“Designing a user interface for a mobile computer isn’t hard; all you have to do is think like a person,” Tom Krazit reports for CNET. “Sounds simple, but it’s taken a long time for that realization to set in, said Stu Card, manager of the user interface group at the famed Palo Alto Research Center. Card joined fellow researcher Ted Selker of MIT’s Media Lab at Sofcon 2008 to discuss human interfaces for mobile computers, and just how differently engineers have to treat these devices than their older PC brothers.”
“Card focused on the look and feel of the software that accompanies smart phones. He used Apple’s iPhone [and iPod touch] as his example, and examined how the iPhone was designed according to four different human factors: social, rational, cognitive, and biological. The different factors represent the amount of time one spends on a task or problem; you might take a second to page through a library of pictures, but spend months or years developing a network of friends,” Krazit reports.
“Mobile computing is much more intimately tied to a user’s life. You need to design simultaneously on at least four levels, and functional design is not the only requirement,” Card said,” Krazit reports.
“Apple made the breakthrough it did with the iPhone because it came up with ways of interacting with the device that make sense on biological and cognitive levels, Card said. Translated, that means the iPhone plays well to natural perceptual and motor skills, as well as our desire for immediacy,” Krazit reports.
“For example, the notion of finger gestures as the primary control is much more intuitive than navigating through a series of menus, and makes the device more intimate. And Apple’s groundbreaking decision to put the browser first and the keypad second makes browsing much easier and compelling than other mobile devices,” Krazit reports.
More in the full article here.