/* ---------------------------- HTML STARTS HERE----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- */

Mobile Community Design
Research and design information for mobile community developers.

Monday, February 28, 2005

Movement Patterns as Art


Standards for the Mobile User Experience

At last, it appears that the mobile phone manufacturers have decided that open-standards and consistency in user-interfaces might be beneficial. There's an independent group called Open Mobile Terminal Platform (“OMTP”) that represents Orange, NTT DoCoMo, mmO2, Smart Communications, Telecom Italia Mobile (“TIM”), Telefónica Móviles, T-Mobile and Vodafone.

"Mobile Operators clearly need to promote their own unique interfaces and services to differentiate their respective offerings. However, subscribers can also benefit from mobile service providers being able to deliver a consistent and more customized user interface within their respective networks."

On a related note, check out the guidelines here:
Specialist Task Force 231: Generic user interface elements for mobile terminals and services

Thanks to the folks at usablemobile for pointing these out.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

User Modeling Systems

A representation is presented for modeling different types of learning methods based on location and context. Three pocket pc users filled out questionnaires and anonymous usage was recorded. They goal is to model the state of the user and their learning relative to available domain information.

Bull, S. (2003). User Modelling and Mobile Learning. UM 2003. P. Brusilovsky, Springer-Verlag: 383–387.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Cell Phone Nation

NPR has done an interesting radio discussion on the topic of how cell (mobile) phones are changing our lives and environments. Overall it's quite good and touches on a lot of topics in a half hour or so. Guests Barry Wellman and Maribel Dolinov bring some interesting insights and the former mentions that we are coordinating between interlocking dispersed groups, or perhaps more accurately - ad-hoc networks.

I did however think they missed quite a lot of interesting tangents:

- Technology distracting people from their enjoyment of the present environment didn't start with mobile phones, it started with advertising, commerce, automobile traffic and many other things which have changed how we interact with our current location.

- Part of the reason SMS (text messaging) is so popular outside the US is BECAUSE it allows private conversations. They complain quite a lot about private conversations happening in public in the US. This might be solved by US telcos offering reasonable SMS service 4 years ago like the rest of the world. The show attempts to draw in foreign data but fails to realize that much of the world has moved on from primary use of voice communications.

- There isn't much discussion of the fact that these devices allow us to THINK as groups now. We don't have to make a decision alone - we can gain consensus, collectively act, split up the task, optimize for the group goal. We are overcoming our biological constraints for communication and group awareness.

Have a listen yourself on onpointradio.

ta to Fiona for the tip

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

mo:life – tracing the mobile-media revolution

busa aat and spinach7-digital invite you to join mo:life - a moderated email list focusing on mobile-media culture and technology.

mo:life is interested in how, inherently global, mobile media will be implicated in our daily lives here in Australia and the Asia Pacific.

mo:life maps and explores how we, as a distinct culture, will produce, adapt, consume, buy, sell, accept, and reject new forms and uses of floating communication. As such, mo:life sets mobile media in an Australian context. Our geography, enterprises, and culture lend well to a mobile way of life – a mo:life.

Our region is also the hotbed of technological development and cultural uptake of mobile media, placing Australia in good stead to develop the cultural, economic, artistic, and interpersonal potential of the unmooring of our screens, workplaces, and points of creative production and consumption.

So become part of the mo:life network and keep up to date with the latest information and knowledge about this rapidly moving sector.

To join mo:life - send a blank email to molife-subscribe@lists.s7digital.com or visit http://s7digital.com/molife/

Friday, February 11, 2005

Field Experiments To Understand Mobility

This paper recommends "in the field" usability testing. They indicate that some variables cannot and should not be controlled, and that in-situ testing is needed for mobile devices. It offers advice on how to run mobile usability tests and encourages the use of a number of different metrics to track behavior.

"It is possible to attempt to keep the levels of such variables consistent, for example, by carefully scheduling and re-scheduling experiments and removing data from runs that did not stay within appropriate control levels. However, this can consume much time and resources and may prove irritating to participants as well as experimenters. In addition, we believe that removing all variation would produce unrealistic results which may not mean much for real-world usage. Therefore, a more effective method is to let these variables vary across conditions, as they would in real world use."

Goodman, J., Brewster, S. and Gray, P. Using Field Experiments to Evaluate Mobile Guides. in Schmidt-Belz, B.a.C., K. ed. HCI in Mobile Guides, workshop at Mobile HCI 2004, Glasgow, UK, 2004.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Visualizing groups

An excellent paper covering different visualization methods for groups. It talks about seeing relationships in groups in a wide variety of contexts and how to use color and motion to find patterns in the data. He argues that visualizations help to understand the data and that 3D can help because of ability to see multiple viewpoints easily.

Linton C. Freeman
Visualizing Social Groups, 2000

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

More waterproofing

Oh, happy days! ConsideredDesign just tipped me off to more waterproof carry cases for mp3 players and other small gadgets. Even listen to your music underwater! Even a good safeguard for all that personal data we'll be pushing onto mobile devices shortly. I wonder if I can use it with a cell phone?
Handsfree while snorkeling...

Jeff is that you?
(gurgle, gurgle, bubble)
Oh ya, are you still down at the beach oggling scantilly clad sunbathers?
(gurgle, slosh)
Ok, well we're having dinner at 7, so we'll see you then.
(bubble, churn bubble bubble)

I can't wait.