08 August 2011

Smartphones & Usability

Dick Stroud points us to a newsletter by Web usability consultant Jakob Nielsen:

How do you design mobile applications for older people? With great care.
imageThe Jakob Nielsen newsletter has a very useful article about the challenges of designing applications for small screens.

His “bottom line” message is that: “Mobile devices require a tight focus in content presentation, with the first screen limited to only the most essential information.”

(Unless you have very slippery fingers…)

Dr. Nielsen backs up what I’ve been saying for over a year about advertising and smartphones:

Foretellings (01 May 2010)
The more people use smartphones, the less they’ll tolerate silly graphical doodads mucking up their small  screens.

Foretellings II
imageThe Pew report … found that 87 percent of the smartphone owners surveyed used their device to access the Web or e-mail at least once a day. And 25 percent said they go online on their smartphone more than they do with a regular computer…

Just A Few Gazillion Dollars
… The death knell for the personal computer will sound like: ‘Mainly I use my phone/pad, but I still use my PC to write long e-mails and documents.’ Most people aren’t there yet, but that’s where we’re headed.

A pretty piss-poor advertising medium.
imageConsumers weren’t motivated by display ads, as evidenced by the share of the online audience that bothered to click on them.

Not everyone loves Jakob Nielsen:

imageNielsen has been criticized by some graphic designers for failing to balance the importance of other user experience considerations such as eye appeal.

What a shock.  After all …

Goodbye, Fancy-Schmancy Web Sites
Online, content is a tool. We use it. It's not passive and neither are we. And if its design hinders that use, we get irritable.

There is no way anybody, no matter what age, will put up with graphic gizmo advertising on smartphones.

Simple Fact: The real estate isn’t there.