Mobile design pattern gallery by Theresa Neil, book review

Published on Apr 06, 2012

Disclaimer: I got this book as part of the bloggers review program at O’Reilly.

<img class=“img-float-right” src=”/images/posts/mobile_design_patterns.gif” border=“0″ alt=“RMobile design patterns – book cover”/>This book by Theresa Neil covers pretty much any common need you will have while creating a mobile application. It covers a large variety of platforms, clearly illustrating the differences of each one and how to implement a given pattern efficiently and properly due to those differences.

There are at least two (and often more), screen captures from real live application to illustrate how those patterns have been implemented.
In some cases, there are screens illustrating how not to implement a given pattern as well.

In all cases, each illustration is accompanied by a brief comment to further explain the concepts.

The content is clearly organized, each chapter covering one specific aspect.

  • Navigation
  • Forms
  • Tables
  • Search, sorting and filters
  • Tools
  • Charts
  • Invitations (hints to discover features)
  • Feedback & Affordance
  • Help

The last chapter covers some common anti-patterns.

I review for the O'Reilly Blogger Review Program

At the beginning of each chapter there is a quick list of the different patterns with a sketch of each one. This give you a nice overview up front and can be really helpful on subsequent uses to quickly find a particular design.

The appendix list all the patterns once more, this time using a bigger version of the sketch, the name and a few description lines. I find myself using the appendix as a quick reference in the e-book version to find a given pattern quickly I only need to skim over a few pages.

The anti-patterns

I particularly enjoyed the anti patterns chapter and the bad implementation examples. Sometimes is easier to understand way a given patterns is suggested when contrasted again a poor implementation or a bad idea.


It’s a fast read, fill with good information that will be valid for a long time. I expect that if you get this book, you will be using it as a reference for a long time.