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The Myth of Mobile Context
Pick up most books about building web sites or products for mobile and you’ll hear a common refrain extolling you to pay attention to the mobile context. Usually this means paying attention to the fact that people using mobile phones are likely to be on the go, have limited attention, and slow Internet connections.
This may have been true in the past, but data suggests that this behavior is changing:
- 93% of smartphone owners use their smartphones while at home
- 62% of people use their mobile phone while watching television
- 69% use mobile while shopping
- 39% of smartphone owners use their devices in the bathroom
Data like this challenges our understanding of the mobile context. At this month’s Mobile Portland, we’ve assembled an all-star panel to tackle tough questions like:
- What is mobile context, really? What can we really infer about users’ intent from the fact that they're on a small screen?
- Is mobile really desktop lite? Is it a peer to, but separate from, desktop content/tools? Is it one web, or is that a pipe dream?
- How do we tackle building/designing for what seems to be becoming an infinite number of devices/screens? Buzz is all about future-facing, cutting edge devices (iPhone, Android, tablets)... what about older feature phones. Who are we designing for?
Please join us for this timely and certain to be lively discussion.
About Our Panelists
Josh is a designer specializing in mobile design strategy and user experience. He's author of the O'Reilly books Tapworthy: Designing Great iPhone Apps and Best iPhone Apps. Josh's outfit Global Moxie offers consulting services and workshops to help media companies, design agencies, and creative organizations build tapworthy mobile apps and effective websites.
Before the interwebs swallowed him up, Josh worked on a slew of national PBS programs at Boston's WGBH. He shared his three words of Russian with Mikhail Gorbachev, strolled the ranch with Nancy Reagan, hobnobbed with Rockefellers, and wrote trivia questions for a primetime game show. In 1996, he created the uberpopular "Couch-to-5K" (C25K) running program, which has helped millions of skeptical would-be exercisers take up jogging. (His motto is the same for fitness as it is for user experience: no pain, no pain.)
Daniel is the Web Evangelist for Opera's Japan office based in Tokyo. His previous work experience includes project management, IT training, web development, software development and system administration in both Japan and the UK, his home country.
After studying Japanese and Chinese at the University of Leeds, he grew more and more interested in the flourishing field of IT and the web, learning as much as he could by playing and experimenting with internet-related technologies.
His current work promoting web standards and cross-device web development at Opera fits in perfectly with his ideology of openness and equality across linguistic, social and socio-economic borders.
Photo by Patrick Lauke (flickr.com/redux)
Ty is a designer turned front end developer with a passion for making the mobile experience one people enjoy.
He is currently with the LDS Church in Salt Lake City. Former posts include Microsoft, Intel, Mayo Clinic, a few agencies and a startup or two. You can find him @tyhatch on the twitters.
Rachel is a designer, researcher and a recognized thought leader in the mobile user experience field. Currently she is a Senior Research Scientist at the Nokia Research Center in Palo Alto, California, where she focuses on the research and design of emergent and experimental mobile experiences. Prior to joining Nokia, Rachel was an experience design director at Adaptive Path, and a mobile researcher and strategist for Yahoo's mobile group.
Rachel received a Masters Degree in Design Planning from the Institute of Design in Chicago. She is the creative force behind the 90 Mobiles in 90 Days Project and her perspectives on mobile user experience has been featured in Interactions Magazine, BusinessWeek, Wired, and is currently writing a book entitled The Mobile Frontier: A Guide for Designing Mobile Experiences with Rosenfeld Media due out in late 2011.
Tim Kadlec is web developer living and working in northern Wisconsin with a propensity for efficient, standards-based front-end development. His diverse background working with small companies to large publishers and industrial corporations have allowed him to see how these standards can be effectively utilized for businesses of all sizes. His current interests include creating cross-platform mobile web applications and improving the state of performance optimization on the web.