The mantra I scrawled in
serial-killer-styled handwriting across a draft of the latest chapter of The
Mobile Frontier should give you a sense of how fun the chapter on
“mobile context” was to write.
frustrated, angry… all those words fit my state of mind over the last month and
But it’s done! I finished
it today and it didn’t kill me. I’m hoping for smoother sailing as I tackle the
chapters that lie ahead. Plus, I’m planning to start the mobile expert
interviews in earnest and plan to post them here. They should be fun so stay
I’ve enclosed some excerpts from
the context chapter (that I slayed like a dragon) below. Comments and
feedback are welcomed!
are like scuba diving.
Mobile experiences are like snorkeling.
PC experiences are
scuba-like because they are designed to be immersive. Just as a wet suit and a
tank of air enables scuba divers to plunge deep into the ocean and become
immersed in the exploration of a different world, the large screen, and static
environment implicit during PC use enables users to become immersed in the
rich, graphical world behind their computer monitor. Just as it’s easy for
scuba divers to maneuver through the water, it’s easy for PC users to move
through content quickly and easily with the precision afforded by a keyboard
and mouse. Overlapping windows and visual cues allow for easy exploration of
multiple applications and documents at one time. Just like the world beneath
the ocean, the PC invites exploration and discovery. Engagement is prized.
Mobile is akin to snorkeling
because attention is divided. Similar to snorkelers who float on the surface of
the water and must ride with the ebb and flow of the ocean, mobile users often
need to access content while in an uncontrollable and unpredictable
environment. Snorkelers tend to dip in and out of the water in search of
interesting seascapes, just as mobile users “dip in and dip out” of content and
information. The dynamics of both snorkeling and mobile experiences make it
inherently difficult for users to get totally immersed because attention is
divided. Slow connection speeds and small screen sizes do not allow users to
multi-task or become engrossed.
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