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SA UX Forum: Mobile UX

On Wednesday 27th February, the SA UX Forum was held at 6 Spin Street in Cape Town. Phil Barrett of Flow gave a talk about Mobile UX, followed by Simon Dingle of 22seven, who gave a short talk about mobile UX and 22seven. Below are my brief notes.

Phil's talk

  • The mobile space is changing really fast. It's like the Wild West: no rules, lots of fights.
  • There are two big mysteries of Mobile UX: Native app vs Responsive web site; how (Steve Krug's) trunk test doesn't apply.
  • Mobile context has changed: it's no longer about rushed, distracted, users. Now it's "no feature left behind": mobile users want everything desktop users do.
  • One problem is that responsive isn't finished yet. There are still some problems:
    • sending the right image to the right device;
    • low-end phones that don't handle CSS3;
    • dealing with large sets of heavy, legacy, content.
  • Use user context to determine your choice. Two axes to consider: frequency of use; timing.
  • Apps are good for high frequency use, and provide tight OS integration.
  • Web sites or apps are good for lower frequency, but still critical, use.
  • Put content front and centre.
    • Look at the proportion of navigation pixels to content pixels. Beware of too much navigation complexity.Remove as much chrome as possible.
    • One solution is the off-canvas layout, that lets you focus on one task.
    • Don't go too heavy on the branding.
  • Why do apps still work without lots of signposting (which the trunk test says we need for helping us to resume interaction after interruption)? Because phone use is focused and intense. For example, think about someone taking a phone call during dinner. Their concentration goes completely to the call: they miss whatever happens in the meantime.
  • Phil's Readlist for the talk

Simon's talk

  • To people in the tech space, "There is no mobile web" is clear. But it's still not clear to many corporates, and we need to help them understand.
  • Mobile phones are the most personal computers in history.
    • It's the first computer you use in the morning.
    • It's a truly private computer.
    • It's a computer you can use on the toilet (!).
    • For many people, it's their primary engagement device.
  • If your primary traffic source is social media or aggregated services, you have to go responsive rather than native.
  • For their soon to be released app, 22seven chose native or responsive, primarily for performance reasons.