Mobile Gizmos and nonsuch

This is a blog about mobile ui and interaction design, among other things.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Mobile Monday and in SF

This week I'm in SF to check on the husband and the house and the cats, MinniueEvil and Lardass.

While I'm in town I'm catching up with friends and surveying the mobile landscape.

Yesterday I got to go to Mobile Monday and listen to Ron Mandel of Openwave talk about Device Diversity. He's the Chief Architect for the Developer Tools at Openwave and the main shaker behind WALL/WURFL. I learned a lot about the uses of UAProf.

The other speaker was Brian Fling of Fling Media. He presented Designing User Experiences for Mobile Media. It was interesting, but again, it was kind of recycled UCD process targeted towards mobile design, with not really a lot of mobile substance or examples. I'd really like to see something with examples about designing mobile experiences....use cases, screenshots, etc.

The third speaker from Mobile Monday was a guy from Yahoo with a fetish for gadgets. He showed everybody his gadgets. He had a lot of gadgets......

On the networking side I finally got to meet and talk with Scott Weiss. I am going out to coffee with him on Wednesday to discuss his Media Download Study, talk shop and talk about his upcoming new study. Scott's a really cool guy and knows a lot about the mobile landscape. It turns out Scott is a friend of my friend Shan Chun, who used to work at Excite@Home with me. I haven't seen Shan in a long time (he was my faux husband at CHI 2001) and so we got to connect, swap phone numbers and email, and talk.

I'm off on Friday to go see Ji Kim, my cohort at Actuate. Ji was the BIRT lead before me, and we're going to talk about whipping together a quick sketch for DUX 2005 regarding best practices for UI design for Eclipse.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Religion and Cell phones...

I guess I am not that far off on religion and mobile phones...

Here's an article on Wired

http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,64624,00.html

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

XHTML Mobile profile

Here's a link to the capabilities of XHTML MP on openwave...it details all the specs of XHTML MP.

http://developer.openwave.com/omdtdocs/client/pdf/XHTML-MP-Ref-6.2.pdf

Thanks to Martijn from the IXDG mailing list.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Emulator or No emulator....?

Talking to everyone it seems that Emulators over overrated. They are nice to see, but they really don't format the page the way it should correctly in a phone. Additionally, depending on the phone and the version of WAP browser installed, it's going to look different in every phone.

I've been using the Openwave 7.0 Emulator. It works reasonably well. However I was at first confused how to use it. (Hmm...in order to actually get it to work, you actually have to click on the phone keys on the phone interface....go figure...it took me a bit to figure out that you had to do this after clicking on the mouse a dozen times and thinking it was broken). The openwave emulator is great because it works like an HTML browser and can go to any WAP/HTML site that's out on the web. It's pretty easy to use and set up, though the page design doesn't always look like it should on the phone. I just wish I had more .pho templates with different sizes, so I could change it.

I am working on a design for a Nokia phone and tried the Nokia Series 40 emulator this morning. I still am having trouble with that one. It didn't not appear to work like the Openwave emulator and appeared to be more for J2ME apps. Since I'm kind of focused on some design work at the minute, I will have to go back and take a look at the Nokia emulators when I have a chance to actually read about it and set it up. On the plus side, the Nokia developer portal is probably the best mobile developer portal out there, along with the Openwave portal.

The Smartphone Emulator looks really cool, where you can look at the design in several different phone styles. However, it costs like $600 bucks, so it's not a viable option at this point. However, you can download a trial for 15 days.

http://www.yospace.com/spede.html

I've tried the phone covers in Flash pro, but I could not call that an emulator. It's just a jpeg with a feature.

Perhaps Adobe/Macromedia will move ahead and provide better emulation capabilities in CS Studio 2.0 and the next version of Macromedia Dreamweaver MX with their focus on the mobile content market...I noticed that Adobe GoLive is pandering more towards the mobile market by looking at their website and market collateral...however, I am not a GoLive user and prefer to use Dreamweaver for my HTML mockups. Hm...go figure, I worked briefly on the GoLive interface when I had a short stint at Adobe.

I think the best emulator to use to test a design is to use the actual phone if you are designing to a specific device. I am lucky because at work we have several different phones with browser versions, and we're always getting new ones in to work on. Someobdy said that another way to test a design on a phone is to put your design on a website, and then go to Best Buy and test it on the phones at the counter.

Right now I'm going to have to wait until June though until to get a phone that I need....

some puzzles....WAP browser title bars be gone and cool menus for WALL/WURFL

The question has been raised on how you get rid of the title bar in the Openwave Browser.

I was looking at it through 2 phones and noticed that it was gone. I liked it gone because it took up so much space and as a designer I could use the extra space (about 16 pixels high by 128 pixels wide)

We noticed on a Verizon phone and Alltel phone that it was gone. Is it something customizable that development can do? Is is something that is customized by the mobile device manufacturer specific at the carrier's request?

On another note, somebody noticed this nifty little menu feature for WALL/WURFL called cool menus:

http://developer.openwave.com/dvl/tools_and_sdk/wurfl_and_wall/wall_cool_menus.htm

Okay, I'll just admit at this point WALL/WURFL is just another acronym like MIDP2.0, etc, but it looks like a cool UI device that I could somehow leverage in a design. I don't know the usability on it yet. I'll just have to add this to my reading and analyze it...