Mobile UX

The world is mobile.

The rise of smartphones and tablets has changed the world in a way similar to the PC back in the 80′s.
During an interview with Walt Mossberg from All Things Digital,  Steve Jobs compared the PC (and for those mac-fanboys, the macs ARE PC’s as well) to a truck.
Back when most of the car users lived in the countryside, a truck was the perfect solution. Big, strong, and with lots of space to carry all things produced in the farm.
But when people started to move to the big cities, the trucks became too big, and stop serving the needs of the new users.
Those back in the countryside needed the trucks. Those back in the city will need something more practical.

Someone that only uses a PC for email and web browsing does not need 8GB of ram and 4 Core Due processors. 
Someone working on HD Video will need more than “iMovie for iPad” to get the job done.
And were do we, the UX consultants fit?


With more and more mobile applications, and smartphones around, the possibilities are increasing every day!

After a look-around on the web for articles on usability testing for mobile devices, here is what I found:

From Optimal Usability, 10 Tips for Mobile Usability Testing
They tell us what they’ve learn from experience.
  1. Start with low fidelity designs
  2. Test in crowded places
  3. Use chocolate as a lure
  4. First sentence has to win people
  5. Ask a couple of screener questions
  6. Keep Session Short
  7. When people say they’d do something, make sure you get them to show you
  8. Have 2 people run the testing
  9. Don’t assume that people know the jargon, like App Store or iCloud
  10. Test with an interactive prototype once you’ve ironed out the early interface bugs
Personally, I love this list.
There is not talk about anything fancy, or something only they could do!
Is a really down to earth “starters guide for UX Mobile”

When i first started reading this list, the 3 point made an impression on me. Hope I get to try it soon, to then compare results!

Jared M. Spool from User Interface Engineering wrote an extensive article about the challenges and opportunities on Mobile UX design.
Some highlights from the article:

The rules of UX have changed:
  1. What is true for Desktop will not apply to Mobile
  2. There is no place for sloppiness: cut down functionality to improve the experience

Constrain in the interaction model:

  1. They way the dialog is conducted has shifted. Still, it is a 2 way with the app asking questions and the user providing answers
  2. Small screens and touch keyboards are radically different
  3. A new language of gestures came along with touch screens
  4. New devices come with new functions
Revisiting the Design Process
  1. Old desktop-oriented process makes for clumsy results
  2. The experience design should appear early in the process
  3. Rapid prototyping is essential

The guys and girls at UserCentric just published a white paper on the top 5 questions on Mobile Usability Testing:
  1. Do i have to build a fully functional prototype bed ere I test with users?
  2. Should we test with the user’s device or provide a divide for testing?
  3. What devices / user groups should we include in testing?
  4. Do you see differences between iPhone and Android users? Do i need to include both un my study?
  5. When is lab testing versus remote testing appropriate? 
So go and take a look at this. Is a short paper, well written, and free to download!

And to finish this weeks blog, a recommendation:
I just downloaded and start playing with : UI Sketcher for iPad.
A great application for the iPad to do Mobile Sketching! Easy to use, really responsive great design, and not free, but really affordable. 
Exports as PDF or PNG, and connects to dropbox!

Remember to follow us on twitter:

Wishing you all a happy February! 
( as a side note, do you know that February means “The month for Purification?)

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