the items you find in native apps are missing. LWUIT framework provides additional components, and also animations, but it’s still not guaranteed it would offer everything you need.
If you really want to impress your users, you may run into a situation where you need to customize your UI with your own components. Whether you are using Form-based CustomItem or Canvas-based CanvasGraphicsItem, creating customized components is fairly similar. You could even create a generic class that only implements painting the graphics of your component. Regardless of which approach you choose, porting from one to another is a trivial task. The selection between Form and Canvas is dictated by the overall UI you want to build.
To get you started, here are a few Wiki articles you might find interesting:
-Custom category bar
-Custom search bar
Nokia Asha uses swipes for some platform features that cannot be disabled:
- Swipe from the top opens the notification panel
- Swipe from the bottom opens the Options menu (this will only apply to apps that are using Commands); if Options menu is not there, nothing happens with the bottom swipe.
- Swipe from either side closes the currently open MIDlet
Lately, I’ve received several similar questions from developers, and in response, I’ve decided to write some words about why one size doesn’t fit all, i.e. why you cannot create one app that would beautifully run on all phones. (My post on a related topic is here.)
I’ve recently had some interesting discussions with developers about user experience, and how it affects project costs. There seems to be two quite opposite ways of thinking.
Many times people think that “adding UX” will increase the costs. I think that “applying UX” will decrease the costs. And I fully agree with both statements! So, what’s the difference?
Yet another important change for the Nokia Asha UI is icon style. Let’s start with the launcher icons!
The launcher icon you need to create and pack with your MIDlet (or Web app, for that matter) is 50×50 pixel square shaped icon. This icon will show on the activity screen. However, when you look at your icon on the Home screen you will notice that your icon has in some mystical way changed to the surround shape. This is because the phone trims the icon to the correct shape. You don’t need to worry about that. In any other aspect, than you should try out how your icon will look when trimmed.
Last week, I started discussing the CategoryBar changes when moving from Series 40 full touch to the new Nokia Asha UI.
Another big difference is how back-stepping now works; whereas in full touch apps you have to place the “Back” button on the screen, with the Nokia Asha UI you mustn’t do that anymore. Nokia Asha has a hardware “Back” key that takes care of the back-stepping; you just need to define an “EXIT”-typed command to your main view (this will let the user exit the MIDlet) and “BACK”-typed Commands for all other views to let the user step backwards in navigation hierarchy.
You might have heard from the tech news outlets about the Leap Motion. If you haven’t yet, you will soon. It’s a black box about half the size of an average mouse (computer, not actual) that sits on your desk and tracks the 3D movement of your hand (actual, not computer). Essentially, it’s like an XBox Kinect but instead of tracking limb movements, it tracks fingers. These devices are being released mid-July but the here.com team were lucky enough to get into the developer preview program so that we could integrate the Leap with here.com.
The visual look and feel of Nokia Asha UI is very different from the previous Series 40 UI’s. Luckily, most of the API’s remained the same!