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Ionic Design: Profile Page

When reviewing questions on the Ionic Forums, I often see questions that are frequently asked. I recently saw a request for help about creating a profile screen, and since I was working on similar features, so the request for help on implementing the design of this profile screen came at a good time.

dribbble-profile

The original design in this example was done by Sebastian Heit and was posted on Dribble. Before we dive into the code, let’s break down the design into sub-tasks to help focus the effort. First, this design has a transparent header and a full-width image as a header graphic. Next is the avatar image, Roger Federer, that sits in between the header image and the lower section. This is a standard design for many profile screens. Beneath the avatar is some player information and some social media buttons. The sample on Dribble included some tabs, but for my attempt, I will ignore that design element.

To recreate this design I needed to obtain visual elements. The header graphic (in this case a tennis court) and a headshot of Roger Federer. I found a nice profile image of Roger Federer without any trouble. For the header graphic, I searched Flickr for a suitable substitute. I found this image by Zepfanman.com, and it is available to be used by me.

Isner v. Kohlschreiber, Part III

I brought the image into Photoshop to apply the blue tint and the blur effect, giving me this result:

Isner v. Kohlschreiber, Part III

The revised image.

Getting Started

I generated a new Ionic blank template: $ ionic start profile blank –type=angular, then copied the background image and the avatar image into the newly created assets folder in the project directory.

Step 1: Transparent Header

The first styling task that I wanted to take on was to make the header transparent. Since Ionic’s header component supports this style, I just needed to add a translucent attribute to the ion-header tag. By itself, this will only make the header transparent while the ion-content will still be positioned under the header. This means if our content were to scroll, it would not scroll under the header. If that is what your design calls for, you need to add the fullscreen attribute to the ion-content as well and set it to true.

In the HTML template, I added buttons that were in the design; a button with an icon of the Back arrow with a label of Favorites and, a Checkmark button. Since this is not in a real app, the Back Arrow is an actual button in my sample. Typically, this would be an Ionic Back Button component in order to pick up the built-in navigation features.

Another thing to note is the checkmark button. Ionic’s icon library has that icon available. There was one minor issue with it in that the interior checkmark was transparent. This did not match the design, so I took the source SVG file and made a quick edit to change this. I saved this new version of the icon into the assets folder as well. That ion-icon will use the src attribute to point to my icon instead of the name attribute which will use the Ionicon library.

Header Image

The next step in recreating this design was applying that header image I prepared earlier. Switching from the HTML template file to the .scss file, this I can set the –background variable of the ion-content component to point to the background graphic. Positioning is set to be the top and center. As for how the image should be shown in the viewport, I opted for cover and fixed. I also did not want it to be repeated, so I included the no-repeat option.

In the .scss file, I also made sure that the ion-toolbar‘s background was transparent by setting its background variable to transparent.

If you save both files and run $ ionic serve in the command line, you should see the image being applied to the background and also under our transparent header.

Now to add the avatar image and the player content.

Step 2: Player Avatar

Creating the avatar portion of the design will be done using various divs and applying the correct CSS positioning types. Let’s being by defining the HTML structure. To begin, we will wrap everything in a basic div and give it a CSS class of card. This div will act as our master container for our content. Next, we will add another div that will provide the vertical spacing needed to show the rest of the header image. On that div, we will set the class to header.  Within the header div, another div is added, which will be used to position the avatar image. Here is the full HTML snippet:

Switching to the home.page.scss file, we will add the CSS needed to style and position the avatar. The card class will center the content horizontally by setting the margin value to be 0 and auto. Then set the header class to define the height of the div to be 200 pixels. The avatar class is where the heavy lifting will begin. The width and height of this div will be the desired width of our avatar image. The critical CSS that needs to be applied is setting the position attributes value to relative. For good measure, we will set the margin to be 0 and auto (to ensure centering horizontally). Within the avatar div, the image tag will be defined by setting its source to a nice profile photo of Roger Federer. It is on the image tag that CSS will make our avatar how we want it. First, the display type is changed to block from inline. Next, the border-radius is set to 50% to generate a circle around the image. The border property is set to be 8 pixels, solid and our green (#9DC912). In case the image has transparency, set the background color to white. Otherwise, our header image will be visible inside the avatar. Those properties will get our shape and style correct, but will not solve our positioning needs. To fix that, change the position property to absolute. This will allow us to place the image where we want it. Since its parent’s position is relative, it will be set absolute with respect to its parent and not the page. However, we still need to define what that absolute location is. Here we can leverage the CSS calc function to solve this. While I could have supplied a pre-calculated number, I wanted to demonstrate the math behind the value. The goal of the calculated number is to place the image half-way down its height (including the border). In this case, it is 80 pixels (half the defined avatar width) + 4 pixels (half the border width) times -1, so that image is moved downward.

Here is what the screen should look like at this point:

avatar-1

Since there is no additional content yet, the avatar will be ‘floating’ over our background.

Step 3: Player Information

With our avatar in place, we can turn our attention to the player information portion of the design. This portion is mostly a collection of traditional HTML tags, along with the ion-chip component and the ion-button component.

The CSS for the card-body is where we need to set two things; the background color (white) and the height. If we don’t set a height value, this div might not fill the screen. To solve this, the CSS calc function will come to rescue again. This time we will take the full height (100vh) and subtract the header height we defined (200 pixels), as well as the toolbar’s height (56 pixels). We will also adjust the spacing, font size, weight, and color of some of the other elements as well.

For styling the ion-chip, we just need to set the –background variable to #9DC912 and the –color variable to #fff.

The final touch is to set the overall CSS variables to align with our design. Using the Ionic Color Generator I altered the color set. Here are the changed color values:

  --ion-color-primary: #5c6a76;
  --ion-color-primary-rgb: 92,106,118;
  --ion-color-primary-contrast: #ffffff;
  --ion-color-primary-contrast-rgb: 255,255,255;
  --ion-color-primary-shade: #515d68;
  --ion-color-primary-tint: #6c7984;

  --ion-color-secondary: #9ba4ac;
  --ion-color-secondary-rgb: 155,164,172;
  --ion-color-secondary-contrast: #ffffff;
  --ion-color-secondary-contrast-rgb: 255,255,255;
  --ion-color-secondary-shade: #889097;
  --ion-color-secondary-tint: #a5adb4;

  --ion-color-tertiary: #303940;
  --ion-color-tertiary-rgb: 48,57,64;
  --ion-color-tertiary-contrast: #ffffff;
  --ion-color-tertiary-contrast-rgb: 255,255,255;
  --ion-color-tertiary-shade: #2a3238;
  --ion-color-tertiary-tint: #454d53;

  --ion-color-success: #9dc912;
  --ion-color-success-rgb: 157,201,18;
  --ion-color-success-contrast: #ffffff;
  --ion-color-success-contrast-rgb: 255,255,255;
  --ion-color-success-shade: #8ab110;
  --ion-color-success-tint: #a7ce2a;

If you have not worked with adjusting the global variables, these are defined in the variables.scss file. With that, we have recreated the profile screen!

profile-2.png

The full source can be found at: https://github.com/chrisgriffith/ionic-profile-design Feel free to ping me with questions or other design challenges in Ionic.

 

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Using Adaptive Icons in Ionic & Cordova

Starting with the release of Android Oreo comes the need to support adaptive icons in our applications. Unfortunately, Cordova does not support this style of Icons directly yet. If you have built a Cordova application and installed it on either an Android device running Oreo or Pie, you will see your icon is shrunken within a white circle. To fix this we need to use Adaptive icons to have a proper looking app icon. I just released a lesson on egghead.io will show you how to generate an adaptive icon and adjust your config.xml file so it can be used.

Using PhoneGap Build & Ionic

ionic_pgb

Recently someone asked how to use PhoneGap Build and Ionic together. Being slightly familiar with both, I thought a short post on this would be in order. If you are not familiar with PhoneGap Build, it is a service from Adobe that allows you to compile your PhoneGap apps in the cloud. If you have a Creative Cloud account, you have access to this service. The service is fairly straightforward, take your web app, an associated config.xml file, and the app’s icons & splash screens, zip them up, then upload that file to PhoneGap Build. After a bit of work, you have native iOS and Android apps ready to be installed (providing you have your signing keys in order).

Using PhoneGap Build with Ionic based applications requires a few extra steps. First, we need to generate a production-ready version of our application. Normally, the Ionic build scripts that are run by the Ionic CLI handle this for use. But we are not building locally so this won’t help us. Instead, you need to make that call yourself. The command to generate a production ready app is

$ ionic build --prod –release

The Ionic CLI will run a set of commands generating your app in its production-ready state. This output is located in the www folder.

Now, we need to assemble the rest of the items that PhoneGap Build requires. In new folder, first copy over all the assets within that www folder. Next, copy over the config.xml file. If you are not familiar with this file, this is what PhoneGap/Cordova uses to define most of your app’s properties (icons, splash screens, plugins, etc). Speaking of icons and splash screens, we need to copy over the resources directory as well. In the end, you should have a folder that looks like this:

Screen Shot 2018-03-15 at 8.24.31 AM

With all our required elements in place, simply zip this directory and upload it to PhoneGap Build. If you need more help understanding PhoneGap Build, you can check out my Lynda.com course.

Now, alternatively, you can use Ionic’s own Ionic Pro service to do the same thing, with a more integrated workflow.

Hope this helps!

 

 

Speaking on Adobe XD!

BigDesign_340

I am honored to be speaking on Adobe XD at this year’s Big Design Conference in Addison, Texas in September. With my long history of user experience prototyping, Adobe XD is a welcomed addition to my arsenal of tools. Here is the description of the talk:

Go from idea to prototype faster with Adobe Experience Design CC (Beta), the first all-in-one cross-platform tool for designing and prototyping websites and mobile apps. In this session, Chris Griffith will show you how to design and prototype a complete experience using the new Adobe XD app. Learn tips and tricks to immediately be more productive creating a great user experience. He will introduce you to the capabilities of this rapid prototyping tool from its repeat grid to the built-in UI kits. He then will go further and show you how to share your work, gain feedback and even view it on your mobile device.

For more information on the event, visit: http://bigdesignevents.com/

Announcing Ionic Native Mocks!

I am excited to announce the first initial release of my Ionic Native Mocks! Recently I was prototyping an Ionic app that required the use of the barcode scanner as part of the initial user flow. But by adding the Ionic Native module and the companion Cordova plugin, I would no longer be able easily to preview and debug the application locally within my browser. I often caution my students and workshop attendees to refrain from adding Cordova plugins until later in the development to avoid this slowdown.

To resolve this issue, I quickly created a mock provider for the barcode scanner, that would match the methods and properties of the actual Ionic Native wrapper. With this mock injected into my app, I could simulate interaction with the barcode scan plugin, and continue my local development.So, I then thought to myself, why create a library of mocks for the Ionic Natives that I could quickly inject into my app? This first release covers the Cordova plugins that included within the Ionic View app.

So, I then thought to myself, why create a library of mocks for the Ionic Natives that I could quickly inject into my app? This first release covers the Cordova plugins that included within the Ionic View app.

Ionic Native Mocks are designed to be used as placeholders during development for the actual Ionic Native modules. If you don’t know what Ionic Native is, here is the official summary:

Ionic Native is a curated set of wrappers for Apache Cordova plugins that make adding any native functionality you need to your Ionic mobile application easier.

Ionic Native wraps plugin callbacks in a Promise or Observable, providing a common interface for all plugins and making it easy to use plugins with Angular change detection.

Currently Available Mocks

  • actions-sheets
  • barcode-scanner
  • ble
  • bluetooth-serial
  • calendar
  • camera
  • contacts
  • date-picker
  • db-meter
  • device-motion
  • device-orientation
  • device
  • dialog
  • email-composer
  • geolocation
  • globalization
  • image-picker
  • keyboard
  • network
  • social-sharing
  • splash-screen
  • sqlite
  • status-bar
  • toast
  • touch-id
  • vibration

Installation

This project allows developers to use Ionic Native Mocks in place of the actual Ionic Native modules. They can be installed in via to methods.

  1. via npm: Installing these prebuilt mocks is easy but they are not easily customized.
  2. via GitHub and manually added to your Ionic project: Installing this way means the mocks can be customized to return specific data, like a specific parsing of a QR code.

Installation via npm

Run the following command to install an Ionic Native Mock into your project.

npm install @ionic-native-mocks/[plug-in] --save

For instance, to install the camera mock:

npm install @ionic-native-mocks/camera --save

You also need to install the Ionic Native package for each plugin you want to add. Please see the Ionic Native documentation for complete instructions on how to add and use the plugins.

Documentation

For the full Ionic Native documentation, please visit https://ionicframework.com/docs/native/.

Basic Usage

To use a plugin, import and add the plugin provider to your @NgModule, and then inject it where you wish to use it.

// app.module.ts
import { Camera } from '@ionic-native/camera';
import { CameraMock } from '@ionic-native-mocks/camera';
...

@NgModule({
  ...

  providers: [
    ...
    { provide: Camera, useClass: CameraMock }
    ...
  ]
  ...
})
export class AppModule { }
import { Platform } from 'ionic-angular';
import { Camera, CameraOptions } from '@ionic-native/camera';

@Component({ ... })
export class MyComponent {

  constructor(private camera: Camera, private platform: Platform) {

    platform.ready().then(() => {

      const options: CameraOptions = {
        quality: 100,
        destinationType: this.camera.DestinationType.DATA_URL,
        encodingType: this.camera.EncodingType.JPEG,
        mediaType: this.camera.MediaType.PICTURE
      }

      this.camera.getPicture(options).then((imageData) => {
        // imageData is either a base64 encoded string or a file URI
        // If it's base64:
        console.log(imageData);
        let base64Image = 'data:image/jpeg;base64,' + imageData;
      }, (err) => {
        // Handle error
      });
    });
  }
}

Missing a mock? Found a problem?

Let us know or submit a PR! We will be working to add in the rest of the Ionic Native collection in the near future.

Credits

Chris Griffith – @chrisgriffith

Leif Wells – @leifwells

What is the Ionic Framework?

I had the good pleasure of presenting to a full room at the recent SoCal Code Camp on the Ionic Framework. Here are my slides from the talk.

ionic-slide

The Ionic Framework combines Google’s Angular with Apache’s Cordova to create fast and beautiful cross-platform mobile apps for iOS and Android (and Electron or Progressive Web Apps). Built atop the web technologies you know and love, this solution can help take your web skills beyond the browser.