Building Mobile Experiences

by Bentley, Barrett

ISBN: 9780262304559 | Copyright 2012

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The mobile device is changing the ways we interact with each other and with the world. The mobile experience is distinct from the desktop or laptop experience; mobile apps require a significantly different design philosophy as well as design methods that reflect the unique experience of computing in the world. This book presents an approach to designing mobile media that takes advantage of the Internet-connected, context-aware, and media-sharing capabilities of mobile devices. It introduces tools that can be used at every stage of building a mobile application, from concept creation to commercialization, as well as real-world examples from industry and academia.

The methods outlined apply user-centered design processes to mobile devices in a way that makes these methods relevant to the mobile experience--which involves the use of systems in the complex spatial and social world rather than at a desk. The book shows how each project begins with generative research into the practices and desires of a diverse set of potential users, which grounds research and design in the real world. It then describes methods for rapid prototyping, usability evaluation, field testing, and scaling up solutions in order to bring a product to market. Building Mobile Experiences grew out of an MIT course in communicating with mobile technology; it is appropriate for classroom use and as a reference for mobile app designers.

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Contents (pg. v)
Chapter 1. Introduction (pg. 1)
Social Connection (pg. 4)
Live Environmental Capture (pg. 7)
Contextual Sensing (pg. 10)
Chapter 2. The User-Centered Design Process Applied to Mobile (pg. 17)
Process of User-Centered Design (pg. 19)
Generative Research Methods (pg. 20)
Design Methods (pg. 21)
Rapid Prototyping and Field Evaluation of New Concepts (pg. 21)
Commercial Deployments (pg. 22)
Evaluating the Results of All Methods (pg. 26)
Chapter 3. Discovering What to Build (pg. 29)
The Process of Generative Research (pg. 33)
Defining Research Questions (pg. 33)
Using Probes (pg. 35)
Logging and Conversation Analysis (pg. 37)
Home Tours/Field Visits (pg. 39)
Task Analysis (pg. 42)
Semi-structured Interviews (pg. 43)
Recruiting Users (pg. 44)
Conducting the Research (pg. 45)
Affinity Analysis (pg. 46)
Discount Methods (pg. 50)
Chapter 4. Rapid Iterative Prototyping (pg. 53)
Build Only What You Need (pg. 55)
Build the Experience, Not the Technology (pg. 58)
Build It Sturdy (Enough) (pg. 63)
Other Pitfalls (pg. 65)
Discount Methods (pg. 66)
Chapter 5. Using Specific Mobile Technologies (pg. 69)
Location (pg. 70)
Data (pg. 75)
Bluetooth (pg. 79)
Environmental Capture (pg. 81)
Chapter 6. Mobile Interaction Design (pg. 83)
Modeling (pg. 84)
Structure and Flow (pg. 87)
Designing the Screen: Interface Design Principles (pg. 90)
Chapter 7. Usability Evaluation (pg. 97)
Lab Usability Evaluations (pg. 99)
Paper Prototypes (pg. 102)
Chapter 8. Field Testing (pg. 109)
Social Groups for Social Tech (pg. 110)
Real Context of Use (pg. 112)
Primary Device (pg. 115)
Field-Based Data Collection (pg. 116)
Discount Methods (pg. 120)
Chapter 9. Distributing Mobile Applications: Putting It All Together (pg. 123)
Beta Releases (pg. 124)
Scalability (pg. 126)
Instrumentation (pg. 127)
Ethics of Large-Scale Research (pg. 130)
Revenue (pg. 131)
Upgrades (pg. 133)
Chapter 10. Conclusion (pg. 135)
Acknowledgments (pg. 139)
Frank Bentley (pg. 139)
Ed Barrett (pg. 140)
Author Bios (pg. 141)
References (pg. 143)
Index (pg. 153)

Frank Bentley

Frank Bentley is a Principal Research Associate in the HCI Research Group at Yahoo Labs in San Francisco. Bentley and Edward Barrett teach the MIT course Communicating Using Mobile Technology.

Edward Barrett

Edward Barrett is Senior Lecturer in the Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies at MIT.

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