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JohnW
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Hi All,
Communication and learning are very complex topics that have been subject to much scientific study over the years.

The mobile phone is a delivery channel that is so new that the researchers are just starting to explore its capabilities, characteristics, limitations and user parameters.

Here are a few in-depth papers/articles that those seriously interested in learning how to use this new medium to maximum effect may find interesting…

1. Scaling User Interfaces: An Information-Processing Approach to Multi-Device Design
by Raluca Budiu on April 13, 2014

Raluca Budiu is a Senior Researcher with Nielsen Norman Group. At NN/g she consults for clients from a variety of industries and presents tutorials on mobile and tablet usability, cognitive psychology for designers, and principles of human computer interaction. She holds a Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University.

“Summary: Designing for all screen sizes must consider the capacity of the human–device communication channel, which depends on users’ memory, device portability, and screen size.”

Topics discussed include:

“Screen Size Limits the Capacity of the Communication Channel”

“The more portable a device, the more likely people are to use it pretty much everywhere, and also the more likely they are to be interrupted while using that device. The attention capacity with a portable device is very different than with a desktop computer. In fact, a paper published in Mobile HCI back in 2011 showed that the average session duration on mobile was 72 seconds. While it may be a few seconds more or less now, a mobile site or app basically has slightly more than a minute to help users get to where they need. (In contrast, the average session size on the desktop is about twice as long — 2.5 minutes.)”

Mobile Design and the Limited Capacity of the Communication Channel

Designing for different screen sizes needs to take into account the capacity of the communication channel. Designing for mobile is pretty much like passing a camel through the eye of a needle…

2. Heuristic Evaluation on Mobile Interfaces: A New Checklist
The Scientific World Journal.
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 434326, 19 pages

“This mobile-specific heuristic guideline is not only an evaluation tool but also a compilation of recommended best-practices. It can guide the design of websites or applications oriented to mobile devices taking usability into account.”

“3. Results and Discussion
3.1. Problem Scope Definition”

“…Mobile interactions define a new paradigm characterized by a wide range of specific constraints…
According to the literature, the main constraints when designing for mobile devices are…”

“(A)limited input/output facilities…”

“(B)mobility and varying context:…

Mobile devices use is on-the-run and interactions may take from a few seconds to minutes, being highly context-dependent. Environmental distractions have a significant effect on mobile interfaces usability…

Context of use involves background noise, ongoing conversations, people passing by, and so on. Distractions can be auditory, visual, social, or caused by mobility.

Laboratory testing seems incapable of completely assuring usability in this mobile paradigm.”

(C)Type of Tasks: in mobile environments, typical tasks are relatively different from traditional desktop devices.

3. Research Trends in Internet Use 2014

Screen size influences usage duration
In 2014, the PC or laptop was the main device used for longer site visits, e-commerce and comparable transactions. Panel monitoring data show that a PC user goes online with a browser only 51 times a month, whereas the figure for a smartphone user is 137 times. However, on a smartphone the average browser session duration is just one minute, compared with roughly half an hour on the PC.”

“Apps: essential usage trend
The rise of the app is undoubtedly one of the most influential internet usage trends of recent years. Although there are apps that don’t require internet access, many perform functions comparable to those of websites. In effect, some actually replace browsers. In such cases, the app serves as an alternative means of accessing content which is also available on a website. Consequently, there has been a lot of speculation in recent years as to whether apps are the websites of the future.”

“Conclusions

…. Mobile internet use is currently characterised by high session frequency and short average session duration.”

IMHO, the bottom line is that there is a lot more to publishing an effective mobile website than the limited usability parameters currently promoted by Google.
Regs,
JohnW