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Five facts about the mobile user experience



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December 3, 2010 —  (Page 1 of 3)
Shift to touch-screen
The iPhone revolutionized touch-screens in 2007. Apple was visionary; everybody else is just catching up. What do we have so far?

All market players, including large phone makers such as Nokia, Samsung and HTC, and large online service providers such as Google, Microsoft and Research In Motion, have released touch-screen phones. Some phones are monolithic, having a touch surface only, while others are transformers, having sliders with a separate physical keyboard. All products are still single-side touchable, which is predefined by hardware design.

New approaches have emerged, teasing us. Windows Phone 7 uses bounce and wave effects to dynamically show the pieces of invisible content. It also truncates content to tease you statically, driving you to take actions to see that content.

Could you avoid a touch shift in mobility? No, it has happened already. Is it good? Yes, although it may be problematic for some users (such as seniors), and this must be considered by UX designers. The transition from non-touch to touch phones might have a more gradual learning curve, so the efficiency and effectiveness of new phones could be under greater scrutiny.

Default mobile screens are yucky
You might be surprised by such a statement, but user experience has found this out. Other issues are related to the speed of making a mental choice. Another is related to the physical selection after the mental choice is made.

The more alternatives we have, the more time we need to make a mental choice. When it comes to mobile phones, Hick's Law is in effect: The more icons we see on the screen, the more time we need to think over what we are doing. There's also Fitt's Law: The smaller the item is, the more time it takes to actually touch it. And the longer the distance to the item, the more time it takes to reach over and touch it.

Those effects are most pronounced the first time with the phone, but after a while, users get used to where things are.



Related Search Term(s): mobile development, iphone, android, windows phone 7

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Comments


12/08/2010 12:13:38 PM EST

Apple also has triggered other interesting waves in the pond that affected the industry 1) They created well balanced environment where lots of players earn money and advertise own services. I mean AppStore. 2) They turned cell phone into universal unified platform for carrying the variety of business applications for sales people, service men, etc.

UkraineKonstantin Pylypchuk


01/01/2011 11:23:36 AM EST

What a strange article. "The iPhone revolutionized touch-screens in 2007. Apple was visionary; everybody else is just catching up. What do we have so far?" - Is Vasyl saying that iPhone changed the way touchscreens were used? If so, he's right to some extent because touchscreens existed pre iPhone. He does mention Win 7 - thankfully (no, I don't have a Win7 phone). But look at the pictures of the weather app - "Another phone's iPhone app". Vasyl cannot even come to utter the word "Android". In fact the entire article does not have the word "Android". Look, iPhone made it easy to use stuff, but other phones did have the "one platform multiple uses touch-screen" approach before that.

United StatesPallab Gupta


01/26/2011 06:08:37 AM EST

Another phone weather app (on snapshot) is Android app:) it was designed during Google Android Developers Challenge and hit top 100 from 2000 submissions. of cource touch screen was invented in far 1970s. but it was iPhone that did revolution in the way how smartphones would be used during next decade. of course Apple did not make it perfect. there is still lacking haptic feedback and I hope it will be implemented soon. re Android... there will be new article about Android domination. it oversold iPhone and is creeping to be #1 in 2012-2013. WP7 is still a 'proto', I think I'll manage to post update about it some time.

United StatesVasyl Mylko


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