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Mobile Apps - World Usability Day 2009

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  • 1. It's all about the apps:  Smartphone Apps Overview  
    Rich Miller
    Research Scientist , LexisNexis
    World Usability Day - November 12, 2009
    Note: This PPT is designed to be used both as a presentation and reference, so much of the detail is for reference mode, but feel free to contact Rich Miller for more detail – richmiller1@gmail.com
    Slides will be available at http://www.slideshare.net/rdm121
  • 2. Agenda
    Introduction to smartphones and apps
    App design challenges and guidelines
    Example apps and design characteristics
    Live iphone app demos
    15 apps in 15 minutes (approximately)
    Q & A
    2
  • 3. early visions of mobile computingt
    3
  • 4. Smartphone, App Basics
    Smartphones
    Mobile phones with advanced capabilities
    Essentially pocket computers
    Phone just onefunction among a growing number of capabilities.
    Smartphones are increasingly subsuming most other “gadgets”
    iphone and blackberry most prevalent in U.S.
    Late entries (Google Android, Palm Pre) face uphill climb
    In UK/Europe, Nokia dominates at least “basic mobile”
    Apps
    A program that runs on a hand-held device
    Mobile apps are smaller in scope, more targeted to a task
    Very much like widgets
    Difference between “loaded app” and “mobile-enabled site”
    App = mini-program residing on the device, internet connection not necessarily required
    mobile-enabled site = web site with specially-formatted pages, called “web apps” by Apple.
    4
  • 5. What’s the big deal about smartphones?
    They represent a tipping point in computing
    Ubiquity and convenience changing the landscape
    Mobile computing becoming next big wave of change
    Having one is truly life-changing
    you’ll understand when you get one
    Smartphoneshave “sensing” capabilities
    Seeing through camera, Hearing through microphone
    Multi-touch interfaces – tap and gesture
    Sense Orientation in space – tilting, pointing
    Geographic location - GPS
    Sensing makes mobile devices more intelligent
    A world full of devices sucking up data into the internet!
    They run apps, making a smartphone a portable, virtually unlimited information/media tool set.
    5
  • 6. What’s so special about the iphone?
    They are immensely popular (and sometimes required)
    Despite the high cost and lack of network choice
    Dramatically influential and “game-changing”
    New user interaction > fingers-based “multi-touch” paradigm
    Superior integration and design – both hardware and sw
    digital swiss army knife
    remote controls” for various aspects of life
    The cool factor – almost-mesmerizing impact
    Anyone who borrows, experiences one , wants one
    Development toolkit makes it easy to build apps
    Owners constantly use them, brag about them, show them off
    6
  • 7. Apps create new set of behaviors
    Settle arguments, satisfy curiosity
    Socialize from anywhere (never be alone)
    Never be bored, or socially awkward, again
    Talk to apps, not just your phone
    Capture info - taking pics, recording sounds, etc.
    Don’t get lost as much – navigation support
    Remember things, be more organized
    Interstitial, workflow-moving tasks
    Return of the 1960’s handheld radio
    7
  • 8. iphone app wall
    A subset of the more than 100,000 apps in the App Store
    50K in July last time I showed this slide!
    8
  • 9. Apps observations and trends
    App store model has been extremely successful
    Can anyone catch up with Apple and its 100K apps?
    Android now up to 10K apps, Blackberry 2K.
    Customer comments are powerful
    They can make or break an app
    Distributions can be bimodal – love it or hate it.
    Most apps are < $10, though some can be “expensive”
    e.g. $40 for law school flashcards, $50 for Black’s Law Dictionary
    Increasingly more apps for professional space
    Other Observations
    Most popular apps more for social/play than job/productivity
    A paid app being more popular than free apps is a good sign
    9
  • 10. Apps landscape
    Social
    Life/style
    Games
    Reference/Prod/Edu/Finance
    Entertain/Sports/Music/etc
    News
    work
    docs to go
    LN get-a-case
    CA case law
    simplemind
    black’s law
    dictionary
    fedregcivpro
    evernote/shovebox
    bloomberg
    linkedIn
    patents
    epocrates
    photoshop
    bump
    Wolfram alpha
    gmail/cal/tasks…
    3D brain
    wikipanion
    Autodesk sketchbook and whiteboard apps
    newyorktimes
    usatoday
    abcnews
    google mobile
    weather channel
    kayak
    google maps
    huffpost/drudge
    ibird
    shazam
    mediafly
    zillo
    amazon
    joost
    facebook
    kindle
    reader
    milesplit
    ESPN
    banjo hoedown
    target/walmart
    flixster
    louvre
    madden
    football
    tap tap
    revenge
    rock
    band
    comics
    pandora/lastfm
    play
    consume
    create
  • 11. Sensing apps
    Shazam – recorded music
    Camera/evernote/etc. – images
    Neoreader – bar codes
    Recorder/evernote – sounds
    Google earth/maps – geo-position
    Free wifi – wifi networks
    image + place + time
    Eaton, OH
    9/19/2009
    12:31 p.m.
    11
  • 12. Mobile design/usability challenges
    Striking balance between space/simplicity and feature set size
    Integrating with existing/related products
    how does it fit into existing toolset/suite?
    intelligent “chaining” of apps, e.g. google mobile > safari
    Adapting to the human pointing device (the finger)
    ANY finger preferable to the dreaded stylus.
    Adapting to no multitasking (at least iphone)
    importance of saving state; fast app loading
    Performance –network speed more forgiven than app-loading speed
    network may not be fully ready for video
    App management – iphone system too shallow
    Readability and posture issues
    Shorter width is actually better for reading
    the hunchback thing can’t be good!
    12
  • 13. Guidelines for mobile app design
    Follow mobile design conventions (formal or de-facto)
    Break suites/apps/icontent into manageable chunks
    Don’t try to cram a browser app into a mobile app
    Keep it simple, nimble, and quick
    “Figure out the absolute least you need to do to implement the idea, do just that, and then polish the hell out of the experience.” – more
    Take advantage of mobile interaction features
    Tapping, flipping, shaking, turning, GPS,
    Favor tapping over scrolling
    Support workflow stimulating tasks
    Remember Fitts’ Law – make targets sufficiently large and apart
    Don’t waste screen space on superfluous elements
    Use transparent menus - See Tufteiphone video
    Encourage homescreen shortcuts to web pages (e.g. icons)
    Don’t invite users to hammer you in the itunes comments
    See more at Smashing Magazine, squidoo, Apple, Microsoft
    13
  • 14. What mobile apps mean for design in general
    Gesture, voice interactions and other design techniques spread to other platforms
    Focus on simplicity, efficiency, de-featuring
    Similar to how browser-based design informed desktop-application design
    Increased focus on collaboration
    Many mobile tasks highly collaborative
    Sensing capabilities spread to static devices
    14
  • 15. Study: Mobile usage in law schools
    3 phases
    Spring: interviews about mobile usage (April 2009)
    Summer: create and mock up application concepts
    Fall: return to students for feedback on concepts
    Particular focus on the iphone, given its popularity and influence on interaction design
    Phase 1 interviews were open-ended, qualitative and aimed at…
    …understanding how mobile devices affected student work patterns
    …identifying opportunities for creating mobile offerings
    Phase3 in process…
    15
  • 16. The Students
    16
  • 19. smartphone tour/demo
    Each student provided a 2-4 minute tour/demo of their smartphone…
    17
  • 20. LexisNexis “get-a-case” app
    18
  • 21. Legal reference - The law pod
    Federal Rules of…
    Civil Procedure
    Criminal Procedure
    Appellate Procedure
    Bankruptcy
    Evidence
    U.S. Constitution
    bimodal comment distributions not uncommon
    19
  • 22. Legal reference - California Law
    20
  • 23. Cliff Maier patents reference
    Data screen-scraped from USPTO site
    21
  • 24. Black’s Law Dictionary (West)
    22
  • 25. Reed Elsevier Proprietary & Confidential
    Medical - Epocrates
    23
  • 26. Reed Elsevier Proprietary & Confidential
    Medical - Netter Anatomy Flash Cards
    24
  • 27. Reed Elsevier Proprietary & Confidential
    MedSci - Papers
    25
  • 28. Wolfram Alpha
    26
    $50!
  • 29. Productivity - Documents to Go
    27
  • 30. Capture & Organize - Evernote/shovebox/etc.
    28
  • 31. Travel info-seeking - Kayak
    29
  • 32. Craigs’ List
    30
  • 33. Congress – example of “trading-card” like app
    Apps a good fit for finite sets of discrete “information objects”
    31
  • 34. iBird – more “trading cards”
    32
  • 35. Using Visuals - World Factbook
    33
  • 36. Using Visuals - Starmap Pro
    34
  • 37. Entertainment as design pioneer- ESPN Scorecenter, Mobile Web
    Good example of visualization on mobile device
    35
  • 38. Games – Madden Football
    36
  • 39. Games - Rock Band, Tap Tap Revenge
    37
  • 40. iphone demos – 15 apps in 15 mins!
    Social – linkedin
    Life/style – kayak, zillow
    Ref/prod/edu/fin – LN get-a-case, patents, simplemind, evernote, wikipanion, autodesk sketchbook, google mobile
    News – usatoday
    Ent/sports/music/etc – lastfm, milesplit, louvre
    Games – madden football
    38
  • 41. Apps landscape
    Social
    Life/style
    Games
    Reference/Prod/Edu/Finance
    Entertain/Sports/Music/etc
    News
    work
    LN get-a-case
    simplemind
    evernote
    linkedIn
    patents
    wikipanion
    Autodesk sketchbook
    usatoday
    google mobile
    kayak
    zillo
    milesplit
    louvre
    madden
    football
    lastfm
    play
    consume
    create
  • 42. Questions?
    Q&A now
    Feel free to catch me later today
    future
    richard.miller@lexisnexis.com
    richmiller1@gmail.com
    www.slideshare.com/rdm121
    40

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