Designing work for Mobile devices is increasing day by day due to changing habits & behavior of human with respect to mobile phones & devices. This new and more work for designers giving a challenge i.e. giving better experience with their mobile solution. Goals for each design team are focus on preparing world class mobile solution & deliver better user experience. In this article I have tried to give light on a different angles on mobile phone usage which can affect overall user experience. All these points fall under Strategy, Research, Design & test, which are important part of UCD process. Before designing for mobile, let’s understand the usage pattern of mobile phones.
Pattern of usage
Understanding usage pattern is really important before designing any mobile solution because this affects majorly. Today people use mobile phones not only for talking & texting but for number of reasons. Checking status, notifications, chats, listening songs, playing games etc. while running on park, walking on roads, waiting at bus stops, sitting on toilet seat, standing inside lifts are common some scenarios now a days. Interaction with mobile phone is more complex than using a laptop or desktop in many sense especially ergonomically. People use mobile while sitting on cars, bus etc. where objects are shaking due to pot holes on roads. People use mobile in shopping mart while carrying shopping bag in one hand & using mobile in other.
Design for outdoors
It is really an important aspect for designing mobile solution i.e. Design for outdoors. Outdoors can be treated as environment where user uses mobile solution. Environment have different factors which can affect experience like sun light, background noise etc.
Testing of design
Usability Testing & development testing should also be performed in mobile friendly environment (outside). Some important testing variations are given below,
Slow Network - Test mobile app in slow internet network or in network failure. Sometimes it happens when someone goes inside huge building or lift network get disconnected. If that user is in between some process then app should save user tasks & continue when network comes again.
Background sound – When your app is having audio notifications or voice based interactions, then one should test app audio based features in different background sounds.
Light conditions - Test your app color scheme in variety of lighting conditions (like in sun).
Color Blindness - Test your app color scheme for color blindness.
At last some final thoughts, mobile devices are becoming powerful in terms of technology & adoption so design solutions should also meet the expectations. Taking care of User’s behavior, task, technology along with mobile environment (environment meaning outdoor, lights, sound etc. factors) are really required for designing for better experience.
Abhishek Jain (@uxdabhi)