exploring mobile trends in libraries

Designing Mobile Interfaces

I am in the process of designing a new interface for a well-defined mobile Web application. The project is more fun then the type of work I get to do usually and therefore I have some leeway on the interface.  I am not tied to the predetermine look and feel of OSU Libraries templates and I get to target smartphones with support of CSS3 and HTML5. So I get to do some fun things.

The design of the product is as important as the functionality. The possible behaviour of a system is the behaviour afforded by the system (Norman, 1988). I like to use the analogy of a car with a spanking new engine but no steering wheel. Without a steering wheel a person can not drive the car, just like without a well designed interface a user can not make full use of the product.

My process in designing any type of application is to first gather requirements, write clear functionality requirements, develop the major requirements and then design the interface.  I implement the major functionalities first to work out any interface requirements that might need to be in the interface functionality guideline documentation. After that I work with designers and users on what the interface should look like.

The concept of this project is simple so we want to have a little fun with the look and feel, while providing a clear and easy interface. We’ve come up with a couple of themes and the designer came up with some awesome mock-ups. Now the hard part is making it fit with the functionality requirements. To get some ideas on mobile interfaces I surf  the web on my phone with a notebook in hand to sketch ideas I like. I find the mobile sites by looking at blogs and such with posts that have topics like: 60 Astonishing Mobile Web Sites. Here is a list of links to some of the blogs I am looking at today for ideas.

Stay tune for more post on this topic and to find out what the project ends up looking like.

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