I am sorry I have to do this to you, you are too good for me. There is definite problem with me, it’s me. Please don’t take it otherwise.I am the one who needs to improve his cognitive abilities and his grasping abilities. I should tow the party line how cool a device and apps are – but sorry I can’t. I simply can’t.
Let me try to explain.
I would call myself middle aged technology user – who saw mosaic and its aftermath, ipaq and palm pda or even newton. What do I want to do when I start using a device/application – just get job done. In case you forgot, That is the goal of the design.
Why this rant?
Personal computing devices will be there for quite some time and have an interface made up of now touch(hideous), keyboard(aged) and mouse(mostly works). Mobile computing devices have touch and touch enabled keyboard- some of them are still trying to make up their mind. Add to this each device’s well thought out strategy to place “interaction”. I am sure all the John ivy types in these places have done immense work here – one of them has a one physical button, another has 3 on seperate area, yet another has hidden 3(humor me as I ignore the ones who add their own interpretations). Just brilliant. This is super useful as I as end user need to jump through some of these devices at home. And every time I am little lighter of my grey matter. Way too much movement/information overload. May be I am getting old for this.
For all their challenges – PCs with any OS are forgiving(if you ignore all that login/shutdown/install experience). Yes they require little bit of work but freedom is immense. That screen kills all puny wanna-be-big-screen phablets and presents interaction area in simple way, try entering 40 fields of data on that screen of your device(no real applications have more data to enter period). Anyway I digress I am not here to talk about who is better in those two worlds. I just have to deal with multiple kind of devices. And I am done.
I may be wrong and not looking at the long term gains, but right now there is lot of pain.
a. Do not change the navigation between your web properties and mobile application drastically. I know it sounds very intuitive and you have some kind of scoring at backend to rate me as user, but please do not make it a game. I simply have very less number of touch interaction left in me(with apologies to Scott Hanselmann). Please make them worthwhile. I know every vendor wants you to give native experience – please resist. You are the one with power. You are the savior of wasted time.
b. Do not interchange swipe directions and change their meanings – everytime I touch a device – I am made to think about ways to interact, and at times the fear overcomes me and I just give up.
c. Do not provide hidden interaction in form of small icons who magically enlarge and whose content does not fit on the screen.
d. Do not introduce native mobile app specific navigation for the heck of it
e. We understand back button – it was there on web – I know you do not like it, it is there now & by god it works – please make it work across your application too.
f. Those tiles are great – but they are just status indicators – do not try to cram the world in it, please get a designer to look at what all you are pushing, will it register in puny brain of mine? If every change is tiled and revolving – how will real alerts make through ? Chances of me ignoring tile notifications are more if they become habit. Please think through tile overloading.
g. Kindly do not create new visual metaphors and change the behavior of existing ones. If possible have mercy and add a text of line.
h. Do not indulge evil side who does whole lot of hover magic – no please, sometimes we access desktop site on the mobile platform (tab/phone -take your pick) and are left in la-la land.
i. Please keep single page – discover-what-you-can for first time impression but please do not expect us to repeat that experience. Do you remember playing doom or badlands and having to walk through boring parts again and again. It makes users either reach out share expletives & add to your bad-design debt or worse just leave the application.
j. Do not support create half hearted applications – stuff available here can’t be looked from the web application – tells us all this is bleddy broken – what happens if that device is lost saar ? I know it has nothing to do with design/ux – but the final product is design. If it surprises – request the owners from inflicting this madness.
Would seriously request you all design heads to come up with right interaction patterns common across platforms – pretty please. I know you folks do not like standards – but for the sake of user and reducing the cognitive overload – please please please join hands together.