Honestly, I needed a few days to process the Breaking Development conference so I’m about ready to write something now.
Firstly some comments about the conference in general:
- Single stream conferences rock! I’ve been to a few multithreaded conference and always struggle to find the right sessions to attend. I always seem to miss the one session everyone else thinks was the best… but with a single thread you know you’re gonna see it.
- The quality of presenters and their actual presentations were great. Great slides, great speakers, great topics – all meant that everything was polished and shiny. I think it should be mandatory for swearing and mythical animals to be part of any conference presentation 🙂
- Ideas VS tech – I actually think that there was a good balance of ideas and technical information. Nothing mind blowingly technical but a balance that didn’t let either get in the way.
The Gaylord Texan was a great venue and if you visit eat at Zeppole – try the risotto with duck, it was amazing!
- Pare it back – strip away the bloat and pixel crack (great new term) down to the core functionality. You loose 80% of the screen – you need to seriously contemplate getting rid of 80% of the information on the screen.
- UX – mobile is personal. It’s a personal device, you carry it everywhere, it’s interacted through the hands, you physically manipulate content – therefore the content and it’s delivery needs to show the same focus on the user their needs in your app/site.
- Opportunities – a mobile device has access to more personal and environmental information than any desktop or laptop ever has. With its GPS, camera, compass, accelerometers – they define the user environment and open up new opportunities to tailor and customize the UX and the content delivered. Augmented reality is just content in its physical context – it not a site where you read it’s information detached from the environment.
- Don’t Read Minds (or pretend you can) – This was a great point about avoiding those “I think” statements as the mobile web is new, it’s not an excuse to bypass usability and user testing – or actually doing some leg work to support you mobile site ideas. As they say – “Presumption is the brother of all f*ck ups… I mean mother of all f*ck ups”. To me this meant taking an iterative approach – building and modifying to your users and not thinking you have all the answers first time round.
- We need to make richer content instead of richer containers – Stephanie Riegers presentation really hammered the idea home about content and I think she summed it up so well there’s not much more I can possibly add.
- The taxonomy was a big thing. The differences between web sites displaying the content of the web and the use of the web to enable applications and interaction really needs to be defined. There was definitely a big blurry line between the two and a lot of debate stemming from the lack of a clear divide. I know in some cases there are things that don’t fit into either camps or combines elements of the two but I think there is a need for distinction between ‘sites’ and ‘apps’. Technically they are very different beasts and I think that’s why we see the big debate around web vs native – because we’re not talking about the same things. Mobile Web is a big concept and a little differentiation would go a long way!