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Designing the user interface of offline-enabled mobile apps

Updated on April 27, 2022
Applicable to Theme Cosmos applications

Ensure that your mobile app looks and works as designed on a disconnected mobile device by following the guidelines for designing UI for offline-enabled mobile apps.

Before you begin: Familiarize yourself with the general guidelines for designing mobile app UI. For more information, see Designing the user interface of mobile apps.
  • Cosmos React apps do not support offline mode.
  • To ensure the best experience for offline users, create the user interface in Theme Cosmos.

For more information, see UI architecture recommendations for mobile apps.

Pega Platform provides a development environment that you can use to create an interface that is both flexible and convenient for mobile users. Pega offers two UI architectures that are optimized for offline-enabled mobile apps, Theme Cosmos (recommended) and Theme UI-Kit.

The following best practices help you design a UI that provides an optimal experience for users on mobile devices without a network connection:

    Ensure UI consistency:

  • Add the latest version of Theme Cosmos (recommended) or Theme UI-Kit to your application stack.
  • Set the correct inheritance:
    When you create a new application, the skin automatically configures skin inheritance, which allows you to use the formats and CSS helper classes that are defined in the theme.
    • For Theme Cosmos applications, ensure that the skin rule inherits from the CosmosSkin in the Theme-Cosmos ruleset.
    • For Theme UI-Kit applications, ensure that the skin rule inherits from the pyEndUser skin in the Theme UI-Kit ruleset.
  • Create custom user interface components:

    The Theme Cosmos and Theme UI-Kit architectures both offer a ready-made UI that you can configure in App Studio. Pega Platform also provides you with tools to create your own custom UI.

  • On pages, use screen layouts instead of containers.
    Screen layouts support responsive behavior, and you can set responsive breakpoints that enable the layout to adjust itself with the screen size.
  • Use layout groups instead of tabs and accordions.
    The content of a layout group can be set to display as tabs, accordions, as stacked, or in menu layouts.
  • Use dynamic layouts, column layouts, and flexbox helper classes to position user interface elements within layouts.
  • Use repeating dynamic layouts instead of tables.
    Consider the following information about repeating dynamic layouts:
    • Repeating dynamic layouts for worklists, which support opening of assignments, also support actions. Actions support is also available for adding and removing rows.
    • When you use the Add or Remove action on a repeating dynamic layout, you do not need to use a Run script action.
    • You can configure components interaction and views for offline-enabled cases.
    • You can create and remove pages with the ClientCache API methods.
      Note: The Add and Remove APIs are active even if errors occur on the row page. For more information, see the ClientCache API Javadoc documentation.
    • You must handle creation and deletion of the row context page.
    • You must configure the Delete action button within the repeating dynamic layout row.
    • You must use page lists as the source of repeating dynamic layouts.
    • You must configure the local action used to populate the row page with the Use data page option.
  • Configure refresh when rules on the user interface elements, such as dynamic layouts, instead of refreshing entire sections.
    For more information, see Defining refresh conditions for UI areas.
  • Optional: To let users take action on work items while data page-sourced user interface elements load, configure the defer load settings.
    For more information about defer load settings, see Configuration options for layouts.
    Note: The defer load pre-activity is always ignored for sections and layouts.
  • Ensure UI operability:

  • When you add and configure UI elements, for example, buttons, links, icons, and menu items, use only offline-supported features.
    For more information, see Controls in offline mode and Actions in offline mode.
  • Enhance the user experience:

  • Use validate rules to test property input values and page input values against the conditions that are part of validate rules.
    For more information, see Validate rules in offline mode.
  • Previous topic Designing applications for offline mode
  • Next topic Enabling case processing in offline-enabled mobile apps

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