Android Dashboard Design Tutorial

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    The main goal is to achieve dashboard screen layout and provide navigation to related screens on selecting appropriate icon on the dashboard.

    So let’s start by creating simple project.

    1. Create a new project by going to File ⇒ New Android Project. Fill all the details and name your activity as AndroidDashboardDesignActivity.
    2. In this project i am separating dashboard screen into Action Bar(Header), Dashboard and Footer. Finally i will merge all layouts together.
    3. Under res/values create a new xml file and name it as styles.xml
    ( Right Click on res/layout ⇒ New ⇒ Android XML File) and fill it with following code.

    styles.xml
    
        
            
            
         
            
    

    ⇒ Designing Actionbar (Header)

    Design two images for 1. Gradient background for action-bar background, 2. Logo of the application.

    4. Create new xml file under res/layouts and name it as actionbar_layout.xml
    ( Right Click on res/layout ⇒ New ⇒ Android XML File) and type the following code.

    actionbar_layout.xml
    
     
        
     
    

    ⇒ Designing Dashboard

    For dashboard design your icons using some graphic editor software (i used Photoshop to create icons). Design each icon for three stages Default StateHover state and Selected state. Create all icons with 90px height.

    5. Create a new class under res/package. Right Click on src/package folder ⇒ New ⇒ Class and name it as DashboardLayout.java and fill it with following code.

    DashboardLayout.java
    package com.androidhive.dashboard;
    /*
     * Copyright 2011 Google Inc.
     *
     * Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License");
     * you may not use this file except in compliance with the License.
     * You may obtain a copy of the License at
     *
     *      http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0
     *
     * Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software
     * distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS,
     * WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied.
     * See the License for the specific language governing permissions and
     * limitations under the License.
     */
    import android.content.Context;
    import android.util.AttributeSet;
    import android.view.View;
    import android.view.ViewGroup;
     
    /**
     * Custom layout that arranges children in a grid-like manner, optimizing for even horizontal and
     * vertical whitespace.
     */
    public class DashboardLayout extends ViewGroup {
     
        private static final int UNEVEN_GRID_PENALTY_MULTIPLIER = 10;
     
        private int mMaxChildWidth = 0;
        private int mMaxChildHeight = 0;
     
        public DashboardLayout(Context context) {
            super(context, null);
        }
     
        public DashboardLayout(Context context, AttributeSet attrs) {
            super(context, attrs, 0);
        }
     
        public DashboardLayout(Context context, AttributeSet attrs, int defStyle) {
            super(context, attrs, defStyle);
        }
     
        @Override
        protected void onMeasure(int widthMeasureSpec, int heightMeasureSpec) {
            mMaxChildWidth = 0;
            mMaxChildHeight = 0;
     
            // Measure once to find the maximum child size.
     
            int childWidthMeasureSpec = MeasureSpec.makeMeasureSpec(
                    MeasureSpec.getSize(widthMeasureSpec), MeasureSpec.AT_MOST);
            int childHeightMeasureSpec = MeasureSpec.makeMeasureSpec(
                    MeasureSpec.getSize(widthMeasureSpec), MeasureSpec.AT_MOST);
     
            final int count = getChildCount();
            for (int i = 0; i < count; i++) {
                final View child = getChildAt(i);
                if (child.getVisibility() == GONE) {
                    continue;
                }
     
                child.measure(childWidthMeasureSpec, childHeightMeasureSpec);
     
                mMaxChildWidth = Math.max(mMaxChildWidth, child.getMeasuredWidth());
                mMaxChildHeight = Math.max(mMaxChildHeight, child.getMeasuredHeight());
            }
     
            // Measure again for each child to be exactly the same size.
     
            childWidthMeasureSpec = MeasureSpec.makeMeasureSpec(
                    mMaxChildWidth, MeasureSpec.EXACTLY);
            childHeightMeasureSpec = MeasureSpec.makeMeasureSpec(
                    mMaxChildHeight, MeasureSpec.EXACTLY);
     
            for (int i = 0; i < count; i++) {
                final View child = getChildAt(i);
                if (child.getVisibility() == GONE) {
                    continue;
                }
     
                child.measure(childWidthMeasureSpec, childHeightMeasureSpec);
            }
     
            setMeasuredDimension(
                    resolveSize(mMaxChildWidth, widthMeasureSpec),
                    resolveSize(mMaxChildHeight, heightMeasureSpec));
        }
     
        @Override
        protected void onLayout(boolean changed, int l, int t, int r, int b) {
            int width = r - l;
            int height = b - t;
     
            final int count = getChildCount();
     
            // Calculate the number of visible children.
            int visibleCount = 0;
            for (int i = 0; i < count; i++) {
                final View child = getChildAt(i);
                if (child.getVisibility() == GONE) {
                    continue;
                }
                ++visibleCount;
            }
     
            if (visibleCount == 0) {
                return;
            }
     
            // Calculate what number of rows and columns will optimize for even horizontal and
            // vertical whitespace between items. Start with a 1 x N grid, then try 2 x N, and so on.
            int bestSpaceDifference = Integer.MAX_VALUE;
            int spaceDifference;
     
            // Horizontal and vertical space between items
            int hSpace = 0;
            int vSpace = 0;
     
            int cols = 1;
            int rows;
     
            while (true) {
                rows = (visibleCount - 1) / cols + 1;
     
                hSpace = ((width - mMaxChildWidth * cols) / (cols + 1));
                vSpace = ((height - mMaxChildHeight * rows) / (rows + 1));
     
                spaceDifference = Math.abs(vSpace - hSpace);
                if (rows * cols != visibleCount) {
                    spaceDifference *= UNEVEN_GRID_PENALTY_MULTIPLIER;
                }
     
                if (spaceDifference < bestSpaceDifference) {
                    // Found a better whitespace squareness/ratio
                    bestSpaceDifference = spaceDifference;
     
                    // If we found a better whitespace squareness and there's only 1 row, this is
                    // the best we can do.
                    if (rows == 1) {
                        break;
                    }
                } else {
                    // This is a worse whitespace ratio, use the previous value of cols and exit.
                    --cols;
                    rows = (visibleCount - 1) / cols + 1;
                    hSpace = ((width - mMaxChildWidth * cols) / (cols + 1));
                    vSpace = ((height - mMaxChildHeight * rows) / (rows + 1));
                    break;
                }
     
                ++cols;
            }
     
            // Lay out children based on calculated best-fit number of rows and cols.
     
            // If we chose a layout that has negative horizontal or vertical space, force it to zero.
            hSpace = Math.max(0, hSpace);
            vSpace = Math.max(0, vSpace);
     
            // Re-use width/height variables to be child width/height.
            width = (width - hSpace * (cols + 1)) / cols;
            height = (height - vSpace * (rows + 1)) / rows;
     
            int left, top;
            int col, row;
            int visibleIndex = 0;
            for (int i = 0; i < count; i++) {
                final View child = getChildAt(i);
                if (child.getVisibility() == GONE) {
                    continue;
                }
     
                row = visibleIndex / cols;
                col = visibleIndex % cols;
     
                left = hSpace * (col + 1) + width * col;
                top = vSpace * (row + 1) + height * row;
     
                child.layout(left, top,
                        (hSpace == 0 && col == cols - 1) ? r : (left + width),
                        (vSpace == 0 && row == rows - 1) ? b : (top + height));
                ++visibleIndex;
            }
        }
    }

    6. Now we need to create a layout file dashboard screen. Create a new xml file under src/layouts and name it as fragment_layout.xml
    ( Right Click on res/layout ⇒ New ⇒ Android XML File)

    fragment_layout.xml
    
    
        
        

    The output of above code will be

    ⇒ Designing Footer

    7. Create a new xml file under res/layout and name it as footer_layout.xml and type the following code.

    footer_layout.xml
    
        
    

    ⇒ Merging all layout together

    So far we designed Action bar, Dashboard and Footer. Finally we need to merge all layouts in one xml file.

    8. Create a new xml file under src/layouts and name it as dashboard_layout.xml and type following code.
    ( Right Click on res/layout ⇒ New ⇒ Android XML File)

    dashboard_layout.xml
    
            
            
             
               
               
             
            
            
                 
    

    ⇒ Switching between dashboard activities.

    So far we created a static dashboard which has no functioning at all. So we need to add some functionality like launching separate activity for each icon on the dashboard. In this case i had 6 icons on my dashboard, so i need 6 Activities one for each icon. In my previous article How to switch between Activities in Android i explained switching between activites.

    9. Open your main activity class file and paste following code.(AndroidDashboardDesignActivity.java)

    AndroidDashboardDesignActivity.java
    package com.androidhive.dashboard;
     
    import android.app.Activity;
    import android.content.Intent;
    import android.os.Bundle;
    import android.view.View;
    import android.widget.Button;
    import androidhive.dashboard.R;
     
    public class AndroidDashboardDesignActivity extends Activity {
         
        @Override
        public void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {
            super.onCreate(savedInstanceState);
            setContentView(R.layout.dashboard_layout);
             
            /**
             * Creating all buttons instances
             * */
            // Dashboard News feed button
            Button btn_newsfeed = (Button) findViewById(R.id.btn_news_feed);
             
            // Dashboard Friends button
            Button btn_friends = (Button) findViewById(R.id.btn_friends);
             
            // Dashboard Messages button
            Button btn_messages = (Button) findViewById(R.id.btn_messages);
             
            // Dashboard Places button
            Button btn_places = (Button) findViewById(R.id.btn_places);
             
            // Dashboard Events button
            Button btn_events = (Button) findViewById(R.id.btn_events);
             
            // Dashboard Photos button
            Button btn_photos = (Button) findViewById(R.id.btn_photos);
             
            /**
             * Handling all button click events
             * */
             
            // Listening to News Feed button click
            btn_newsfeed.setOnClickListener(new View.OnClickListener() {
                 
                @Override
                public void onClick(View view) {
                    // Launching News Feed Screen
                    Intent i = new Intent(getApplicationContext(), NewsFeedActivity.class);
                    startActivity(i);
                }
            });
             
           // Listening Friends button click
            btn_friends.setOnClickListener(new View.OnClickListener() {
                 
                @Override
                public void onClick(View view) {
                    // Launching News Feed Screen
                    Intent i = new Intent(getApplicationContext(), FriendsActivity.class);
                    startActivity(i);
                }
            });
             
            // Listening Messages button click
            btn_messages.setOnClickListener(new View.OnClickListener() {
                 
                @Override
                public void onClick(View view) {
                    // Launching News Feed Screen
                    Intent i = new Intent(getApplicationContext(), MessagesActivity.class);
                    startActivity(i);
                }
            });
             
            // Listening to Places button click
            btn_places.setOnClickListener(new View.OnClickListener() {
                 
                @Override
                public void onClick(View view) {
                    // Launching News Feed Screen
                    Intent i = new Intent(getApplicationContext(), PlacesActivity.class);
                    startActivity(i);
                }
            });
             
            // Listening to Events button click
            btn_events.setOnClickListener(new View.OnClickListener() {
                 
                @Override
                public void onClick(View view) {
                    // Launching News Feed Screen
                    Intent i = new Intent(getApplicationContext(), EventsActivity.class);
                    startActivity(i);
                }
            });
             
            // Listening to Photos button click
            btn_photos.setOnClickListener(new View.OnClickListener() {
                 
                @Override
                public void onClick(View view) {
                    // Launching News Feed Screen
                    Intent i = new Intent(getApplicationContext(), PhotosActivity.class);
                    startActivity(i);
                }
            });
        }
    }

    10. Create a new class under res/package. Right Click on src/package folder ⇒ New ⇒ Class and name it as NewsFeedActivity.java and fill it with following code.
    You also need to create

    NewsFeedActivity.java
    FriendsActivity.java
    MessagesActivity.java
    PlacesActivity.java
    EventsActivity.java
    PhotosActivity.java

     

    NewsFeedActivity.java
    package com.androidhive.dashboard;
     
    import android.app.Activity;
    import android.os.Bundle;
    import androidhive.dashboard.R;
     
    public class NewsFeedActivity extends Activity {
         /** Called when the activity is first created. */
        @Override
        public void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {
            super.onCreate(savedInstanceState);
            setContentView(R.layout.news_feed_layout);
        }
    }

    11. Also create a layout xml files for all your activities.
    news_feed_layout.xml
    friends_layout.xml
    messages_layout.xml
    places_layout.xml
    events_layout.xml

    photos_layout.xml

    news_feed_layout.xml
    
    
     
        
     
        
     
            
        
     
    

    Adding Activity entries in AndroidManifest.xml

    12. Dont’t forget to add an entry of all activities in your AndroidManifest.xml file. Open you AndroidManifest.xml file and modify the code as below

    AndroidManifest.xml
    
    
     
        
     
        
            
                
                    
     
                    
                
            
     
            
            
     
            
            
     
            
            
     
            
            
     
            
            
             
            
            
        
     
    

    Run your project by right clicking on your project folder ⇒ Run As ⇒ 1 Android Application.

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