WordPress’ Mobile Apps provide a unique opportunity for designers to help push the envelope in a very fast-paced world. Design contributions to the mobile apps are in general pixel-based graphics, but those skilled with wireframing and mocking up interfaces are more than welcome to contribute to updates that way.
A Designer’s Guide to the Mobile Galaxy
The very thought of designing for mobile OS’s can be daunting at first. The small screen space and the (sometimes) extensive OS guidelines takes some time to get used to. The first step for any designer to contribute to a mobile WordPress app should be to read the Handbook (winning already!), read up on OS guidelines for the platform you intend to contribute to, and perhaps dissect a few of the more popular apps on the platform to get a good feel of what the average user can expect from that particular OS. It may also be a good idea to peruse sites like pttrns.com to see how common interfaces and tasks are handled in the UIUI UI is an acronym for User Interface - the layout of the page the user interacts with. Think ‘how are they doing that’ and less about what they are doing. of interesting apps.
Reference: Official WordPress UI Guidelines
What You’ll Need
Depending on what you intend to contribute with, it will make sense to be familiar with some of the following:
- Graphics processing software (Photoshop, Fireworks, Illustrator, Gimp, etc).
- Wireframing software (Balsamiq, OmniGraffle, etc).
- Icon design (general knowledge of icon design at different sizes).
- Full understanding of the Mobile WordPress App’s Guidelines.
- General understanding of the OS Guidelines for the platform(s) of choice.
It’s not necessary, but in general it’s also a good idea to have:
- A mobile device running the WordPress app you intend to contribute to.
- A development environment with a simulator (this is a handy way to test your contributions and also good if you don’t happen to have a device running the OS you’re contributing to).
It’s time to get started contributing. There are a few ways you can go about it:
- Join the #mobile channel in WordPress Slack and let the Mobile Group know you’re available.
- Reply to a make/mobile post where design expertise is needed — or where you think it’s needed.
- Pick up a Github issue that has design components. Comment on the issue to let everyone know you’re working on it!
- Start a ticket/issue (after discussing in SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform https://slack.com/. The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at https://make.wordpress.org/chat/.) with your design improvements.
Also, don’t panic.