Web site design principles and best practices are becoming well known these days. For example: In a process funnel, progress status should be readily visible across its pages. We should prevent errors from happening, but when errors do occur, provide adequate guidance to help users resolve them.
Many believe the basic principles and guidelines that are applicable in the design of Web sites should still apply when designing for mobile platforms. After all, Web design has evolved from basic, text-based HTML pages into today’s Web standards. So, we might expect that mobile sites that follow the same guidelines could easily reach the same level of success with users that desktop Web sites have achieved. Read More
Many people now use different mobile devices—including smartphones, digital cameras, MP3 players, eReaders, and GPSs (Global Positioning System)—in particular contexts. How are users interacting with these devices when they are away from their computers? How does the design of a device—including the controls its hardware provides, its interaction models, and its form factor—determine the design and usability of the software applications that run on it? How can we understand user experience on the move? My new column Mobility will answer these questions and more—questions about mobile user experience, user interface design, and usability for small, handheld, mobile devices.
“The only important thing about design is how it relates to people.”—Victor Papanek
As companies progressively introduce more advanced technology in their consumer electronics products, handheld devices are taking up more and more of people’s time in their everyday lives. Are users interacting with handheld devices in the same way they interact with Web sites on their computers? What kinds of challenges are users facing when using such a wide range of handheld devices on a day-to-day basis? What should usability professionals take into consideration when studying usability for these different platforms? Read More
In comparison to traditional cell phones, smartphones do a much better job of letting users stay connected on the go. They have bigger screens and higher-resolution displays, and their industrial design is more fashionable. Common features of smartphones include, but are not limited to touchscreens, high-megapixel cameras, global positioning systems (GPSs), and many gaming and entertainment options. Smartphones enable people to engage in a wide range of activities, including communication, entertainment, personal-information management, and social networking.
What’s driving the industry forward? An ever-improving mobile user experience is the key. When looking at what makes mobile user experiences successful, we should consider the multiple layers of a mobile user experience. Each layer involves different factors and affects the user experience on a different level. Back in 2006, Virpi Roto  discussed the multiple layers of mobile usability: hardware usability, browser usability, and the usability of the Web sites that mobile users visit. Since then, mobile user experience has evolved significantly, so it’s time to reconsider their three layers. Let’s look at the three layers of mobile user experience depicted in Figure 1. Read More