We had another lunch session yesterday. It was a quiet session probably because of the Wellington weather, there were 7 people attending.
The first topic we discussed was mobilizing your application.
The first issue that was raised around this subject what usability issues have you got to tackle around mobile applications. Like navigation should be vastly different because of the lack of screen real estate. navigation is mostly done with a joystick or keypad there is no mouse which in itself is already a pretty difficult problem to tackle.
Another person mentioned that dropdownlists are pretty difficult to navigate too. It would be naive to assume that you can use one codebase and make some style changes to get a great mobile application. You need to take the fact of mobilizing more serious than that and be prepared to make some drastic changes in how your app flows.
One of the reasons that we haven’t really seen a great mobile app make it big is probably because of the user interface we are facing when operating a mobile device. Technology has changed a lot since mobile phones came to be but the interface hasn’t hardly changed at all. It went from a disc to buttons to buttons with a little display. Until the cell phone was there and we got a menu to operate our phones. The navigation of those menus has evolved somewhat but it’s still the same way of using it. Of course this is when the iPhone came into the conversation, and because I work at Xero i got to play briefly with an iPhone
I have to say that the touch screen navigation was really cool and refreshing and definitely a step in the right direction.
After which our conversation drifted off a little and we dreamt of futuristic interfaces and new ways of interacting with computers.