Tuesday, November 27, 2007

new phone - HTC Touch Dual

I've got a new phone.

I think that means I'm obliged to post detais of all the phones I've had before.

This is the new one:

This is the one before:
I had this one for a bit as a trial:
I vaguley remember this:
Ah, my first Windows Mobile powered phone:

Tiny phone:
There was another Nokia phone I can't remember the name of or find a picture of.

This was my first mobile, ten years ago. Ah, the days of the brick.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Poor internationalisation

This image is part of a screen shot from a shopping website I visited recently.

This shows the sites attempt at providing the site in different languages.
A few observations:
  • Surely the options should be: Fran├žais, Deutsch and Svenska.
  • What about an option for English. - Because this isn't, the only way to get back to English is to delete the cookie created by the site.
  • Because an option is always displayed (French if in 'English mode') and the only way to change the language is by selecting a different language from the list, to get the site to display in 'French' you must first select one of the other options. Yes, to see the site in French you must first display it in Swedish or German
  • There is no way to change the language if the browser you are using does not support Java Script.
Also, only the navigation was translated. All product descriptions were still in English. I don't think that will work out as being particularly helpful for French, German or Swedish visitors.
It's good to see websites adding support for multiple languages, it would just be nice to see them doing a good job of it.

Friday, November 16, 2007

plan in disappearing ink

When writing a plan, assume that you are using disappearing ink. A special disappearing ink that will slowly fade over time. To ensure that you don't lose your plan you have to keep rewriting it.
Now, hopefully you'll realise that it doesn't make sense to keep rewriting the same thing if it no longer applies. Therefore, you'll be forced to update it as you rewrite what has faded.

Hmm. I wonder if there's an application in this?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

MotoDev Summit notes

My notes from last Fridays MOTODEV Summit:

designing the best UI for mobile handsets

be obvious
be accessible
be consistent
be new and beautiful }be engaging
be fast }
be protective (protect users (MY) work)
be familiar - speak my language - applications should ahve a personality - make user smile
be powerful - give the user (ME) power and control

(2 line) lists
nested option menus
progressive disclosure
5 way controls

application based - not task based

common structure:
list -> view -> edit -> save -> list...

Flow + media + prompts = application

flow: movement between tasks/screen/functions/action

media: icons animations colours image themes fonts sounds

prompts: context style tone nomenclature capitalisation grammar & punctuation

Put context in your messages:
Not: "Wait..."
But: "One moment. Loading contact from sim card."

"language can never describe a user experience"

framework (from device/platform) + application = UI

when developing the UI, focus time/effort where users will spend their time, not on edge cases.

controling device access (Symbol devices)

consistency throughout
screen size and resolution
prevent user accessing unproductive apps

- reg setting
- startup folder: exe or .RUN file

AppLauncher - not supported

- free download
- prelicensed on each device
- shell over the OS
- admin password to close
- diasbles activesync
- no programmign required
- has a debug mode
- supported

Good mobile Messaging 5(?):

SPB Kiosk
- 3rd party solution
- expensive for small volumes

Pocket controller (from SOTI):
can capture to .AVI

Windows Mobile Development

Why certify?
- commitment to quality
- demonstrates applying best practices
- required for inclusion in Microsoft app catalogue and marketing
- helps ensure device compatibility

why sign apps?
- slightly improved UI - as not prompted
- required for installation on some devices
- needed for access to some device functionality

designing for multiple devices:
touch screen - with or without
form factor - screen resolution & orientation
hardware (buttons, radios, peripherals, etc.)

however - all use same runtime

Plan before starting:
- define minimum device requirements
- try and use additional functionality of some devices and down grade gracefully where not available
- avoid trying to target the lowest common denominator
- support touch screen where available

consider using separate forms for touch screen and non-touch screen versions

to target multiple devices
use anchoring and docking
when that is not enough, use the Orientation Aware Control
when that is not enough, hard code screen design based on device

Mobile Web 2.0

web 2.0 = user generated, has a network effect

think of mobile as an extension of the desktop

focus on mobile centric data/situations, rather than just portng desktop functionality

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

treating a social network like a private club

The clue is in the name. It's supposed to be social. If you only ever interact with the people you know that's not being very sociable.

Would you go to a club/bar/whatever where there were many people you didn't know, but only talk to the ones you did? Even if there were some very interesting looking people there?

When using a social network, make your data searchable, you never know who you might meet.

Get hit by a bus or catch the plague

When planning for some less than desirable circumstances, I used to talk about 'getting hit by a bus' as an example of unplanned possible events happening that may need to be considered.
However, as a result of lots of cycling recently, the possibility of being hit by a bus seems a lot more possible. As such I've started using 'catching the plague' as a less likely possibility.

The same thing, just less close to home.