Designing for Context


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Mobile Applications Development - Lecture 2

Designing for Context

Developing a Mobile Strategy

Types of Mobile Applications

This presentation has been developed in the context of the Mobile Applications Development course at the Computer Science Department of the University of L’Aquila (Italy).

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Designing for Context

  1. 1. Mobile Context and Strategies Ivano Malavolta ivano.malavolta@univaq.it
  2. 2. Roadmap• Designing for Context• Developing a Mobile Strategy• Types of Mobile Applications
  3. 3. from the previous lecture…
  4. 4. Designing for the Context
  5. 5. Two kinds of context Context with a big “C” VS context with a little “c”
  6. 6. Context VS context by example• The app works in a specific context depending on the current location of the user• The app gives Context by providing additional info
  7. 7. Context VS context by example Context who is here? VS context where I amContext answers users’ questions VS context is a fact
  8. 8. Context with a big “C” How users will derive value from something they are currently doing For example: • info on restaurants • rate places • GPS navigator
  9. 9. Context with a big “C”The information provided by the app gives ContextA better understanding of what this moment in time means to the userRecurrent targets: people, places, things, situations, ideas
  10. 10. context with a little “c” The mode, medium and environment in which we perform our tasksThere are 3 different types of context:1. Physical context2. Media context3. Modal context
  11. 11. context with a little “c” Physical context where I am
  12. 12. context with a little “c” Physical context In which environment I am • at home • on a bus car • in the streets VS • in my office train • in a shophttp://www.textndrive.com
  13. 13. context with a little “c” Media context The device I am using • Connectivity • Screen size • Camera • etc …
  14. 14. context with a little “c” Modal context My present state of mind what I am doing right now How I feel right nowhttp://www.runens.com
  15. 15. …again on “big C” VS “little c” I only care I only care about… about… Context contextuser Developer (you)
  16. 16. …again on “big C” VS “little c”Your users do not care about physicality, media, or modes…They simply care about the app perceived value: Context
  17. 17. …again on “big C” VS “little c”Good Design means making the context transparent to the userWe have to create apps that anticipate and solve problems with little or no action from the user
  18. 18. The Mobile golden rule If you can unlock the state of mind of your users and start context, thinking in their contextunderstanding how a mobile experience willadd value to their lives you will have the lives,ever-elusive… KILLER APP
  19. 19. How can I apply the golden rule?Think of your app in the different contexts• Who is your user? Business man, teenager, mum…• What is happening? Are they hanging out with friends?• When will he interact? @home? @work? waiting for the bus? interact?• Where is he? Public/private space, inside/outside, day/night• Why will he use your app? How do you give Context?• How is he using his mobile device? Is the device held in the hand? Portrait or landscape?
  20. 20. Examples
  21. 21. Examples 2
  22. 22. Examples 3
  23. 23. Roadmap• Designing for Context• Developing a Mobile Strategy• Types of Mobile Applications
  24. 24. Developing a Mobile StrategyMobile Strategy =how much it will cost you to develope your app? How much time time? How much effort effort? How much money money?
  25. 25. Busting the first myth Mobile design and development is not cheap! cheap!
  26. 26. Busting the first myth
  27. 27. Busting the first myth You have to sum this price for each platform you want to support Even with Phonegap!
  28. 28. The new rules for a mobile strategyRemember, mobile is a new medium different rulesDon’t try to follow “traditional rules” since mobile has its own peculiarities:• context,• location, user mood• device fragmentation• unique UI rules• ...
  29. 29. Rule #1 Forget what you think you knowMobile is an ever-evolving area today you are already outdated• Forget what you think you know about mobile – It is most likely incorrect• Don’t try to emulate other projects – Focus on what is right for your user, not what is right for someone else’s user• Start at the beginning – Provide new perspectives, and breathe life into the project right from the start
  30. 30. Rule #2 Believe what you see, not what you read• Don’t trust any report, fact, or figure that 1-2 years old – It is most likely wrong• Go to your users and ask them questions in person – Don’t try to simply validate your ideas• Record everything – Your own users’ worlds will help you in focussing on their need• Don’t forget to innovate – Try new things, be bold, and don’t be afraid to fail.• Have a contingency plan – If your plan fails to meet expectations, try to reuse what you’ve learned or done on something else
  31. 31. Rule #3 Constraints never come first• Avoid talking about constraints at an early-stage brainstorming session – Refer back to Rule #1 and forget what you think you know• there will always be constraints in mobile, accept it!• Focus on strategy first, what they user needs, and lay down the features – Then, if the constraints become an issue, fall back to the user goals• There is always an alternative
  32. 32. Rule #4Focus on context, goals and needs needs user goals actions context
  33. 33. Rule #4 Focus on context, goals and needs1. Defining the users’ context is the first thing to do – without it, you don’t have a mobile strategy, you have only a plan of action2. Uncover the users’ goals – and then try and understand how the users’ context alters their goals3. With goals understood, figure out the tasks the users want to perform4. Look for ways to filter content by context – for example: location, media, and model.
  34. 34. Rule #5 You can’t support everything• Don’t try to support everything – Start with the devices that best represent your core customer• The most popular might not always be the best device for your project• Check your server logs for the devices accessing your site – These are the first devices to target• Go to a mobile phones store and do a little market research to find out the recommended devices for your target customer
  35. 35. Rule #6 Don’t convert, createGreat mobile products are created, never ported!• Understand your user and his context – Having an idea of how and when users will access your content will aid in understanding how to best create a tailored mobile experience• Mobile is a unique medium
  36. 36. Rule #6 - example
  37. 37. Rule #7 Keep it simplePeople want to use mobile devices in a simple way• Simplicity fewer problems• Easier to iterate and evolve your app• Don’t try to create a desktop software on a mobile! • Adding feature after feature is an easy trap to fall in• Build the experience around your users’ main need and nothing else
  38. 38. Roadmap• Designing for Context• Developing a Mobile Strategy• Types of Mobile Applications – Mobile Application Medium Type – Mobile Application Context
  39. 39. Types of Mobile ApplicationsIn the following we will talk about:• Mobile Application Medium Types – the technology presenting the content to the user • ex. SMS, native app, web app …• Mobile Application Context – the type of experience provided to the user • ex. utility, informative, productivity …
  40. 40. Mobile app medium typesThe technology presenting the content to the user SMS Mobile Websites Mobile Web Widgets Mobile Web Apps Native Apps Games
  41. 41. Mobile app medium types: SMS The user sends an SMS to a 5-digit code and then he can get: • textual information • a link to premium content • a service Most common use: ringtones and wallpapers
  42. 42. Mobile app medium types: SMSPROS• they work on any mobile device nearly instantaneously• useful for sending timely alerts to the user• they can be incorporated into any web or mobile app• simple to set up and manageCONS• limited to 160 characters• limited text-based experience• can be very expensive
  43. 43. Mobile app medium types: Mobile WebsitesA website designed for Mobile devicesIt is NOT about viewing on a mobile device a website designed for desktop browsersFeatures: – Simple architecture – Simple navigation links – Simple design – Informational in nature (typically, less interactive)
  44. 44. Mobile app medium types: Mobile WebsitesPROS• easy to create, maintain, and publish• you can use the same tools and techniques for desktop sites• nearly all mobile devices can view mobile websitesCONS• devices fragmentation• limited experience• they can load pages slowly – network latency
  45. 45. Mobile app medium types: Web Widget Small web apps that cannot run by themselves, they must run on top of “something else” Known also as: portlet, web part, gadget, badge, module, webjit, capsule, snippet, mini, flake For example, Android has supported widgets natively since April 30, 2009
  46. 46. Mobile app medium types: Web WidgetPROS• easy to create using basic HTML, CSS, JavaScript• simple to deploy across multiple handsets• They can directly access device features and offline useCONS• typically require a compatible widget platform to be installed on the device• require learning additional proprietary, non-standard techniques
  47. 47. Mobile app medium types: Web AppMobile apps that run on the mobile web browser developed using standard technologies ex. HTML, CSS, JavascriptDifferently from mobile websites, they offer an “app-like” experience ex. buttons, actions, real-time data, no pages metaphor
  48. 48. Mobile app medium types: Web AppPROS• easy to create using basic HTML, CSS and JavaScript• simple to deploy across multiple handsets• better user experience and rich design• content is accessible on any mobile web browserCONS• difficult to support across multiple devices.• they don’t always support native application features – offline mode, location, filesystem access, camera …
  49. 49. Mobile app medium types: Native Apps Developed for a specific platform Certified, sold and distributed via an operator portal or an app store It sits on top of the device platform you can access all the device’s features need for certification
  50. 50. Mobile app medium types: Native AppsPROS• best-in-class user experience, rich design and tapping into device features and offline use• relatively simple to develop for a single platform• access to app stores (you can charge for your apps)CONS• developing for multiple device platforms is costly• require certification and distribution from an app store• you have to share revenue with platform vendors
  51. 51. Mobile app medium types: GamesTechnically they are like native apps, however:• they cannot be esasily developed with web technologies – performance with vector graphics• porting them to multiple platforms is a bit easier – the graphic engine does not use device
  52. 52. Mobile app medium types: GamesPROS• simple and easy way to create an immersive experience• can be ported to multiple devices relatively easilyCONS• can be costly to develop as an original game title• cannot easily be ported to the mobile
  53. 53. Mobile app medium types: summary
  54. 54. Roadmap• Designing for Context• Developing a Mobile Strategy• Types of Mobile Applications – Mobile Application Medium Type – Mobile Application Context
  55. 55. Mobile App ContextThe type of experience provided to the user Utility Locale Informative Productivity Immersive
  56. 56. Mobile App ContextApplications can be presented in different ways es. taks-based utility, immersive experience, etc…• Typically, it is best to choose one app context and present it to the user don’t mix app contexts! contexts! • TIP: if you really need to switch context within your app, let the user choose when to switch
  57. 57. Mobile App Context: Utility task-• short, task-based scenarios• minimal information from the user• minimal designex. calculator alarm clock weather forecast
  58. 58. Mobile App Context: Locale • it provides info about “what’s around” • recurrent feature: a map on which data is displayed • goal of the user: to find additional info about his present location ex. find friends around find pubs around get route directions
  59. 59. Mobile App Context: Informative • Goal: to provide information to the user • Task of the user: to read and understand – not necessarily to interact • remember that user tasks are short and can be interrupted ex. news online directory mobile commerce
  60. 60. Mobile App Context: Productivity • Meant to increase user’s sense of efficiency • Users have a clear goal in mind • Very structured (with folders) – it gives a sense of order • Follow a clear workflow ex. mail, scanning, todo lists… TIP: TIP focus on the main task only, and only after start adding other features
  61. 61. Mobile App Context: Immersive • immersive, full-screen app full- • meant to consume the user’s focus user’s ex. games media players entertainment TIP: TIP you can use it as alternative to other app contexts
  62. 62. Mobile App Context: Summary
  63. 63. References Chapters 4-5-6