Mobilism: Devices, Designs & Behaviors

by Luke Wroblewski May 14, 2011

In his Devices, Designs and Enabling Behaviors talk at Mobilism in Amsterdam, Netherlands Antony Ribot outlined how we need further simplification in mobile devices and applications along with a few strategies for getting there. Here’s my notes from his talk.

  • The iPhone revolution didn’t happen for many people. It has a high cost to entry barrier. It is an aspirational device. In the UK, 60% of mobile purchasing decisions are based on cost. Aging population does not find the iPhone to be simple enough. Technophobes as well.
  • There are Analog, Digital, and Physical interactions. Touch screen devices are an example of mass-market application of physical interactions. The next major battle will be about audio input.
  • Another way to make things more physical: haptic feedback. We shouldn’t have to only use our eyes to interact with devices. Can feel information and then dive deeper visually if we need to.
  • Design with as many people in mind as possible. Inclusive design and Universal Design are the terms used to describe this. Designing for inclusivity is designing for task-orientated behaviors and independence. Inclusive does not mean un-inspiring. Aspire to create things that are simple.
  • A seventy year old needs the font size to be twice as big as a twenty year old. A 10 year old has the same strength as a 70 year old.
  • Why are we creating products: money-saving, time-saving, enables other actions, or feeds our habits. What emotion do you want to invoke from the consumer?
  • Re-use learned behaviors. Make use of what the customer is used to. iPhone users will perform certain gestures based on what they have been doing on their device.
  • Re-use real world interactions. When an app integrated scanning feature, people understood what it did immediately.
  • One step is best. One-button actions like: purchase, check-in, scan, search, login. This helps keep people on a clear path to completion.
  • You want to be independent, simple experiences, and to be connected.
  • Simplicity is really required in the mobile market. Let’s create a new trend of simple phones and simple apps for phones.