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Designing for Mobile, Part 1: Information Architecture

Designing for Mobile, Part 1: Information Architecture
Around 1993, my dad brought home a large, brick-shaped mobile phone. We were all incredibly excited by the new technology, even though none of us thought it would have a massive impact on our lives. I actually still thought of it as a gimmick, a few years later, when some of my friends decided to purchase them. Today there are six-billion mobile subscribers in the world – meaning if there were one mobile per owner then 87% of the world’s population would have one. And considering that fewer than three billion people use a desktop computer, that’s quite a big difference. Mobile devices are clearly here to stay, and along with them come a whole host of new constraints (and opportunities) for our designs. How is mobile different? The first thing we need to understand about mobile design is that it’s different – and not just with regards to size. Physicality and specifications How, where and when Because we have constant access to our mobile devices, we tend to use them more frequently.

Designing for Mobile, Part 2: Interaction Design My first mobile phone, a Nokia 5110 (purchased in 1998!), offered very few features: I could call, text or play Snake. What’s more, these interactions were completely controlled by the manufacturer. With the advent of smartphones, touch screens, and “app stores,” however, the opportunities for designers are now innumerable. Welcome to Designing for Mobile, Part 2: Interaction Design. Part 1 concluded with an exploration of information architecture in the mobile context. The design of interactions Most modern, mobile devices employ touch screens; which provide their own set of opportunities and constraints. Ergonomics Designing for mobile ergonomics requires that we pay attention to device dimensions as well as the pragmatic concerns of touch screens. Hit areas, or “areas of the screen the user touches to activate something” require adequate space for the user to accurately (and confidently) press. Yet there are no hard and fast rules with regards to hit areas. Gestures Transitions

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Photoshop backgrounds, textures and icons | PSDGraphics Alaska Airlines drives app engagement with Passbook integration, push messaging The Alaska Airlines mobile application for iOS users has been updated to enable users to add their boarding pass to Passbook, helping the airline improve customer experiences and increasing engagement. The airline has offered electronic boarding passes through its native apps for some time but this is the first time they will be supported by Apple Passbook. The updated app also now includes push messaging to alert users to gate and seat changes, time changes and other travel updates that can be served in real-time. “Passbook has really been growing in popularity and Alaska’s customers were asking for this functionality,” said Joe Beninato, general manager of digital wallet for Urban Airship, Portland. “Their new Passbook boarding passes go beyond the electronic boarding passes Alaska already had in its app to automatically pop-up on home screens as customers arrive at the airport, and also automatically update if something like a flight time or gate change occurs,” he said.

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