Mobile access to information is becoming big business. While the share of the mobile market depends on what study you read, a 2012 study by Chitika said US mobile devices accounted for about 20% of all US internet traffic. Of that 20% smartphones were 14.6% while tablets were 5.6%. These numbers are all up from previous years. As the number of devices increases so too does the power of these devices. Mobile devices are moving away from being solely information consumption devices and into the realm of information creation devices. As the hardware becomes more powerful, and the user experiences become more sophisticated, our mobile devices are allowing us access to interact with information from anywhere. With this groundswell in mobile are increased expectations from users for well-designed, considerate, intelligent designs that work well on the device at hand. Smartphone experiences shouldn’t be the same as desktop experiences but it should be just as good. The usability considerations for how we interact with these devices can be very different from device to device.
The attached technical paper begins to address some mobile usability considerations. The summary of this paper is that:
• The conversation around mobile devices is less about Consumption vs. Creation and more about Task Complexity vs. Task Duration.
• Properly sized designs for the desktop experience will also work for the tablet experience.
• Smartphones want customized experiences.
• Progressive disclosure is more important than ever on smartphones.
• How people interact with touch-based devices influences success rate of applications.