10 Ways Mobile Sites Are Different from Desktop Web Sites

The design of mobile sites is the new wave of IxD. It seems everyone has an article these days about it. UX Matters is no different and posted this up today.

10 Ways Mobile Sites Are Different from Desktop Web Sites :: UXmatters.

Bruce Sterling on the Future of Mobile

Bruce Sterling, a leading futurist, speaker, columnist and science fiction writer, shares his vision on where mobile is heading. Preaching his story from a somewhat unconventional place, the pulpit instead of the stage, he managed to silence the audience. Check the video to see what he had to say to the Mobile sinners.

Devices Will Allow for More Heads-Up Mobility

I am excited to be attending the Mobile UX Essentials BayCHI presentation tomorrow. Rachel Hinman from Nokia will be presenting.

Serendipitously, Marko Ahtisaari, senior vp and head of design strategy at Nokia, was interviewed on the [Nokia] Ideas Project site.

In the interview, Ahtisaari states that true mobility means devices that users can operate and interact with on the go, at a glance and even one-handed; an alternative to the immersive attention many current smart phones now encourage.

In a video, we see Ahtisaari talking about his belief that we are in the very early phases of the smart phone, comparable to where the automobile was in the 1880s, which means we have yet to reach a dominant paradigm. Dominant smart phone designs, including the touchscreen OS, and multiple, personalizable home screens, and data systems, will be increasingly informed by collective intelligence, he says. Continue reading

UseIt Definition of Mental Models

A definition of Mental Models from Jakob Nielsen:

A mental model is what the user believes about the system at hand.

Note the two important elements of this definition:

  • A mental model is based on belief, not facts: that is, it’s a model of what users know (or think they know) about a system such as your website. Hopefully, users’ thinking is closely related to reality because they base their predictions about the system on their mental models and thus plan their future actions based on how that model predicts the appropriate course. It’s a prime goal for designers to make the user interface communicate the system’s basic nature well enough that users form reasonably accurate (and thus useful) mental models.
  • Individual users each have their own mental model. A mental model is internal to each user’s brain, and different users might construct different mental models of the same user interface. Further, one of usability’s big dilemmas is the common gap between designers’ and users’ mental models. Because designers know too much, they form wonderful mental models of their own creations, leading them to believe that each feature is easy to understand. Users’ mental models of the UI are likely to be somewhat more deficient, making them more likely to make mistakes and find the design much more difficult to use.

No matter what you think, your users have a different idea what the site does than you do.

And…

Remember Jakob’s Law of the Internet User Experience: Users spend most of their time on websites other than yours. Thus a big part of customers’ mental models of your site will be influenced by information gleaned from other sites.

Yahoo’s YUI Better at Touch Interface

Reverse engineering any kind of hardware or software can be difficult. Additionally, if new technology comes along and your product isn’t compatible, regardless of how great your service may be, the consumers will often pass you by.

Yahoo’s User Interface just got an upgrade that now improves interactivity through touch interfaces (mobile platforms and touchscreens)

excerpts from an article on Mobile Crunch by Greg Kumparak

Gather up a group of people who make their living through web design, and they’ll probably all agree on at least two things: A) touchscreens aren’t going anywhere, and B) designing web stuff for touchscreens sort of sucks. Continue reading