Saturday, November 22, 2008

recent mobile UI epiphany: Retro 80's is the way to go for WAP sites

Finally i am getting around to doing a proper post about Mobile again. I guess i could use the excuse that closing out VCEL, while building out a Team and product vision for fotochatter consumed all of my Blogging cycles. Instead i will blame it on random projects like and which took up my spare time for random blogosphere and website experimentation.

Anyways, Check this article out on a blog i just stumbled into. Small surfaces is a sight that covers small screen interface design. I stumbled into them while on a quest to research an interesting idea that occurred to me. Its a logical epiphany really. That when trying to solve for the best mobile UI, there is a lot we could learn from the Green Screen text UI's of the late 80's. The Unix and VAX GUI's with keyboard short cuts would work great with a mobile screen. All you have to do is :

1. swap out the keyboard LETTER shortcuts for 0-9 mobile t9 pad shortcuts.

2. Then update the background and text to more modern colors so it is retro inspired and not simply retro. As always i think the Orange and Blue combo is a good sound choice.

3. Make sure the font you are using follows the rules of Mobile Typography. P.S. little spring design rocks for having great tutorials like this.

4. Then the key is to make sure your engineering gurus let your mobile site detect the type of device and browser that is requesting the site UI and hand off an optimized version. (this gets you into the game of having multiple views for various handsets, and hence the underlying challenge of having an excellent mobile site for usability, navigation, and branding.

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