August 21, 2012
According to CNNMoney, many big tech corporations are terrified by the mobile market. Despite their prominence, companies like Amazon, Facebook and Google are constantly looking for ways to ensure their place in the mobile market and stand up against startups doing the same thing they did years ago on the web.
Facebook has maintained a presence on mobile devices since the early days of the smartphone. However, compared to apps like Path and Spotify, Facebook's mobile presence is lackluster. Even once-prominent photo services have bowed out to the likes of Instagram, whose mobile application design is much more intuitive and forward thinking.
When it comes to developing a mobile app, it seems that today's big names need to think back to their startup days to remember what made them innovative and exciting then and channel that into new mediums.
One issue that some companies have with mobile application development is trying to cram too much into the app. Simplistic design with easy-to-navigate features are what users want today. While diverse functionality is important, it is equally vital that users don't get bogged down in features - a problem that Facebook seems to constantly encounter with its mobile app. More users are accessing the web through their mobile devices, but that doesn't mean they need the experience to feel like it would on a desktop. Mobile devices are designed to be quick and easy, and any app experience should emulate that in its GUI design.
Making it personal
On the web, simplicity can mean a utilitarian design. Google Maps' success comes from the fact that it doesn't clutter up the user experience, remaining simple and straightforward. However, mobile devices are more personal. The smartphone evolved out of a device that was used solely for talking and texting with family and friends. That personal level of experience needs to transfer over to application design as well. According to the news source, apps need to be designed not only for the mind, but for the heart as well.
While tablets are the latest game-changing device to hit the market, businesses shouldn't expect them to be the last, or the most innovative. Wearable computing is on a path to hit the market in the near future, and will further change how people interact with their computing devices. From Google Glass to embedded computing, these innovations will require a new look at graphical user interface design as well.