Thursday, October 18, 2007

Web Application UIs for Desktop / Mobile

As the "web" is moving very fast to mobile devices following the new-age mobile devices revolution which is enabling users to access websites & rich media content on their devices very easily making us re-think about the user interface designing & accessibility strategies from different perspectives when compared the conventional desktop-based web access.

As I always , the "end-user" is always at the core of all the development that happens on and off the web, the fundamental of any such product or application development is to create a product that's easily accessible & usable to him / her. But, being developers, the responsibility increases when it comes to 'mobile web applications' & the strategies changes from the conventional ones.

Unlike desktops, mobile phones are not powered by high-end processors, RAM or even storage capacity (as in most cases); which makes them far less capable when compared to desktop computers. And, this is where the need of the sensible web application design comes in to the picture at a critical level.

As mobile application UI designers / developers, one 'really' needs to understand the requirements of the end-users. An application which is going to be specifically for mobile devices needs to keep lot things like "display & such hardware capability limits, bandwidth / data usage limits & cost constraints & user demographics". The typical desktop-based web application user interface (UI) approach can NOT be fully applied for mobile-specific web application development. The below given image explains the same, about how both of them have different UI approaches:

Unlike desktop-based web application development where an UI uses 'horizontal' approach & splits into several areas like header, footer, left navigation, right navigation, etc. ; though the mobile application interface has only vertical approach as the ideal one & is not recommended to use a horizontal split approach until the application is targeted at a specific user segment with a specific device which is known to developers about it's capabilities, like hardware configurations; i.e. screen / display sizes, RAM, etc. In the absence of such information or business scenario, such split approach in UI development for mobile application is not fruitful & rather may land up the application in trouble.

I will add some more thoughts on this in my next article, where I will post some of my learning from my experience as well from others also.

1 comment:

Brendon Webappl Soft IT said...

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