In September 2013, the Mobile Gov Community of Practice released user experience guidelines and recommendations for federal agencies to use in order to create good mobile user experiences. This article highlights private sector and government resources and tools to assist agencies in implementing those user experience guidelines.
**Mobile User Experience Resources and Tools From the Private Sector
There are a number of resources in the private sector for designing excellent User Experience. Here are some recommended by the Mobile Community of Practice.
- Smashing Magazine says there are 12 elements to consider for good mobile user experience— mobile context, user input, usability, trustworthiness, feedback, help, social, marketing, functionality, information architecture, content, design.
- The World Wide Web Consortium has guidance on designing for mobile and features a blog where it publishes about mobile design topics.
- Mobile Design expert Maximillo Firtman, who authored books on mobile design has gathered UI Guidelines on mobile and tablet web app design for various platforms here. This page features an active discussion board around mobile design.
- Mobile UX Design Books Tapworthy: Designing Great iPhone Apps by Josh Clark (June 2010) and Mobile Usability by Jakob Nielsen (Oct. 2012) are two books that mobile designers turn to for inspiration.
- Periodically, NextGov’s Building Better Apps Series has 3 mobile experts rate government apps, suggest ideas for improvement and offer guidance for other agencies developing apps.
Government Guidance and Resources
Since November 2012, the Mobile Gov Community of Practice has been working to create awesome mobile user experiences and expertise in government. The community has hosted workshops, webinars, a user experience toolkit and a crowdsourcing tool. In September 2013, based on this work, the community released over forty for government.
Mobile User Experience Tools
The tools provided below are for creating excellent user experience in the planning and development stages of mobile development. In addition, please see the Functionality and Usability Testing Resources page that provides government guidance on user experience and resources that describe how to conduct functionality and usability testing on developed mobile products.
General Mobile User Experience Tools
In 2013, Practical ECommerce released an article offering 19 tools to test your site on mobile devices.
Wire-Framing and Mockup Tools
The wireframing/mockup process is the straight-to-the-point and generally non-tech stage of any mobile project. This is the stage where agencies map out their mobile ideas to create great mobile user experiences. These services/companies or web sites are offered as a sample of what is currently available and do not indicate an endorsement of them or their products and/or services.
- Fluid UI is a free software for creating mobile apps mockups/wireframes for Android, iOS and Windows 8.
- Pencil Project is a free, open-source GUI prototyping tool with mockups available on Windows and Mac.
- Framebox allows users to create a free, online only wireframe with drag and drop elements and then share the URL.
- Balsamiq is a wireframing/mockups tool that works on Mac, Linux, Windows. This web-based tool has a cost and allows drag and drop of UI elements.
- Axure allows for interactive prototype (ad functionality to the layout) and mockups for both websites and apps. This tool is not free.
Frontend Development (Responsive/Mobile Web)
These services/companies or web sites are offered as a sample of what is currently available and do not indicate an endorsement of them or their products and/or services.
- Twitter Bootstrap is a free front-end framework for web development
- Foundation is a responsive front-end framework for all devices
- Skeleton is a boilerplate for responsive, mobile-friendly development
- The Federal Mobile Code Sharing Catalog contains mobile code and other similar tools for development.