Even if you have been building things digital for your entire career, mobile is different. The iPhone debuted in 2007, the iPad in 2010. That means it’s still new for even the most experienced mobile developers. No one is an expert. This presentation contains some design considerations to hopefully ease the pain.
Presentation available at: http://prezi.com/aaqlovukco3e/its-not-easy-being-green/
Below are the design considerations we covered, if you would like more detail or elaboration on any of them, leave a comment.
Understand the phone vs. the tablet
A user will interact with their phone for 20 seconds, 100 times a day. For many it is the first and last object they interact with every day. The tablet is more a of sit back experience. Consider the devise use cases.
Work simply and iteratively
No matter how fast you can wireframe in OmniGraffle, I can sketch it on a whiteboard, photograph it, mail it and have client approval in half the time. Look for low fidelity product that can move the project faster.
Embrace the Human Interface Guidelines
If you fully understand Apple’s HIG it can save time and reduce mistakes. They have already solved many of the problems you are facing.
Love Thy Developer/Designer/Strategist as Thyself
In the digital space, all the disciplines overlap to some extent. Being humble and working closely and iteratively with people outside of you discipline will result in a better end product. Sit together in the same room if possible.
Don’t turn a website into an app
Although you client may think they want this, they are wrong. Most likely, 80% of the website users are only using 20% of the content. Figure out what that 20% is and build an app with focus. Also realize the mobile user needs and expectations may be very different than the users of the site.
Do One Thing and Do It Well
Similar to above. Apps are called apps for a reason. They are not called applications. My favorite apps do very singular and simple things but do them exceedingly well.
Make An App With Personal Relevance
Your phone is probably the most personal item you own. It contains all your contacts, photos, secrets, etc. The app should be honored to live in your pocket. Every app should have a personal reason to exist to the user.
Understand UI and UEX and Don’t Build Apps, Build Brand Experiences
The User Interface is only a part of the larger user experience. The user experience is a brand experience. The users experience with that app will make them form an opinion about your client and their brand.
There Is No Such Thing As a Port
So you just built a great app and the client now wants you to port the app to Android devices. Not so fast. Not so simple. User’s choose the iPhone or the Android phone because it fits them and the way they want to interact with the device. If you don’t design with that in mind, users will notice. This means you need to think of the project from scratch and leverage the small things you can.
The last part of the presentation was a case study of building the SPIN Play app developed by Bottle Rocket.
TED – check out the Inspire Me button, very clever for people wanting to be entertained for a specific time period.
Instagram – An app with laser focus. Very simple. Very cool.
Steinway Metronome – Great example of a one trick pony but beautifully done.
Flipboard – Off the charts for personal relevance
NikeID – A great brand experience. Upload a photo, get shoes to match!
Pizza Hut – A brand experience to be had before you ever even taste the pizza.
DISCLAIMER: The above apps were used as examples of good work, they were NOT developed by Bottle Rocket.