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Hello and welcome to this website builder Web Designer Dighton video tutorial.

I’m Owen Corso from Google.

web design process web design process

And today, we’re going to build a rich media expandable creative with video.

Let’s start by selecting file, New File.

This opens a dialog box where we will set up our ad.

First, let’s make out high of project.

We have four options– The default is Display & Video 360so we will leave that as is.

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The Only UX Reading List Ever

I’m no color expert. Far from, actually. Throughout my career, I’ve depended on visual designers better than myself to produce an engaging palette and apply it harmoniously across a UI.

Yet, as a systems designer, I’m often in the position to provoke and validate color decisions as a system takes shape. Here’s a 16 lessons I’ve learned while stabilizing a primary palette, tint and shade choices, secondary palettes, and solving for accessible contrast.

Primary Palette

By primary, we’re talking colors used everywhere including your brand colors, neutrals, and a typically interactive digital blue.

#1. Stabilize Brand Colors Quickly

︎Every organization has one, two, or no more than a few core brand colors. THE red. THE blue. THE orange. Settle on them. Even if reasonably set up with a color variable or two, nothing signals a design system team that can’t get their act together than constantly changing primary colors.

Takeaway: Decide your essential brand colors early, because they spread widely, quickly.

#2. Involve Brand (If You Alter a Brand Color)

Is brand blue a bit dull? Can’t resist the urge to liven it up? Nothing poisons early collaboration more than a casual “We saturated the brand orange for web” followed by brand reacting with “You did what?” Oh the sacrilege!

Takeaway: Brand colors are the brand team’s territory. So discuss adjustments with them and defer to their judgment as needed.

#3. Drop the Neutral Neutrals

From dark-as-night charcoal to fluffy light gray, neutrals provide essential UI scaffolding. Loading a system with neutrals, even a few, risks giving teams access to muddy colors. They can also lead to “wireframey” designs. And, neither dark nor light type has sufficiently accessible contrast on a medium gray background.

Takeaway: Provide a few light grays and a few dark grays to achieve useful contrast, but don’t get wishy washy wireframey. Consider avoiding medium grays in between.

#4. Go “Digital Blue.” Everybody Else Does.

My past five design systems settled on a saturated blue as a default button and link color. Links have always been blue, perhaps since the dawn of the first browser. This “Digital” blue, a utility color for links and clickable items, is essential in any core palette.

Takeaway: When (not if 😉 ) you go with your “Digital Blue,” choose an accessible one and make sure it doesn’t clash with the brand’s own blue, or red, orange, purple, or green.

Tints & Shades Per Color

You can’t have just a few colors and call it a day, right? System users often need to tune a color choice across a range, reuse with ease, and know their boundaries.

#5. Stack the Tint & Shade Range, Per Color

Color palette display patterns long predate the web. Yet I still love me a compactly arranged tint stack. They can be just…gorgeous. The best stacks visualize more than just a color, combining its name with HEX codes, code variables, and other indicators (such as prohibiting overlaid type). A quick scan is all you need.

Takeaway: Stack available colors in each hue, and treat the stack as a visualization to include important details compactly.

Material Design’s Indigo and Deep Orange

#6. Name Tints & Shades by Brightness

We’ve all been there. A month into the system, the neutrals $color-gray-1, $color-gray-2, … , $color-gray-7 — are stable. And then, in a stroke, you’ve got another tint to add stuck between -1 and -2. That numbering system stinks.

Takeaway: Scale color names between 0 and 100 based on brightness, such as $color-gray-05 and $color-gray-92. The scale reflects a familiar range from dark to light, allows for injecting new options between, and heck if I won’t remember $color-gray- 93 until we retire it later.

#7. Limit Tint & Shade Quantity

At the core of a good system is choice without endless options, a stable aesthetic to serve as a starting point. Odds are, you aren’t Material Design, intended to serve countless products. In most cases, a design system need not offer boundless choices. The more choices you provide, the tougher it’ll be to control harmonic combinations and a consistent feel across applications.

Takeaway: Offer a handful of options and avoid tedious variety. Empower system users with just enough choice: more than a single option, but only up to a few intentional choices.

#8. Tell Me How To Transform: Hand-Pick or Functionally

Modern tools like SASS and Stylus offer transformation functions like darken and lighten to shift a color by a brightness percentage. These handy tools enable a you to alter a color for subtle contrasts like a hovered button or tiered navigation.

But transforms can be troublesome: carefully crafted base colors can become inaccessible alternatives (see below), a page’s overall palette can muddy, or a “5% system” that works on moderately bright colors yields insufficient contrast for a very light or dark case.

Takeaway: Deliberately allow — or avoid — color transformations in your system. If you endorse the practice, then offer examples of when and how to do it effectively in your system, such as 5–10% for moderately bright cases and 10–20% in more extreme cases. If transformations should be avoided , document that succinctly.

Secondary Palettes

Beyond the brand colors and their variants, well-considered color systems array the broader variety of colors reserved for varied purposes.

#9. Define Meaningful Sets Like Feedback Colors

Most systems reserve a certain red for errors, green for success, yellow for warning, and (possibly a lighter sky) blue for informational messages. Feedback color is critical, because it’s positioned at the top of the page interacting with other key components and/or encountered as a result of an unwelcome circumstance. Without system guidance, such messages become embedded in product code, the result of product teams solving a challenge quickly and moving on.

Takeaway: Explore and define the standard feedback colors and other relevant sets to ensure that colors fit harmoniously rather wedging them in later or having teammates recall “I just grabbed it from Google.”

Typical feedback colors: success, warning, error and informational

#10. Illustrate Theme Variety

In some systems, color use is customized per product, section, or brand. Often, this may be a result of relating a master brand (think, Marriott International) to its sub-brands (think Courtyard Hotels, Ritz Carlton, and Moxy Hotels). Or it’s a prefab themes like Ambient Warmth and Frozen Blue. Maybe the user is complete control, and you need to illustrate the breadth of (all the havoc of) what they can do.

Takeaway: Reveal the range of themes available compactly, and set boundaries around allowable theme colors in certain contexts.

Theme colors for multiple Marriott.com hotels, derived from product pages

#11. Define How Theming Works

It’s not enough to simply say “Go ahead and theme it!” A theme color may apply to predictable accents throughout a UI such as button background-color, active tab background-color, or a primary navigation’s thick border-top. Just as important, theme colors may be forbidden from altering other bits, such as long form type or — yikes! — a link color that ends up invisible.

Takeaway: Identify how theming works, particularly via reference to specific UI element properties in play. Just as important, articulate which — if not most — elements are off limits.

#12. Avoid Guiding on Color-Mixing Until (At Least) Dust Settles

One of my favorite all time design system tools is Google’s MDL Color Customizer, which enables users to combine primary and secondary UI colors effectively. It’s so easy, and the outcome so helpful. Yet, the system teams I work with either don’t want to provide this kind of flexibility or lack the time and care necessary to solve such a combinatoric challenge.

Takeaway: Avoid the rabbit hole of solving for a vast array of color combinations unless it’s a core system value. In most cases, system users will pair up their own combinations or benefit from a tool more dedicated to doing just that. Help them propagate their choice rather than solving for every combination they may consider. That experimentation is their job.

Serve users of your system by making it efficient to propagate their choice through a product, rather than making the choice for them.

Contrast & Accessibility

Solving for accessible color contrast should a core practice of setting up any digital color system from the get go. However, design can be tumultuous place, and teams can lose sometimes. Or some members don’t know about accessibility. Or they simply don’t prioritize it.

A systems team can engrain accessible practices into a workflow to provoke and spread values in accessibility broadly across an enterprise.

#13. Check Contrast Early & Ritually

It happens often: a few weeks or days before a product — or design system — launch, finally somebody notices. The design team hasn’t taken necessary care to ensure the primary and secondary color palette is being applied in a way to meet WCAG 2.0 color contrast of 3.0 (for large, heavier type) or 4.5 (for standard type). So designers — and then, their developers — scramble to determine fixes and inject it into the code.

Takeaway: Any system designer responsible for color must be familiar with WCAG 2.0 rules, have a tool (like Tanaguru) to test color pairs, and incorporate the practice into color selection.

Tanaguru, one of many accessibility calculators online

#14. Explore Accessible Color Choices Across Ranges

A drawback of WCAG guidelines is its stark threshold: a color pair passes or fails. This leaves designers yearning for more, but worse leaves stakeholders flummoxed at how bad the color pair fails and how much it needs to change.

Conversation quickens when we reveal a spectrum of choices, with the pass/fail line fairly evident. This transforms the process from trial and error to tuning a dial. Before, it was “That pair failed. Let’s try again.” Now, it’s an enlightening “Oh, so that’s how dark the blue needs to be” followed by a rational discussion to balance visual tone, brand identity, and accessibility sensitivities.

Takeaway: When exploring accessible color contrast, show a range of choices to help a team select a color that passes the test.

Exploring neutral and interactive colors by showing multiple choices across a range

#15. Solve the Reverse Light on Dark and Dark on Light

When creating a system, it’s up to the systems designer to be mindful of and solve for the entire range of choices on offer. It’s not enough to just test for accessibility problems as they arise. Instead, a color palette should be thoroughly reviewed prior to publishing a system for reuse.

This is especially true for reverse color treatments. It’s very common for a system to default to dark text on a light background. However, most find themselves reversing color treatments, whether a black and white on light and dark neutrals or tints of another primary or secondary color.

Takeaway:Solve for and recommend reversed pairings to adopt or avoid.

A table of calculated contrast (using a SASS function) between neutral backgrounds and interactive blue alternatives

#16. Use Color to Provoke Broader Accessibility Awareness

Color is fundamental to a system, and accessible color contrast is fundamental to color. This injects accessibility smack dab into the middle of a system’s formation. People that matter are paying attention: brand managers, design leads, developers, and execs. What a wonderful opportunity to use color to open a door to the broader array of accessibility considerations.

Takeaway: Seize the opportunity to advocate for accessibility. Always be probing a collaborator’s knowledge of accessibility (or lack thereof) and educate and advocate all you can.

Dighton website builder

Next, we can select the type of ad.

We want to make an expandable, so we select Expandable on the left.

Next, we can set again ad’s dimensions.

We are building a 320 by 50that expands to 480 by 250.

So I will make those changes.

We then assign the Dighton creative a name.

I will leave my Save ToLocation as the default, and leave the talk about set to Quick.

Once I’m happy with my settings, I click OK.

Google Web Designer creates the initial pages of the ad for me with the dimensions I defined.

 

website builder Dighton

The collapsed page already contains a Tap Area event to expand the ad and an expanded pageDighton with a close tap area to collapse back down.

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LYNN MERCIER: Thetruth is, like, if we want to evolve thematerial design system, we need to be able tobuild on top of the code, and each layer ofthat code matters.

MUSTAFA KURTULDU:The conveyor belt is-- designer works onsomething, developer takes it, and developer screams becausethere was no conversation.

I think that's one ofthe biggest challenges.

[MUSIC PLAYING] One of the challenges inthe beginning with material on the web was there's so manydifferent implementations.

Again, the singlesource of of truth, so you had Angular material,you had Polymer, you had MDL.

How have you found solvingthat single source of truth? LYNN MERCIER: Yeah.

Originally we had a unique teamof developers in both Android-- I'm sorry-- Angular,and Polymer, and all these otherweb frameworks sort of building their ownimplementations in material design.

But we found that we couldn'tkeep that going at scale.

Like, we were iterating onthe material design system so quickly, and we couldn'tkeep a single source of truth with these othercomponent libraries.

So we started developinga technology where we would write our JavaScriptonce and sort of abstract its interaction with theHTML, so you wouldn't directly reference a DOM element.

And then we wouldwrap that JavaScript in individualcomponent libraries.

It's not a perfect solution.

We're still working onmaking it faster and better, but we've foundthat that creates these sort of componentsthat look like they belong in the framework.

So any framework developerwho's working there, they look seamlesslylike they're a part of the environment.

MUSTAFA KURTULDU: The onething that we struggled with with MaterialDesign Lite was there was a lot of blackmagic going on in the DOM.

So you check DeveloperTools, and there'll be, like, these random elements.

And that was, like, anopinionated decision so, you know, how do you go aboutdeveloping a new framework where you have to have anopinion-- there has to be, like, this is the baselineof what we're doing-- without impeding on, like, whatthe developer just wants to do? They just want this componentto work, or this widget, or whatever.

LYNN MERCIER: Yeah.

I try as much as possibleto avoid black magic.

And, like, whenever I'mreviewing any code that any of the designers on myteam are writing, we, like, try and avoid anything that's-- maybe it's a little hack,and it makes it slightly more performant-- butthe truth is, like, if we want to evolve thematerial design system, we need to be able tobuild on top of the code, and each layer ofthat code matters.

So we try and, like, steeraway from any black magic and just have thisone source of truth that works with all thecomponent libraries as much as possible.

MUSTAFA KURTULDU:In terms of, like, working withexisting frameworks, what's the relationship there? Because, like, React isa thing-- you have to-- it's the real world, right? LYNN MERCIER: Mm-hmm.

MUSTAFA KURTULDU: Or likeWordPress is a thing.

Like, you have towork in that world.

LYNN MERCIER: Mm-hmm.

MUSTAFA KURTULDU: So theremay be certain things that you can or can'tdo as a result of that.

LYNN MERCIER: Yeah.

MUSTAFA KURTULDU: Like, formaintaining a framework where-- it's not Android.

It's not, like, a single-- LYNN MERCIER: Yeah.

MUSTAFA KURTULDU:--you have-- it's, like, the web is allabout relationships between different code bits.

I mean, how do you manage that? LYNN MERCIER: It gets reallytricky and really funny.

So we tend to prioritizethem in terms of what developers are already using.

So React is a great example.

There are a ton of codebases already in React-- it's super-popular.

So we want to prioritizethat one first, which is why we're making anMDC React library for React in particular.

But then there'sother libraries, like Angular andlike Polymer that we want to start using as well.

But we tend toprioritize them, again, based off whether or notdevelopers are already using them.

In terms of, like, keepingall that functioning-- and sometimes you endup, like, one framework wants it to do it oneway and another framework wants it to do another way.

It's just constantlycompromising.

Like, we work with thesedevelopers on the Polymer team, or we, like, talk tothe React community and try and figure out what'sthe right way to figure it out.

And we just sort of settleon the right compromise and stay there.

We do it as well with browsers.

So for example, we tendto develop first on Chrome because it's kind of thebest, and it works nice, but we have to support Safari,and Firefox, and Edge as well.

So we tend to testIE at the very end.

And we want it towork, but there's sort of, like, gracefuldegradation sort of things that happen.

As long as that happens, like,carefully and gracefully, then it tends to be OK.

And I think we do the samesort of thing with platforms.

You know, maybe itdoesn't perfectly work in everyplatform but as long as we can kind ofgracefully degrade that component in thatsituation, it'll work out.

MUSTAFA KURTULDU: Yeah, Iknow the BBC have, like, a term that's calledcutting the mustard.

So basically, they willhave, like, a baseline where things have to work.

LYNN MERCIER: Yeah.

MUSTAFA KURTULDU: Like, withthis, and if it doesn't work, or it doesn't supportthis technology, they're gonna say--you know what, you're not going to getthese experiences that we're designing.

I mean it-- how would youfeel about that as a concept? LYNN MERCIER: Yeah, we'vehad to use that already.

So there's newthings coming out-- material designed around shape.

And on the web platform,no matter what technology you're in-- like, what webplatform or what browser you're in-- rounded corners are really easy.

Like, cut-off corners? Impossible.

Just straight up impossiblewith the existing technology.

And so we kind of had to goback to our material design team and say, like-- look, we can update theCSS spec today in 2018, and then three years fromnow, our children's children will, like, have thisfeature, but we're not going to be able toimplement it right now.

So there are some featureswhere you just kind of have to draw the line and say,we can't do this feature without it beinga confusing story, without it being some sortof hack that no one would be able to use.

MUSTAFA KURTULDU:So how about SVG? I mean, I suppose whenit comes to animation, the challenge of SVG isthe performance 'cause-- LYNN MERCIER: SVGs, and thenthe shadows on top of them, and the scroll performanceunderneath those SVGs-- by the time you, like, transportall the browsers and all the situations wherethat component would be, it gets reallyconfusing quickly.

MUSTAFA KURTULDU:And very complicated.

LYNN MERCIER: Yeah,very complicated.

MUSTAFA KURTULDU: That'squite interesting, because the conveyor belt isdesigner works on something, developer takes it, anddeveloper screams because there was no conversation.

I think that's one of thebiggest challenges developers face because, ifyou just talk to me, then I'll be able to explain,especially for designers who have no coding experience.

And I know we've spokenbefore, and you've mentioned stress testingthe design, which is a new concept for me.

LYNN MERCIER: It's my concept.

MUSTAFA KURTULDU: How doesthat work, where you're stress testing the design? LYNN MERCIER: Imean, I think there's a limitation inDesigner Tools that make them want to forceeverything to sort of this pixel-perfect mock.

And it's gorgeous-- itcreates some gorgeous assets, but it doesn't always workin a real-world application.

And a developer'sjob is to create something that works in areal-world application, right? Ours is the stuff-- thecode that's running live.

And so many problems come froma design being pixel-perfect for one language, one screenwidth, one set of content.

And when you goto build that, you can build sort of adummy site quickly, but once you start populatingit with real content, all these problems come up.

And I think most designers,if you go and talk to them and say, like-- hey,I have this problem.

They'll help you.

They'll, like, show youhow to change the design and tweak it in this situation.

Like, they're very receptiveto that feedback-- they want to make their designs better.

But if you don't knowwho your designer is when you have thisproblem, then you just have this bug that says-- doesn't work in German.

Like, what do you do? You have no idea how to fix it.

So yeah, I think this conveyorbelt problem of designers who sort of, like,design something but then leave the projectand don't collaborate with the developers asthey're building it, it makes it reallydifficult for the developers to make the productbetter over time.

MUSTAFA KURTULDU: So how do youthink designers can actually improve their process to makethat relationship better? Or more, is it reallydown to the most obvious? You just need to pairprogram, or pair together.

You have to talk to the person.

That's really the bestway to do it, so like-- LYNN MERCIER: Thatis the best way.

I mean, I think that can bereally difficult in certain-- if you don't have enoughtime and resources, sort of dedicate, like, one person,one designer, and one developer to every single feature.

I think there's waysin the middle to do it.

So for one, make sure thatyou know each other's names.

Like, if you'reremote, make sure you know how to deployyour code somewhere to staging so yourdesigner can work with it, and make sure your designerhas a way to send you, like, iterations on mocks.

Another sort of quick andobvious thing, I think, for designers is tointernationalize.

The moment you take allthe text from your mock, put it in Google Translate,put it back in the mock, and see what looks horrible-- MUSTAFA KURTULDU: German.

LYNN MERCIER: --like, yeah! German! Or even, like, CJK languages.

Just pick a language.

It doesn't matter ifyou translate it right.

Just, like, do thatfirst step because you're going to run into all thewidth and height problems that a developerwill run into live.

And I think it's goodfor designers, right? It helps you makeyour product better to get feedback aboutwhat sort of languages do I need to support.

MUSTAFA KURTULDU:And it's especially important inuser-generated apps where the content could be 10 pages,or it could be two lines.

LYNN MERCIER: Yeah! MUSTAFA KURTULDU:It's not like-- you always get the mock wherethere's, like, the name-- LYNN MERCIER: Yeah! MUSTAFA KURTULDU: --theavatar name's perfect.

LYNN MERCIER: Fits perfectly.

MUSTAFA KURTULDU: Yeah, butwhat if the name's like, you know, four words long? LYNN MERCIER: Yeah.

MUSTAFA KURTULDU: Isthere anything else that they can do like the stresstest that wasn't just really-- LYNN MERCIER:Internationalization is a big one.

I think different screen widths,at least in your own web, is helpful as well,like making sure that the obviousbreakpoints work but also sort of smallerones or bigger ones.

But, yeah, it justcomes back to, like, be there when your developerruns into a real problem and help them fix that problem.

I think most developerswant to fix problems.

They want to code that out.

They just want to geton their headphones-- like, get the code outthat will fix the problem, but they don't know how toredesign the site, right? We're not going to-- ifyou make a developer guess how to design a site, we'regoing to guess really poorly.

So you need to helpus as designers.

SPEAKER: If you spentloads of time polishing your, like, amazingprototype, then you suddenly becomevery, like, you know, reticent to throw it away.

Kind of like it'syour baby, you're going to polish this too much.

And so that's dangerous,because then you're not using prototyping forprototyping's real purpose, which is to learn.

Does Going to the Dentist Make You Nervous?

KENT: My name is Kent.

I'm the creativespecialist on the Google Web Designer team and I'd like to review dynamic exits in Studio A dynamic exit refers to the URL loaded when a dynamic ad is clicked on It's usually related to the product being shown and that URL comes from yourdata feed This video describes the workflow for setting up dynamic exits in Studio Now the simplest case is an ad which doesn't use a gallery or carouselcomponent Here's an example from another one of my videos titled Dynamic inStudio - Google Web Designer You'll see my creative contains only placeholder content But when I preview it in Studio you'll see it loading data from my feed Refresh it Now we're seeing product number 0 Look at my feed for product 0 we're seeing this name, this image and here is the URLfor my exit for this product Now when I set up this ad, I used the simple static exit So when I click anywhere on the ad it'll load a static URL like a landingpage What we want to have happen is this to exit to the URL associated for that product Let me show you how to do that in Google Web Designer First thing we'll do is select the current event and delete it Then we're going to look over inour components panel and open up Interaction and grab a taparea Then with the Transform control selected I'm going to stretch this out to cover the ad And in my Dynamic panel I'm going to click the plus icon to make a new binding We'll select that tap area We're going to look for Exit override URL And we'regoing to drill into our feed the first item, exit URL, and get the URL Click OK and we'llpublish this Now when that's done we'll switch over toStudio We'll reload our creative I'm going to click on the ad Now I'll see we'regetting product one Just to make sure this is really working let's reload itand get another image Here's number five Let's click on that Here's product fiveso that's good Now next thing you might want to do is combine static and dynamicexits in a single ad so you might want to have a logo up here which goes to a home page and maybe some disclaimer text down here which goes to a legal page So let's see how we can do that Back in Google Web Designer I'm going to double click this newtaparea and give it a new name exit-default then I'll copy and paste it I'm going to call that one exit-product and this layer is on top So I'm going tomake this just cover the product area and I'm going to select exit-default andchange the exit on that Now one trick over here in the Dynamic panel I can choose Selection and now I would just see the binding on that selection I'm going to select it and delete it With it still selected I'm going to move to the Events panel click the plus icon and add a new event Google ad, exit ad, gwd-ad I'm going to put an arbitrary ID in here and I'm going to put a full URL to mylanding page OK and we're going to publish again Now when that's done, we'll switch back to Studio and reload the page Now when I click in the corners I'm getting my static URL And when I click on the product I'm getting the correct product That concludes this demo, dynamic exits in Studio Thanks for watching.

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As part of Intuit’s core initiatives to further cultivate mobile first thinking and accelerate growth into global markets, the Intuit Small Business Group’s Design Org has shifted from a model of designing and shipping prioritized features to a model where every designer is responsible for end-to-end, cross-device experiences, which includes designing for our products and services on desktop web, mobile web, desktop client apps, and native mobile apps.

As a design lead for our ecosystem of native mobile products over the past few years, I started getting a lot of questions around guidance and principles for mobile design. I noticed many of the designers, product managers, and engineers who are new to mobile app design or don’t live and breathe mobile app development on an everyday basis didn’t fully understand the nature of designing for native platforms and device capabilities. To reinforce the notion that “cross-device” and “mobile first” isn’t just about designing for smaller screens and scaling across multiple device sizes, I collaborated with the Design Systems Team to establish a set of mobile patterns and guidelines so that designers can hit the ground running, or run even faster, with mobile design. We recently published some guidelines, tools, and resources on our internal design toolkit that I thought would be great to share some key points and takeaways with a wider audience as the documentation addresses many frequently asked questions around mobile patterns.

Firstly, I want to start off by saying that what I write here is simply for guidance. Our mantra for any kind of pattern guidelines documentation we provide is, “Give me guidance, but let me drive.” We don’t want to be prescriptive, and we don’t want to tell you how to design, but this is a good starting point to get you going on native mobile designs. Why are we calling out native mobile? As we continue to design device-agnostic, end-to-end experiences and features for products and services, we must remember not to neglect the different platforms (i.e. our mobile products are currently offered on both iOS and Android).

Overall Principles

1. Respect the platform

We documented patterns and components based on native operating systems that we have apps on: iOS and Android. When designing for native platforms, you should consistently refer to the native OS design guidelines first for maximum quality. Keep in mind that native platform guidelines constantly evolve, so it’s always good practice to stay on top of these guidelines and refresh your memory and knowledge often.

Apple’s Human Interface Guidelines: https://developer.apple.com/ios/human-interface-guidelines/

Google’s Material Design Guidelines: https://material.io/guidelines/

2. Focus on the customer benefit

Always design for the customer benefit first. No use case is the same, and many use cases have exceptions. Do not design something simply because you can reuse a pattern or component for another feature. Design patterns help ground us as a system and unify an experience across an ecosystem of products, but they should by no means be the first or last stop in the design process. Always question yourself: How will this benefit the customer?

3. Think device first

Push your thinking beyond “mobile first.” Start thinking about leveraging device capabilities first. The native mobile device has a lot to offer: touch, voice, pressure, location tracking, accelerometer, notifications, etc. You are designing around the device, the platform, the user experience. How can these device features be utilized in our products? How can the mobile device benefit users beyond the screen interface in front of them?

4. Keep scalability in mind

Growing from the previous principle, do remember that a mobile device isn’t just a phone. Scalability across devices, more specifically between a phone and tablet, is a common challenge among designers. When we think of mobile devices, we know there are tablets, phones, phablets (not small enough to be a phone, not big enough to be a tablet). Some of the recurring questions I get asked are: Should there be parity between web and tablet designs? Can we translate the phone patterns to be the same on tablets? How do we design for phablets (not small enough to be a phone, not big enough to be a tablet)? To answer these questions, we researched with users, took an in-depth look at device interfaces and screen sizes, and set some standards. While the phone and tablet share many similarities, users use them very differently.

PHONE INTERFACE

Mobile interfaces LESS THAN 7 inches width should be treated as a phone. Syntax and layout should be aligned across these devices as much as possible, but we also want to leverage native platform guidelines and capabilities first and foremost.

A fundamental design principle for mobile phones is to include only necessary information. Do not overload the user with more than they need to know or take action on. The phone is a convenient way to consume information on the go. Small business owners use a phone to complete quick actions while they are not in the office, capture data, view content, then perhaps close it out and come back to take a look later.

TABLET INTERFACE

Mobile interfaces GREATER THAN 7 inches width should be treated as a tablet. Syntax and layout should be aligned across these devices as much as possible, and by no means should they need to align exactly the same as the less than 7-inch interfaces.

Tablet designs should look and feel like desktop web, but they should function like the phone (with tap/swipe/hold gestures, transitions, etc.). Many users view the tablet as a hybrid device. We’ve encountered many small business owners that don’t own a computer, but they own a tablet, and those users treat the tablet as a reliable device they can do work on.

To scale for the future or additional digital interfaces, you should also think about non-mobile touchscreens like TV displays, interactive table displays, automobile displays, laptop displays that you can touch, etc. You want to make sure you can scale for multiple screen sizes, large and small, and not limit yourself to thinking only about the devices your products are being supported by.

Patterns and Guidelines

This list is a small subset of patterns and guidelines that I’ve found designers have been commonly asking around best practices for our mobile products.

Screen Transitions

One of the major aspects that make navigating content on native mobile platforms so delightful is the transitions between screens. Two questions I get asked a lot are: When should a push (screen pushed in leftward from the right) be used? When should a modal (screen pushed upward from the bottom) be used? We’ve established the following best practices:

A push is essentially the fundamental screen transition to view a new screen that is stacked on top of the previous screen. There is typically a Back button so user can view the last viewed screen. For screens that are primarily for viewing, such as transaction detail screens or lists, we use a push.

A modal is typically used when we are requiring the user to select, edit content, or input data. All of our transaction forms use full screen modals as it requires more user thought due to several form fields on one screen. The titles bars for these screens typically have Cancel and Save or Cancel and Done actions. Then, when you tap Save, you get a push screen because you are viewing (not editing) the saved content.

Call to Actions

This section highlights a question I often get: “Should this call to action be a button or a text link?” In both iOS’ and Android’s design guidelines, text as buttons is the norm and recommendation. However, I feel when we use text, especially with a system font against a dark or light background, we lose out on a major opportunity to incorporate brand elements, such as our ecosystem green color or line iconography. So, we’ve deliberately moved away from using text as call to actions, and instead use buttons with high contrast, which also makes it very clear that it is a call to action and not just part of the screen content.

Empty States

Our empty state screens provides a first impression to users who are new to our products. It usually consists of an illustration, a brief description, and a clear call to action. A common and current design trend is the usage of gray text on a light background. If you decide to follow that trend, make sure the text is readable and accessible by analyzing the foreground and background colors to meet the WCAG 2.0 color contrast ratio requirements.

Carets

Firstly, yes, it’s spelled caret, not carat or carrot. 🙂 Carets are used to promote discoverability. Historically, we try to use carets for every instance we want to indicate that the user should tap into the row to view more. However, in our forms, we are working toward to moving away from using carets and instead utilize the extra real estate by creating visual cues and conversational content design to indicate tap targets to view more. After some user testing with different design treatments, we’ve found that discoverability isn’t as much of an issue as we thought. Users will naturally tap on rows, whether there’s more information provided to them or not. We only want to use carets when absolutely necessary.

Action Sheets

General rule of thumb for native mobile design: Use action sheets whenever there are multiple actions associated with a single call to action (that is not a system blocker). Apple iOS guidelines calls these action sheets. Google Android calls these bottom sheets. Use action sheets/bottom sheets whenever there are multiple actions associated with a single call to action.

Cards or Tiles

A card (or tile as other teams may call it) is a component acting as a rectangular container for a certain amount of information: visual elements, instructional text, diagrams, and action triggers. There are two types of cards based on appearance and usage: action card and info card.

Dialogs

We use native system dialogs for critical alerts, permissions related alerts, system blocker alerts, etc. The key word is “alert.” Note that for actions that aren’t related to these things, we try to use action sheets.

Fonts

The general rule for native mobile design is to use system fonts as much as possible. However, we needed to incorporate our brand and voice and tone to create what we call “QuickBooks Ownable Moments.” For large headlines and sub-headlines, we use our brand fonts. For body text, we use system fonts. For fonts within buttons, we use system fonts.

Toggles

Toggle switches are used to trigger a binary operation (i.e. turning something on and off). It is used often to replace a web checkbox metaphor. We have a lot of checkboxes in our web products so when we design for native mobile, we want to make sure we are only looking to replace binary checkboxes that allows for things like enabling or disabling content, show/hide content or fields, turn on/off tax, track returns for customers, instead of checkboxes used for selecting multiple items.

Again, these are just a few guidelines to get you started or to accelerate your mobile first design process, especially for native mobile. You are the driver and designer with creative license to define the end-to-end user experience for your products and services. Trust your gut, follow your instincts, but always remember to respect the platforms, focus on the customer benefit, think device first, and keep scalability in mind!

Yvonne So is a Principal UX Designer @Intuit currently crafting meaningful experiences for small businesses around the world. With a passion and mission for making technology more inclusive of everyone, she regularly speaks and writes about mobile UX, accessibility, innovation, and empathic design.