Speaking @ Refresh

Speaking @ Refresh

I’ll be speaking to the Refresh Dallas group about the Mobile Web this Thursday (10/11) at IMC2. Over the past year I’ve been lucky enough to be involved with a couple different mobile projects, and in the process have learned a great deal about the mobile space. I’ve had to evangelize XHTML-MP, figure out how to test on mobile devices, and give overviews of mobile technology to an assortment of internal teams. So I figured it was time to share the wealth. My goal with this presentation is to help other designers and developers move to the small screen, and create a great mobile experience.

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When is it too simple?

Too Simple?

Yesterday I got to hear John Maeda speak at Sabre as part of the Wundermind series of speakers. I’ve read John’s book (The Laws of Simplicity), and really enjoyed it. He gave a great presentation – it’s rare to hear someone who really gets both technology and design (and he’s met Paul Rand!).

So when is simple, too simple? A great quote near the beginning of John’s book reads: “Imagine a world in which software companies simplified their programs every year by shipping with 10% fewer features at 10% higher cost due to the expense of simplification.” Maeda uses the iPod as an example of a product that has succeeded with this model. I also see this in the iPhone. As a new iPhone owner, I’ve been able to discover some great ways Apple’s removed features, without diminishing the experience, and simplified the iPhone UI.

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Interactions for the mobile experience

Mobile Interactions

When creating an online desktop experience, as Designers we want to choose the most interactive medium possible – then weigh that with the audience we’re designing for and make a decision. XHTML/AJAX? Adobe AIR? MS Silverlight? With each of these options we can create a highly interactive experience, with real-time interactions, large graphics, sound, and even 3D in some cases. And it’s something we’ve grown accustom to with better computers, better browsers, and more bandwidth.

But when Designing for mobile, we’re kind of partying like it’s 1999. With browser fragmentation, low speeds, and low adoption of mobile data – what interactions should you be designing for mobile devices?

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Who feeds an experience?

Who feeds an experience?

Awhile back I posted my “Universe of User Experience“, where I wanted to show all the pieces that needed to come together to create a great experience. This was very helpful in educating people on what User Experience was and why all the pieces were necessary. But this did not address the issue of explaining the roles of the people doing this work… So, who feeds these experiences?

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SXSW Interactive Brain-dump

SXSW Brain Dump

SXSWi has come and gone again, this was my fourth time to attend and it just keeps getting bigger every year. When I first visited in 2003 (or was it 2002?) Bruce Sterling was still throwing SXSWi parties at his home and FROG Design hosted everyone in their office, unfortunately that doesn’t really scale to the size of the conference today. But, the panels were as diverse and interesting as ever – and I came back with the following brain-dump:

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Look for me in Austin (SXSWi)

Say Hello!

Are you going to Austin this weekend for SXSWi? Or maybe you’re heading for Austin to attend the new Apple Store opening? Either way, I’ll be around. Visiting all the great independent shops and restaurants Austin has to offer, as well as attending SXSWi for the fourth time. Interested in what panels I’m excited to see? (maybe not so much?) – but here it is anyways, my SXSWi list of panels:

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Do you read comics?

Do you read comics?

Even if you’re not a comic collector and could never pass for “comic book guy” on the Simpsons, that doesn’t mean you don’t read comics. How about how-tos in home improvement books? Instruction manuals for various electronics, or even the calm as a “hindu-cow” passengers showing you how to evacuate an airplane? Comics are a great way to communicate information. And as someone in the business of communicating information, there is a lot to learn from a master of comics like Scott McCloud.

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Tug of War (Will Marketing ever get on board?)

Tug of War Title

I know we probably don’t need another post describing the chasm between Marketing and Design, but here we go ;-) In recent years I’ve seen Marketing destroy good experiences for political reasons, timelines, advertising, and turf-wars. Of course these are the things that bother us Designers most. We want to produce a great product, something we’re proud of and yes, even something that will help make the company money.
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