Design for mobile

We’ve been exploring some design enhancements to our mobile version of Xero. Our plan is to build it in HTML5 using Sencha. We also plan to make device specific versions available for Android and iPhone that will offer some additional functionality.

Obviously the form factor and touch interaction of phones is radically different to standard web design, so I’ve had to adapt my design process slightly.

I found a really excellent prototyping tool called LiveView (it’s free) that let’s you display whatever is on your Mac screen on your iPhone. It even lets you tap on the phone to trigger mouse clicks on the Mac. That way I can simulate real app navigation and interaction.

It’s so effective that I managed to fool Craig, our CTO, into thinking I’d actually built a working version of the app.

Considering the uproar about iPhones and Flash, it’s pretty ironic that I’m using Flash to design our iPhone app and thanks to LiveView, technically speaking, I’ve got Flash running on the iPhone. In all the bashing Apple has dished out regarding Flash (most of which I agree with), I wish there was some acknowledgement about the influence Flash has had on the design language and interaction experience of the iPhone. The iPhone’s animated interfaces and massive success with casual games owes a huge debt of gratitude to the extensive history and evolution of Flash mini games from the likes of Orisinal, Miniclip and the early generation of animated interaction design experiments by Praystation.

Also, thanks for your feedback on our direction with the mobile version of Xero Personal.


iphone app development co
August 12, 2010 at 7:52 pm

Looking forward to seeing the finished app!
And, please, give us a shout if you run into anything you can’t solve…

Anton Gerner
August 13, 2010 at 8:31 pm

I’d really like to see invoicing available. It would be great to be able to invoice in my clients home using my iPhone.

August 16, 2010 at 4:34 pm

android please! i would happily pay a little extra for it.

Ben Goudie-Park
August 17, 2010 at 8:30 pm

Hi All, GeoOP ( has just been an approved partner with Xero. For the iPhone you can download the iPhone app, create jobs, add photos, signatures and yes, invoices! This can be then pushed in to Xero with a few clicks of the mouse.

We have a mobile version which will be getting the invoice version in a few weeks for all other smart phones. We are hoping to release a full Android version later this year.

August 30, 2010 at 10:48 pm

great vision of going on wireless browser, it will rule in future…i prefer android ..


Brad Clark
February 11, 2011 at 3:38 pm

Yes, very much looking forward to an iPhone app. I currently use FreshBooks (and the accompanying “MiniBooks” iPhone app) and the app is fantastic. Pinch some ideas! Love to see it all integrated so I only have the Xero app and all works seamlessly. This is my dream.

Sean Knowles
November 5, 2011 at 2:14 am

Hey don’t forget about the android market! Its BIG. Don’t loose business to another cloud accounting system who will develop something just as good but with greater acceptability and functionality that covers both android and IOS

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