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Design principles for BlackBerry devices

Applications designed for BlackBerry® devices should provide a balance between the best possible user experience and a long battery life. When you design your BlackBerry device application, consider the differences between mobile devices and computers. Mobile devices

  • have a smaller screen size that can display a limited number of characters
  • have slower processor speeds
  • use wireless networks that have a longer latency period than standard LANs
  • have less available memory
  • have shorter battery life
  • display one screen at a time

Mobile device users use applications on their mobile device differently than they would use applications on a computer. On mobile devices, users expect to find information quickly. For example, a CRM system can provide a massive amount of information, but users only require a small amount of that information at one time. The BlackBerry device UI is designed so that users can perform tasks easily and access information quickly.

When you design applications for BlackBerry devices, try to be as consistent as possible with other BlackBerry device applications. Consider the following guidelines:

  • Use or extend existing UI components where possible so that your application can inherit the default behavior of the component.
  • Follow the standard navigation model as closely as possible so that users can make full use of the keyboard and trackball.
  • Make all actions available from the menu. Verify that the actions available in the menu are relevant to users' current context.

When you design your application, also consider the following guidelines:

  • Stay focused on users' immediate task. Simplify data selection and presentation to display only the information that users need at any one moment.
  • Display information in a way that makes effective use of the small screen.

Before you design your application, consider using the core applications on the BlackBerry device or the BlackBerry Smartphone Simulator to learn more about the navigation model and best practices for designing your application's UI.

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