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As designers, our jobs aren't just limited to standard desktop web design anymore. We now have to design mobile applications and mobile web sites as well. Luckily, Photoshop is built to handle these types of designs with no problem. In this movie, I will show you how to set up a document from mobile web or application design. First, we need to go up and create a new document. I will do that by pressing Command+N on the Mac, Ctrl+N on the PC. Or you can just go to File > New. Once inside of this new document dialog box, I will simply name this App Mockup and underneath the Presets, I'll drop that down and choose Mobile & Devices.
Once I have the Mobile & Devices preset selected, you will notice that it does a couple of things that we need that are essential to screen-based design, first of which is the Resolution, which is set to 72--standard for any monitor-- and the Color mode, which is set to RGB, which is also a standard for screen-based design. The one thing that I strongly dislike about the New Document dialog box in Photoshop is the fact that it only lists the sizes based on pixel count and not the actual device name. This means instead of coming in and choosing something like iPad or Galaxy tab, I have to know the precise screen size of each device I am designing for.
You will notice when I drop this down, I get things like 240 x 320, 540 x 960, 1536 x 2048. It doesn't actually give me the devices, so I have to know these numbers off the top of my head. So I have done a little research and I have determined the devices that I personally design for most often, and I have created my own presets based off those screen sizes and I've named them according to the device, making it much easier for me to get my project going without having to worry about crunching numbers.
So let's take a look at how I would do that. First off, I have to determine the screen sizes that I design for most often. In your case, you'll probably have to work a little bit and get some more client work in to know exactly what screen sizes you need to design for most often. In most cases, you can never go wrong with the ones that I'm about to show you here, the first of which is the iPhone. The iPhone is one of the most popular mobile devices out there today and in order to design for the iPhone, you would need to select a screen size of 640 x 960, providing you're designing for the Retina display, or you could also choose 320x480, which is the older iPhone, the original 3G and 3GS.
In this case, I want to design for the iPhone 4 and 4S, so I will choose 640 x 960 and I'll choose Save Preset. I'll call this iPhone 4 and in parentheses S and hit OK. Now let's say I want to design for the iPad. I will drop this down again. The iPad is 1024 x 768 in a landscape orientation. In a portrait orientation that would be 768 x 1024, so I will select that, Save Preset, iPad, hit OK.
Let's drop this Size down again, and let's say that I wanted to design for the Kindle Fire or the Nook Tablet. That would be 600 x 1024 pixels. So I will select that, Save Preset, Fire/Nook, and hit OK. I also want to be able to design for Android devices. A common Android device is the Galaxy S. When I drop this down, I will select 480 pixels by 800 pixels and I'll choose Save Preset, and I will just call this Galaxy S. Now I'll hit OK.
Again, your sizes may differ depending on the devices that you design for most often. You may just need the iOS devices. You may only need Android devices. Come in and find your screen size and then name your presets accordingly. When I drop down my Presets menu now at the top, you will notice that all those devices are now listed here: iPhone 4S, iPad, Fire/Nook, Galaxy S. So if I want to design for the iPhone, I'll just select it. It switches everything to 640 x 960, 72, RGB, and I will hit OK.
So as you continue to explore the world of mobile and application design, take note of the common screen sizes and then save them out as presets on your own. This will really save you some time and hopefully help jumpstart your next mobile project.
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