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Going Native: The Anthropology of Mobile Apps

by Designer, Developer, Author at Global Moxie on Oct 02, 2010

  • 17,887 views

My talk from IDEA 2010: Think of mobile OS platforms as cultures. Deciding which platform to target and how to design for each—whether web or native—doesn't hinge only on tech specs or audience ...

My talk from IDEA 2010: Think of mobile OS platforms as cultures. Deciding which platform to target and how to design for each—whether web or native—doesn't hinge only on tech specs or audience reach. In an era where consumers suddenly perceive mobile apps as richly personal, where software is content instead of tool—culture matters.

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16 of 6 previous next Post a comment

  • mixalis1 Michael Paredrakos, Strategic Planner at http://thecuriousbrain.com/ very informative ..posted at the http://thecuriousbrain.com/ 3 years ago
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  • joshclark Josh Clark, Designer, Developer, Author at Global Moxie Thanks, all, glad you're enjoying the slides!

    James, many thanks for your thoughts. I absolutely agree that there are very important considerations (and discussions!) to be had outside of the artificial boundaries of mobile OS. The reason I used platforms as the organizing framework for this talk is that this device and OS fragmentation is the front-line problem so many organizations are grappling with: 'What do we develop for?'

    The trouble: that discussion is too often couched as a technical question, and my point here is that there's a more human way to approach these platforms that is perhaps more enlightening—and more user focused. All of these platforms have demographics, customs, and governance which -- like real-world human cultures -- shape the personality and behavior of the people within. For better or worse (and by active selection or not), mobile users fall into these governed, regulated communities called platform OS. And so, in this talk, I tried to put a human face on those communities,

    But yes! Beyond using these observations to help select a technical strategy for approaching this chaotic platform environment, it's incredibly important to simply understand user needs, wants, and behaviors in this brand-new computing context. You're right that we're starting fresh in many ways, and my book, Tapworthy, explores many of the new cultural, psychological, and ergonomic considerations that cut across all platforms. I'm a BIG believer in the importance of those factors, but that's a different talk. I hope that some of the observations in this talk at least give people a fresh take on how to approach developing apps (or not) for native OSs.
    3 years ago
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  • MrChiffre Mehdi El Chafqui, Right Brained & Experienced Learning Content Developer at Ville de Bruxelles The title is amazing.......nice choice!

    the three last slides are crucial!

    Thx for sharing!
    3 years ago
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  • AmitRanjan Amit Ranjan, CoFounder at SlideShare This is an awesome deck.... the social politics behind mobile apps and OS... 3 years ago
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  • jamesgpearce James Pearce, Head of Mobile Developer Relations at Facebook It's a fresh and funny presentation.

    You push for a (very worthy) discussion on anthropology & humans, so it's a bit strange that so much of your presentation is keyed off operating systems and delivery technologies. Frankly I'm amazed when a user has the faintest idea what an operating system is, let alone what mobile browser they use.

    So the demographic-by-OS stuff is intriguing, but should it really be a starting point for building beautiful apps that provide what the mobile user desires?

    I am sure I should think 'I need to design for this demographic', not 'I need to design for this operating system, that happens to broadly map to a particular demographic'.

    In my experience, a lot of (web) development has barely moved on from trying to transplant desktop services to an entirely different type of user context. The wonderful thing about apps is that they have given developers a chance to start afresh and think about the mobile user's needs (slide 43!) without the assumption that they must transplant and shave down their existing web sites.

    (Carrying that think-afresh philosophy across to mobile web design is more interesting than a fruitless debate about native vs web *bearer technology*)

    Huh - you caught me monologuing. Anyway, thanks for great slides!
    3 years ago
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  • joshclark Josh Clark, Designer, Developer, Author at Global Moxie I've added outline notes from my talk into the speaker notes for these slides. Click the 'Notes' tab above to see the content.

    Enjoy!
    Josh
    3 years ago
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