This post is part of a series on mobile user interface design patterns, excerpted from Designing the Mobile User Experience, John Wiley & Sons, 2007. This last set of patterns will address application management design for mobile applications.
The application state includes what screen is being displayed, what data the user has entered, and any user settings.
DesignGood state management involves four practices:
- Save all user input except passwords.
- Discard task-related input only after the task is complete.
- Save application state, including which screen is being displayed.
- When re-entering the application, return the user to that state is appropriate. It might not be appropriate if the user was viewing transient data or if the application has not been used for a few days.
Applicable Devices and PlatformsAll devices, any application platform or web.
When UsedApplication state management should be considered for any application.
RationaleThe user, and hence the application, is readily interruptible. The application can be interrupted at any time, by real life people, an incoming call, or a coverage hole. Thus an exited application does not indicate the user's intent to end a task.