All posts about
Mobile design

Opportunities and challenges for touch and gesture-based systems

“Touch. Sweet touch. You’ve given me too much to feel. Sweet touch. You’ve almost convinced me I’m real.”

“(…) getting the technology to work is hard, but the really hard part is getting the human-system interaction right, making it easy for people to use the systems. Here are the issues. Touch and sensing technology is becoming more and more popular, whether it is on mobile telephones and tablets, navigation systems, or even cooking appliances. These give great opportunities, and of course, great opportunities also pose great challenges. Some are technical, but more and more they are interaction and design challenges – how to ensure that the capabilities of the technology are well matched to the needs and capabilities of the people who use them.”

(Donald A. Norman & Bahar Wadia ~ Nielsen Norman Group)

Is the iPad mobile?

Nice example of a rhetorical question.

“Listen to your users and always check whether the new features are desirable. As you first release an app, start with your core competency and consider the features that are essential to your primary user path. As you iterate and add more features from your business and product road map, take into account what users are saying. You may find yourself adding or sunsetting features based on how and where people are using your app. Mobile or not, the tablet market is here to stay and, directly or indirectly, users will tell us what features to build next.”

(Marina Lin ~ Boxes and Arrows)

How do users really hold mobile devices?

How to elaborate on just one facet of mobile devices: portrait versus landscape.

“Everything changes with touchscreens. On today’s smartphones, almost the entire front surface is a screen. Users need to be able to see the whole screen, and may also need to touch any part of it to provide input. Since my old data was mostly from observations of users in the lab-using keyboard-centric devices in too many cases – I needed to do some new research on current devices. My data needed to be more unimpeachable, both in terms of its scale and the testing environment of my research.”

(Steven Hoober a.k.a. @shoobe01 ~ UXmatters)

Prototyping for mobile designs

Always wondered why mobile design would be different than plain software design. Is being able to move around the differentiator?

“Building a prototype is a great way to test your design early on with users. Whether you choose to go for a high-fidelity representation, or go lo-fi with paper, you can learn a lot about the usability of your site. Often, teams are concerned with which technique or tool to use because of the litany that are available.”

(Kelly Goto a.k.a. @go2girl ~ User Interface Engineering)

Mobile prototyping: A new paradigm

Mobile not only disruptive for industries, but also for established design practices like UI design.

“Designers and UX professionals use design techniques like sketches, wireframes and mockups to visualise a website during the design process. Can these web design techniques also be used for mobile app design – or is it time for change?”

(Alexis Piperides a.k.a. @alexispiperides ~ net magazine)

Designing for Users and Their Devices

Building more intimate UX.

“The iPad Mini presents an interesting case study of differences in the use of particular types of mobile devices. People use smaller tablets and eReaders in somewhat different ways: Their usage rates are different. Their use outside the home is more prevalent. And their users hold them differently. For the most part, UX designers and developers are trying to build user experiences that are appropriate to the ways in which people will use an iPad of a smaller size.”

(Steven Hoober ~ UXmatters)

Collecting Payment Information Within a Single Input

Micro-design for the best payment experience.

“For years the advice for mobile designers has been to avoid text input. Screens are small, fingers are imprecise, and so errors happen. But at the same time mobile devices are always with us, always on, and always connected. So instead of trying to limit input we should be encouraging it and taking steps to ensure it’s easy to provide accurately. Enter input masks.”

(Luke Wroblewski a.k.a. @LukeW)

Your Content, Now Mobile

Congrats Karen with this major achievement!

“It is your mission to get your content out, on whichever platform, in whichever format your audience wants to consume it. Your users get to decide how, when, and where they want to read your content. It is your challenge and your responsibility to deliver a good experience to them.”

(Karen McGrane a.k.a. @karenmcgrane ~ A List Apart)

Mobile Input Methods

Input, output and the magic in-between.

“One key area that surprises a lot of designers and developers that I have worked with is input methods. Yes, they know that users don’t have a mouse, but there’s still an unstated assumption that all desktop Web input widgets will work. Perhaps more troubling is that their personal preferences and rumors sometimes supplant data regarding the kinds of actual experiences that exist out in the world.”

(Steven Hoober a.k.a. @shoobe01 ~ UXmatters)

Tablets and the age of comfortable computing

Tablets are ‘just’ computers.

“Since their introduction in 2010, tablets have taken the mobile industry by storm, with sales expected to reach 120 million in 2012 alone. Whether novelty or need, tablets are clearly a big and growing part of the mobile device landscape that won’t be going away any time soon. Which begs the question: Now that these shiny new gadgets are finding their way into the world, how are people actually using them? In this talk, Rachel Hinman will share findings from her year-long study of tablet usage as well as provide design implications for designing tablet experiences.”

(Rachel Hinman a.k.a. @Hinman ~ The Web and Beyond 2012 ~ Amsterdam)

Beyond Mobile: Making Sense of a Post-PC World

How to design for our multi-screen personal environment with computation and connectivity for ‘free’?

“Native applications are a remnant of the Jurassic period of computer history. We will look back on these past 10 years as the time we finally grew out of our desktop mindset and started down the path of writing apps for an infinite number of platforms. As the cost of computation and connectivity plummets, manufacturers are going to put ‘interactivity’ into every device. Some of this will be trivial: my power adaptor knows it’s charging history. Some of it will be control related: my television will be grand central for my smart home. But at it’s heart, we’ll be swimming in world where every device will have ‘an app’. What will it take for us to get here, what technologies will it take to make this happen? This talk will discuss how the principles of the open web must apply not only to prototocols but to hardware as well. How can we build a ‘DNS for hardware’ so the menagerie of devices has a chance for working together?”

(Scott Jenson a.k.a. @scottjenson ~ dConstruct 2012)