Since you probably missed it, Eric and I wrote Designing Mobile Interfaces pretty much on this wiki, then turned it into Word and sent it to O'Reilly. I am doing the same again for a somewhat different work, but another book length one on mobile. If it pans out, you can follow along, and add your comments, here.

When Eric Berkman and I conceived and wrote Designing Mobile Interfaces, the world of mobile was rather more complex than it is today. As much as everyone likes to complain about fragmentation, we had to contend with many more popular OSs, with ubiquitous featurephones, with an unclear niche for tablets, and the expectation that other devices like portable gaming, or stripped down eReaders would be a major force in mobile and portable computing.

Designing Mobile Interfaces was, in many ways, a manifesto against books like Tapworthy. While fine, wonderfully-done, even aspirational works, they also espoused a singular view of the world. And back then, that was either an iOS view, or a Web view. This has persisted, but been joined by a popular and often well-done Android-only world view, and the well-designed factions built around the also-ran Blackberry and Windows platforms. Designing Mobile Interfaces deliberately offered a generalized solution. Often, this exposed fundamental truths I didn't recognize before we started. Occasionally, it was a bit of a stretch. Sometimes, eliminating interesting but singular features or widgets as being too much of a particular platform.

In the very few years since then, the world has changed. Smartphones rule. Tablets have a home, and it's something other than a big phone. eReaders are just for reading. Game devices are also smartphones. There is much to be done on featurephones, SMS and other critical interfaces, but these are -- like tablets -- something else and increasingly best pursued by experts in those fields.

And one more thing happened: The smartphone interfaces are starting to agree with each other on what it means to be a good GUI. As I write giant strategy screeds, and build style guides and pattern libraries, and assist developers for my clients, I have been finding that the variations between platforms are increasingly subtle, technical, and semantic. It is possible now to really make sense of principles of designing for every platform, using these common GUI elements, and better understandings of how people actually use their mobile devices.

More random intro

The following are thoughts -- increasingly ordered thoughts, though -- that have come up lately based on writing about creating specs, creating pattern libraries for clients, trying to help startups and small clients get their heads around design in an ordered manner, and speaking on design in general. This is partly because things seem to be settling into better cross-platform patterns. And also from some touch revelations about differences in clicking parts of the screen. Instead of adding and tweaking, an all new structure. Designing Smartphone Interfaces is not a revision 2 of Designing Mobile interfaces but a new format, leading you through a design process much more linearly.

This is not the intro for an actual book. I'd write that later. Examples will be provided, both screenshots/specs and technical methods, for Android/iOS/BB10/Windows?

Note to myself: Need to make the patterns much more around Design By Zones. See the article on that and ponder a segue from the intro and structural overview topics into it.