Friday, January 25, 2008

TAT White paper - Executive summary - Sneak pre-view

TAT will launch a new white paper in the coming week called
"The Mobile UI as a Driver for an Enhanced Internet and Community Experience"

In the mean time you can read the Executive summary appetizer below and follow this link for download in the coming week >>

Executive Summary

Progression of UI Design Paradigms
Since 2002, the mobile phone user interface (UI) has become the single most important means of differentiation for handset OEMs, mobile operators, media brands and service providers.

However, innovation in mobile UIs has been stalled by two factors: the rigidity of mobile handset software and the lack of an insight into the fundamentals of an intuitive usage experience. In the vast majority of mobile phones, user interfaces are designed one application at a time. This, results in a fragmented user journey made up of UI "silos", without any consistency or apparent personality. Even though the iPhone is still somewhat silo-based that was what it took to make the mobile industry realize how intuitive and consistent UIs have a tangible value. In other words, a consistent, usable user interface sells.

There are three fundamental issues with mobile handset user interfaces today:
1. Implementation of UI designs does not scale across the user journey, making it very costly to have visual consistency across handset applications, not to mention downloaded ones.

2. Mobile UIs are designed based on the underlying platform (e.g. S60, S40, UIQ, BREW, Java) and not according to the handset tier or target user segment. For example Nokia S60 phones may look different on the outside, but rarely so on the inside.

3. In the wake of Web 2.0, mobile phones are an isolated island, exposed to the social web and internet-based services only via a browser window. There’s an untapped world of possibilities if every application on the handset could interact with the internet.

These three challenges represent opportunities in how mobile UIs can evolve and better serve the interests of users, mobile operators, handset OEMs, media brands and service providers alike.
We believe that a more user-centric approach to UI design is around the corner;
A rethinking in UI design, moving from a static application-centric model (e.g. contacts, messaging, calling, calendar and idle screen) to an intention-centric model (e.g. What, Who, Where and When). Intention-based UI design means fitting the UI around the user i.e. who (“call a friend”), what (“listen to Madonna”), when (“check the voicemails I received yesterday”) and where (“using GPS to book a taxi to the airport”).

Moreover, without end-to-end UI frameworks, UI designs that scale across the entire journey will remain costly to develop. Segment-centric UIs will become viable only when UI platforms can be micro-segmented yet mass-produced. UI frameworks are essential in order for this transformation to take place.

Finally, a UI framework can enable the true convergence of mobile phones with Web 2.0, by allowing services to be injected into, and accessed from any segment of the user journey. Imagine being able to integrate your social networking address book into the contacts application and see where your friends are travelling, and how’s the weather like when you next visit them. All intuitively, transparently and without effortlessly, for users, manufacturers and developers.

The journey into the world of mobile UI possibilities begins here.

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