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  1. The thing about notifications. There’s a very small difference in interaction between opening them (tap) and dismissing them (swipe up within a 50px height). So I just awkwardly look at them until they disappear so I can continue using my phone.

     

  2. Sara WB draws a crucial parallel between mobile content strategy and the world of IKEA. Essentially, that you should get rid of clutter, but not at the expense of the user. The whole they’re-on-mobile-so-give-them-half-the-features is a thing of the past. Most people are mobile-only users now. So it’s not about the same user pool visiting you on desktop and returning on mobile looking for half the experience.

    Mobile is already the default way for most people around the world to access the web.

    When approaching a mobile content problem, think of IKEA. In order to fit your bedroom, bathroom, living room, and kitchen in 500 sq. ft, does IKEA get rid of the stove because you don’t “use it enough” to make room for the toilet?

     


  3. The Future of Responsiveness

    Now that everything’s going mobile, we’re more connected to the web than ever before.

    If you’re anything like me, you have a Twitter app as well as a desktop client that you use to tweet. When someone mentions you on Twitter, your phone gives you a notification. This is great if you’re out and about and would like to stay in touch. But it’s redundant if you’re sitting in front of a computer and noticed the tweet come in as soon as your phone pinged you.

    This is where the future of responsiveness comes in. Usually referred to as the layout of sites and the presentability of media in different forms of computers and screens, I think the future of technology will soon live and breathe responsiveness. That’s how we’re going to mesh together with machines and almost… become them. Scary thought. More on that later.

    I would love for my devices to communicate with each other in a way that they work together to bring me the best combined experience I could ever ask for. If I’m home and in front of my computer, I want my phone to know to not ping me. As soon as I step outside the house or am in commute, I want my phone or tablet to realize this and start notifying me of the happenings in the social media world.

    Wouldn’t that be lovely? I think so!

     

  4. Doing your homework is important. Even more so if you’re setting out to design a mobile application. As much as I encourage innovation, I am also a big fan of gradual transition i.e., following some universal standards before making your own.

    Designing a mobile application on the iPhone and making sure it works the same way on an Android isn’t as important as designing an app for the iPhone and making sure it fits with all the other apps on the iPhone. Chances are, your end-user isn’t going to be someone who uses an iPhone AND an Android. Yes, there are people out there like that, but the majority of the users stick to one OS. Design for the majority.

    Let’s look at the photo attached. The first photo on the hard left is of the native iPhone text messaging interface. The text circled in red is mine. i.e., I sent that text. I’ve been using my iPhone for a little over a year. When I look at text bound in a green speech bubble, I have been taught to recognize it as something I sent. What’s App and Kik Messenger, as you can see, have followed suit. They realize that iPhone users have been trained to recognize the two colors - green and white as messages sent and received respectively. They did their homework and it paid off. I don’t even feel the difference when I use their interface because it’s so similar to the native interface. They make me not think. I love it.

    Now look at Ping Chat and Words With Friends. They haven’t just picked different colors. The designers behind these messaging interfaces have taken the same hues (green and white) and reversed them. #doublefacepalm. So they’ve completely flipped the switch on this to confuse me more than I need to be. Why they would’ve done that, I don’t know. All I know is that I don’t appreciate it.

    Ever heard of the KISS principle? Keep It Simple, Stupid!

     

  5. Let me start by saying I love foursquare.

    One of the things that proved to be an obstacle for me when I first started using this app was whipping out my phone to “check-in” every time I came to a new destination. I would have to navigate to the app, wait for it to search nearby places, tell me it couldn’t connect to the internet a couple of times, find the right place and then check-in.

    "#firstworldproblems, much?", you say? Yes yes. Isn’t everything?

    When you’re running between classes and your profs don’t take too kindly to smart phone usage in class or when you’re trying to make conversation and don’t want to seem anti-social, it’s a problem.

    Enter: Foursquare Radar. It detects interesting places around you and prompts you when it thinks you’re around somewhere you would like to check in to. This reduces the time and effort it takes to check-in and is quite favorable towards your leaderboard score.

    That little radar-looking button on the screenshot is how you toggle it on or off.

    My issue here? When I want to “cancel” the screen that I’m on in order to go back to the home screen, I accidentally toggle the radar button. Why? Because of the placement on the screen.

    An alternative to the placement of the radar button would have been under some settings menu in the profile. But would that have given the radar feature enough exposure? How many people toggle this feature on and off in a day? My guess: not very much. I’d love to see an A/B test on this. It’d be interesting at the least.

     

  6. The iPhone is by far the most popular smartphone in the mobile industry and has always set the standard for phones to come (whether its features have always been top of the line is debatable of course). More apps have been built for the iOS than any other mobile platform out there.

    What’s interesting to note is the attention to detail from the designer’s point of view. An app called “Camera+” allows you to edit and transform the look and feel of your photos on your iPhone. When you’re browsing for photos to edit in the Camera+ app, the screen on the right is what you see. Notice how the icon resembles the photos icon on the native iPhone screen (on the left). It’s a subtle thing, but it goes a long way. This designer is banking on user familiarity to help them get around the app in the best possible way. Genius.