Building usable devices is difficult. Building usable devices that are tiny and mobile is brutally difficult -- especially if your devices must adapt to users all over the world. One company arguably leads the way in mobile design: Nokia. In Mobile Usability, Nokia’s design and user interface innovators teach you what they’ve learned about great mobile interfaces -- and the processes that lead to their development.
For example, you’ll learn more than you ever imagined about mobile phone menus, softkeys, shortcuts, and keyboards. Why did Nokia make the interface choices it made? How did it apply them throughout its designs? Which interface techniques failed, and why?
But you’ll also learn better techniques for managing design and prototyping in an era of rapid product cycles and highly differentiated marketplaces.
CEOs and teenagers tend to want very different phones. So do Norwegians and South Asians. You’ll be fascinated by Nokia’s research on wireless in India. (Indian cities are noisy: That has implications for ring tones, alerts, and background noise reduction features. Some Indians associate orange with Hinduism and green with Islam; that must be considered in creating color interfaces. Mobile phone sharing and group web surfing are widespread; this, too, impacts design.)
If you create mobile user interfaces, Nokia’s approach to research, management, and design can help you no matter where you sell, or who your customers are. Bill Camarda
Bill Camarda is a consultant, writer, and web/multimedia content developer. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2000 and Upgrading & Fixing Networks for Dummies, Second Edition.