Lessons From Early Stages Design Of Mobile Application

Synopsis:

This paper describes the design process for mobile applications by providing guidelines for design and development. The authors address difficulties that emerged through the data gathering, prototyping and evaluation phases. They explain how problems were solved and how they can be applied in the future.

Strengths:

The article highlighted common problems that one may encounter when designing, developing, and evaluating mobile applications and provided guidelines to overcome those problems. These techniques seem to be to be very useful and are applicable for most mobile design procedures since these they have already been tried and tested within various domains and for various applications/devices.

The article is detailed and provides pictures to better explain what the authors are talking about.

I really liked the concept of using sketch cards and different colored pens to evaluate user interfaces. This provided researchers with an economic and effective method to evaluate their designs. Also, it probably saved them several hours of programming on the mobile device.

Contextual questionnaires allow users to express their likes/dislikes on-the-spot without needing to recall previous activities. Moreover, they provide information about the user’s context and settings, especially if supported and complemented by audio/video capture.

Weaknesses:

Designers should not just directly import existing applications from larger platforms to mobile devices, with some basic necessary changes. This leads to cumbersome and unusable applications that quickly become obsolete and avoided by users even though they may have brilliant content.

The article mentions that the evaluation of mobile applications is often discarded because of the absence of specific methods and guidelines to do so.