Monday, May 16, 2011

Mobilism in Amsterdam - a mobile web focused conference

An excellent conference with very good atmosphere

4 Mobiletech'ers was attending the very first mobilsm conference in Amsterdam May 12-13. Its audience is developers and semi-technical people, and there is no sales pitches what so ever. Some of the best brains in the industry were present and it was really an atmosphere of getting together and trying to solve the new challenges of the web in general.

Here are my notes from day 1

Luke Wroblewski (@lukew)
Mobile First

Why mobile first ?
1. Growth = Opportunity
2. Constraints = Focus
3. Capabillities = Innovation
Mobile traffic has surpassed desktop traffic an its growth rates dictates that it will be MUCH larger than desktop web. Morgan stanley predicted this should happen 2012, but it happened 2 quarters ago in 2010
  • Amazon have $1 billion in sales from mobile
  • Facbook : Mobile users use facebook twice as much
  • Twitter : 40 % is mobile (78 % use !) 14% use
Size of screen 1024 has lead to polluted web sites. We simpy put stuff there "Because we can". 320x480 is good - it forces us to focus
Speed : Amozon have tested and 100ms in deley restults in 1% loss in sales
Where are we mobile ? ANYWHERE & EVERYWHERE
  • 84% at home
  • 80% during misc times throughout the day (when we have a small time slot anywhere)
  • 64% at work
Partial attention requires - focused desing.
Ipad is a home device - in bed


  • Touch 
  • Orientation change - use that to enhance the experience - ref mail client on android
  • Location detection, augmented reality "Overlay relevant digital data based on your current view of the world"
  • Front face camera
Eric smith "We have technology that can identify you with 7 pictures" - "and there is 7 pictures of you on the web" recongnizr
A live implementation of some of these principles can be found at bagcheck

Peter-Paul Koch(@PPK)
The future of Mobile web

Mobile web is growing 8 times faster
Native vs Web - YAWWWWWN - The conclusion is  : IT DEPENDS
Room for both, we just have to figure out when to use which, and we have started to do so - this is not an interesting problem

HTML5 apps

- one core app written in CSS, JS THML
  • deployed to several platforms
  • Ideally js, and css stored on device
  • It can be deployed but its still an webside
Tools , phonegap
Native apps offer device apis and web apps will have to offer them to (phonegap does this today)

The Fisherman story - anno 2014

Mobile changed the fishermans work, when he could start to call his friends and find out which harbor he would get the best price for his fish.
in 2014 he will:
  • use webapps
  • Have a smart phone for $25
  • keep track of prices, and receive alerts against corrupt police officers (wild guesses but not important)
  • Apps will be transferred P2P via bluetooth or NCF due to cost
  • Data will be JSON - lighthweight, already works everywhere
  • Data (JSON) transferred via SMS - it already works everywhere and has a controllable cost - it is a proven and simple PUSH technology
Premium SMS or something similar

Appstores - what do appstores do for us ?

  1. Distribution -
    Works for apple but will it work for anybody else.
  2. Discoverability
    Your app have to compete with 10 000 s of other apps and you have to advertise it anyway
  3. Payments
    future will be not only credid card (because the fisherman does not have a credit card)
    Operator billing (because anyone with a phone can pay that way) example m-pesa by vodaphone
Cost of ownership for appstores is to high
  • Payments system
  • Admin
  • content checkers
  • documentation and best practises
  • hosting
Of more than a 100's appstores only a very few will survice
It work well for apple because
  • Apple - has leverage with enthusiatic developers and affiliate consumers
  • Google  - Has leverage with developers, but does not really have leverage with consumers
  • Nokia, Samsung, RIM - Have leverage with consumers, but not with developers
Appstores will not disappear, but its status as default (a must ) will disappear - apple apps store will survive


  • Web data will be transferred via SMS
  • Pay for content - not app
  • Apps stores are defensive
  • Apps will be shared P2P

Stephanie Rieger (@stephanierieger yiibu ) Beyond the mobile web

Massive changes:
"The most profound technologies are those that disappear. They weave themselves into fabric of everyday life, until they are indistinguishable from it"
Mark R. Wiesner
OLD world:
  • To read : go to library
  • To be social : go to cafe
This is imposed by culture, society and plain old physics, internet brings thing closer.
"The context is no longer defined by our physical environment"
  • "Today 35 billion devices are connected to internet and we will soon stop counting" - Eric Smith(google)
  • 6.8 million people on the planet
  • 77% has a mobile device
  • free OS platforms + low cost components = perfect storm - there is now a lot of disruption
  • It takes about 4 weeks to manufacture a new mobile device in china (The clothing shop Next had their own Adroid tablet manufactured ) - anyone can make mobile phones
  • Apple have taken 60% of global production capasity for touch screen panels
  • Internet is an intrinsic part of our lives, - People reach out for the internet using whatever device that makes sense to them
US statistics
  • 30% think mobile internet is more convenient than their home connection
  • 59% visit a mobile site and follow up later on a PC
  • 80 % use internet for misc spare time during the day
  • 60 % use mobiule while wathing TV
  • 69% use mobile at point of sale when shopping
Global stats
  • 1.3 billion use the mobile internet
  • Egypt 70% of Internet is mobile
  • India : 59%
  • Russia 19 %
  • S. Africe : 57 %
  • Indonesia: 44%
  • China : 22%
Existing clues  and guidelines are still useful, but not reliable anymore
  • Guardian on mobile user feedback : "Can you please put more news on in"
  • "Mobile is more quiet"
  • Context : mobile users are not necessarily on the move - Accessing a site from mobile does not mean that  i look for an adress
What do we do ?
  • Loosen up - control is an illusion - there is simply to much diversity
  • Data want to move around - we already have set alot of our content free (Flipboard, RSS readers etc)
  • Brands presence recede, conversation does not appear on brand websites - facebook etc, but we are still obsessed with controlling every pixel on our websites
  • You can't plan for any contingency - create nimble user experiences instead of perfect ones
  • Set a user experience baseline for all web experience
  • Allow users to adjust data consumption (ref HD button on YouTube) - let user select which version of the site
  • Let user store persistent reading preferences (ref bibliotype )
  • Create content in new ways ? ref MIT media type logo 40 000 versions created with an algorithm
  • Design mobile first help us focus, but
  • Content first - we should think less interface and more content - more semantic structures
    Todays web sites are huge data containers - this may make sense if you are google or amazon and have a lot of data.
  • Content must also be responsive - not only design - what is content was design ?
  • Build distributed web experiences
      Corporateweb sites are becoming increasingly meaningless - your content is already spread all over Youtube, facebook, blogs twitter etc
  • Internet : "A ecosystem of touch points utilities and conversations"
  • "Brands will not be be places you visit, but people you meet along"  - Simon Mainwarning (Branding consultant)
  • Design around content - not the other way around

Brian Leroux(@brianleroux)
After HTML5: Mobile Device API's and PhoneGAP

  • Device API's
  • Local Storage
  • IndexDB - replace SQLLite
WEB apps
  • Network info API : Check if device is online/offline -3G/ 2G etc
  • "Phone is the most important pice of identidy you ever had" - it knows who you are, where you are, and what you do there.
  • Outputs :vibration, speakers,lights screen
"Nice things about standards is that there are so many of them" - Andrew Tanenbaum
API Standards
  • W3C DAP
  • WAC - Alliance of 72 carriers Standard for appstores ( try to create an federated appstore) Influenced by bondi,
    They define a similar set of apis as DAP
Hi5 is a wrapper implementation that bridges the two
PhoneGap is an implementation of upcoming API's (try to support both)
Exisiting stuff
  • messaging
  • battery status
Missing stuff
  • filesystem
  • geospacial
  • notifications
  • widgets
Security like correctnes is not an add on feature. We still need to find non-intrusive ways to solve the security problen. Will not work if the API's promt : Can I use your camera ? Can I use your GPS? etc.
API reference at
  • still need $4000 worh of equiopment to test on all needed devices
  • Android emulators are just like Android - it takes forever"
  • Weinre - Web Inspector Remote - debugging tool like firebug for webkit browsers
  • Cordova - a cross-platform buildchain toolki
  •   Cloud based app build service

Anthony Ribot - Ribot design   (@ribot) - Design & Enabeling behaviours

  • innovate with simplicity
  • The iPhone education - Great for industry - penknife vs chopstick
US stats
  • Only 68% have sent SMS
  • only 38% used a browser
The iPhone revolution did not happen for many people why ?
  • Aging population (in uk will go grom 10.1 mill to 16.7 mill over next 25 years)
  • Technophobes
  • Lows dispensable income
  • Facebook aquired snaptu (java based device system with support for feature phones)
Transition of innteraction
  • Analogue -> Digital -> Physical
  • Interactions become more like the real world (touch, audio input) Haptic feedback
  • Design with as many people in mind as possible
  • Task centric behaviours
Examples of Inclusive design products :
  • home phone
  • Food packaging
  • COrdless kettle
  • The shower
Reuse real work interactions - scanning barcordes with a beep
1 step dialogs is best
"Why does a bra fasten at the back" - Richard Seymor product designer London
For people with reduced dexterity:
  • Water bucket anology, Aging , reduced hearing sight etc
Case Tesco app on Appstore
  • Designed for kitchen behavior
  • Goring to competitors stores to compare prices
  • Just scanning stuff in shop
Threbutton phone - a ribot desing project

Mobile browser panel - Nokia (Andrea Trasati), Opera (Andreas Bovens), RIM (Eli Fidler)

See video here

1 comment:

HopeO said...

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