Archive for the ‘Mobile’ Category

Tune In, Cloud On, Rock Out!

May 23, 2012

One thing about working real hard is that a lot of things I’d love to post about never seem to make it to the top of the queue, and then the blog turns into “here are my slides, here is a video of my talk, here is a weird song by the band, here is another conference I attended,” etc.

A lot of the best stuff stays in draft form or as brain crack, or gets hinted at in tweets and not much more.

And then I miss even the important stuff, like where’s my book-ending “hey, I left AOL, or should I say AOL left me” post? Maybe I’ll still post it, or maybe this is going in my book, as I like to threaten people from time to time.

So I’m way past overdue mentioning to my surviving blog audience that I have taken a new job, director of product at CloudOn. I started this month and am neck deep in it already, hence the lack of extended “enjoying my severance” essays and photo journals.

Our product right now is a free app for iPad and Android tablets that enables you to edit and work with Microsoft Office files “in the cloud.” That’s the logline. There’s more to it (Dropbox and Google Drive and Box support! Acrobat Reader and image files! etc.), and there’s lots more to come, but that’s the gist of it today. Personal productivity across platforms, helping people get things done with the most convenient device available, seamless experiences across context.

This is the kind of user experience and product management work I love to do. Hard problems with vast theoretical underpinnings and thousands of difficult decisions required to actually ship something real, early and often.

I’m recruiting a UX team, currently looking for a visual design maven to anchor our in-house design practice, and ultimately building a more well rounded product and UX operation as we grow.

We hit 1,000,000 iPad downloads yesterday, I think, so there’s not a minute to lose!

Putting the social in the mobile

February 3, 2010

calder mobile - satelitesMy continuing series of blog posts linking to essays published in our book, well, continues now with Billie Mandel’s Designing Social Interfaces for Mobile, in which she writes:

Contextually speaking, mobile phones are by definition social networking devices. Breaking out of the classic phone/phone book mental model and transforming that experience to include 21st century-style social networking, though – that’s where the fun challenge is for designers. Asking ourselves some mobile-specific questions can lead us as a community to create some exciting, disruptive social interfaces for mobile.

See also her essential list of do’s and don’ts.

(Bit by bit we are making sure all the essays are available online, either hosted on their authors’ blogs or personal websites or in some cases included in the project’s wiki, where we’re maintaining a list of essays.)

Apps I've downloaded onto my iPhone so far

July 15, 2008

twitterific.pngTwitterific would like to use your current location!
Shazam didn’t recognize John Cage last night.
Facebook is slick.
OmniFocus is my new Obama.
Google app is weak (brings up a tiny serp?) but at least it exists.
Pandora would be perfect if faster and also not crashy.
You had me at NYTimes.
Loopt does what now?

My slides from the IA Summit

March 30, 2007

Here are my slides from my presentation, Mobile Information Architecture: Designing Experiences for the Mobile Web:

(I may update them with a 2.0 version based on some new learnings from subsequent conversations, and a different idea of how to pace the imagery.)
And here are my slides from the panel I moderated, Lessons From Failure: Or How IAs Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bombs:

Raw notes from 'Everything you wanted to know about the mobile web…' @ sxsw

March 11, 2007

…but were afraid to ask:
Great talk! Very thorough. Making me, helping rethink my upcoming Mobile IA presentation at the IA Summit. Here are my raw notes. Apologies for the stream of consciousness nature. You may be better off with Brian Fling’s slides.
Who is Brian Fling?
dir of strategy for blue flavor
mobile designer since 2000, first wap phones
worked with all tier 1 and maj or tier 2, carriers are behemoth
rollingstone, napster, & espn
dotMobi Developers Guide (yet to be released)
part 1, why the mobile web
important part of everything we should be doing
lot of sabre rattling in the space
mobile web concept, vs. desktop web
(vs. one web)
retrieve on a mobile device
how big is the mobile web
bold prediction:
mobile will revolutionize the way everyone gather and interacts with information within the next three years
LBS – location based services
GPS chip in recent phones (Sprint)
preciipice of next gen of the web
data ARPU doubling year after year
golden triangle
user goals
3 c’s
Part 3
Mobile Information Architecture
nobody spefcialized in it
A Bad Mobile IA
Limit categories to 5
Limit links to to 10
No more than 5 levels dee
at least one content item per category
prioritize links by activity or popularity
give a taste of what will be cliked
much less complex ia
to get simple info, like contact info, office locatioh
don’t port over every page
goals, cost, content, and context
crucial deliverable
creating the optimal deliverable
mobile service requires clickstream diagrams
“be prepared to invest some time or hire an IA to do that for you
you’ll spend more time on that than on the actual design”
more compatible vs. richer experience
ideal in the middle
mobile device, mobile web browser, service provider portal, your design
anybody can publish to the mobile web
you can bypass this….
200 x 250 pixels, recommended max size
(all teh different layouts…)
feature phones, smart phones, pdas
majority of people still have smaller screens
the D pad (up down left right)
think vertically
avoid too many links stacked horizontally
canvas not as robust
but has potential
needs designers
forces you to think in terms of the user
mobile web standards:
w3c initiative
part of WAP 2.0
old WAP bad, new WAP good
XHTML Basic and XHTML-MP pretty close
can use dreamweaver, mobile dev aspect
Wireless CSS most if not all
doc styles vs. style sheets
mobile web best practices
Device Description
misunderstood, misused term
should be one web not multiple webs
same info and services for mobile phone
not: desktop web and mobile web identical
not: just use css mobile stylesheet
that ignores context
example, phone numbers are links
correct encoding and doctype
well formed code
accesskeys in primary navigation (numbers)
link limit of no more than 10 per page, really only 5 or 7 max primary navigation points
use ordered lists instead of unordered listes to automatically show the numbers
doc styles to avoid flash of unstyled text
but larger sites use external style sheet ref
maybe use embedded on the home page
link phone numbers
<a href=”tel:+19995551212″>+1 999 555-1212</a>
xHTML-MT and W3C and other standards bodies
use few or no forms, entering data so hard
wiki publishing
how to get them to the site
SSR, Reformat, Stylesheets, Mobile Specific Site
SSR (small screen rendering), do nothing Opera, Treo’s Blazer, re-render on the fly
Programmatically Reformatting (as with PHP)
those don’t address the mobile context
Stylesheets, use handheld styleheet to do adaptation on the fly
Or to create the mobile specific site, best scenario for user, you might have to manage two different sites.
Handheld stylesheet requires one line of code in your markup
Hides content but user still downloads (and pays)
Unless really tricky with markup, can’t address mobile context of user
Mobile-specific site best for context
(but least “elegant” -xian)
start by experimenting with stylesheets
supporting devices & browsers
don’t test all 50 browsers
Focus on Five devices
most devices are derivatives of other devices
Razr pretty much same as Motorola v600, v505, 500, 400… 100
your phone plus four friends
Nokia series 40 (candy bar)
anything given away (LG, samsung)
test on Treo, smartphone, windows phone – bigger screen
domain names
manually enter a mobile-specific url
detect mobile, redirect to user specific location
user enters
use mobile spceific top-level domain
use WAP push, use a short code that returns a url
work for deep linking, promotions, etc.
(but fill out signup forms evil, right? –xian)
Device Detection Dilemma
• Simple device detection – one mobile website for everyone
⁃ .mobi or detect on user agent profile (tricks to avoid huge inventory of profiles)
• Advanced detection – you deliver the best possible code and markup (requires massive inventory of user agents, costly to keep on top of)
customized to the screen
can start testing on a desktop browser
browser tools – opera and firefox tools
emulators – allows for desktop verification without loading onto a device
device testing – focus on five
usability testing – early and often, field tests, casual usability testing
formal testing slows down development time, likes to be more agile
.mobi Mobile Ready Report
helpful tool for tuning your site – mostly a mailing list now, but articles coming
Q: question about voice recog:
A: give “say or press the number”
getting better
Q: strategies for maintaining multiple copies of the site if there will be a separate mobile site
A: movable type to publish static pages, multiple archive types
django also does some cool things
Q: iPhone will use Safari, etc., to view regular websites, will detract, slow-down the inertia?
A: iPhone will be a revolution in the mobile industry
Safari’s been in the Nokia for a year and a half
wifi, will make getting web content more easily
text, readability boost
I fear, we’ll all get iPhones, design for them, forget about “regular” people, majority, people in the developing countries, Africa provides top amount of mobile traffic to the BBC
Q: int’l market. Presentation US-centric?
A: Yes, my experience has been in North America, some experience with operators in Japan and Europe but most of my focus has been in the U.S.
Q: any value in .mobi versus just creating a host
A: Is some advantage for some people. A lot of controversy. They really don’t care. Just want people to develop for the mobile web. They’re heavily involvedi in the W3C mobile initiative. Just another tool in the toolchest.
Q: panel on tuesday, Mobile Web doesn’t exist or does it…. I work for vodaphone. I work in Europe.
A: Only a few browsers support Ajax on a mobile device today. The big problem is javascript. It drains batteries very quickly