Handle Android Fragmentation while developing Apps (Role of UI Designer)

Factors leading to Android Fragmentation

Fragmentation in Android can be broadly attributed to following 4 factors:

  1. Android OS Versions
  2. Devices with different densities (ppi)
  3. Devices with different form factors / screen sizes
  4. Customization done by OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer)


Developing applications is a team work and there are key roles that help in containing fragmentation while developing apps. These are:

  1. UI Designer
  2. Developer
  3. QA / Tester

We are covering the role of UI Designer here.

From UI Designer perspective, Fragmentation contributing factors #2 (Density) and #3 (Form Factor / Screen size) are more relevant and important.

Strategy / Approach for UI Designer to follow:

1. Following table shows the % of devices for different combination of density and screen size:

Devices Percentages

  • Target highlighted cells to begin with. We can lower the priority for small screen sizes and low density devices.

2. Following table indicates representative screen sizes for highlighted cells:

Devices Screen Size

Following table provides the ratios that apply to handle screen densities:

Android Devices Density Ratios

  • Create layout and images for sizes as per highlighted cells above.
  • Start with Normal-Extra High Density
  • Follow the ratio and create images for Normal-High and Normal-Medium combination
  • Images for Normal-High can apply to Large-Medium
  • Create Images for Large-High combination
  • Images for Large-High can apply to Extra Large-Medium combination
  • Place images in their respective drawable folders and hand it over to developers.

Keep a watch on how the % of devices are changing. Tweak the strategy accordingly

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