Just 3 months after its launch, the Nokia Asha 305 is the best selling device in India.
I recently worked as the UX Design Lead for the Nokia App Store in the new Asha Full-Touch devices. It is very rewarding to see that the User Centric Design approach used by the design groups involved in this program is paying off so rapidly and that the product is getting an amazing acceptance in the markets it was specifically designed for.
The Asha 305 is one of the recently launched Series40 Full-Touch Devices, a price-conscious full touch alternative designed for young users in Emerging Markets.
The success of the Asha Full-Touch line of products has brought 2 new devices to market: Asha 308 and 309.
In my current role at Nokia, I had the pleasure to work as the UX Design Lead for the Nokia Store on the recently launched Series40 Full-Touch Devices (Asha 305, 306 and 311); a price-conscious full touch alternative designed for young users in emerging markets. My UX Design effort also included the EA Games Gift, a promotional initiative between Electronic Arts and Nokia that has become a pivotal tool in the launch of these and many other Series40 phones.
We all know that mobile versions of web sites should be minimalistic, efficient, action driven; in many cases a lighter version of a standard website.
But sometimes, users may want to access the standard site from their mobile devices if they are looking for specific information or if they are familiar with the standard website. This is more common with the proliferation of better mobile devices and more efficient, inexpensive data services.
What many mobile versions are failing to do is to provide a link to visit the standard site causing great frustration to the user.
What to do:
Give your mobile visitors the option of visiting the standard site, even if it’s just through a link in the footer. And from your standard site, you could give them the option to come back to the mobile site, making this link available on detected mobile devices.
Users, including ourselves, have to deal with web forms almost every day. The task can be tedious and even frustrating, especially when a simple task comes with an instruction booklet.
It is common to find a simple Telephone Number field with a set of instructions attached to it: “Please don’t use spaces, dashes or brackets”… “Use brackets, don’t use spaces”… “Area code in brackets, no spaces”.
Yes, the database expects a clear format and this is very important, but the user shouldn’t have to pay for it.
All forms and specific fields should be designed taking a user-friendly approach, utilizing client side scripting to format the data, no matter how the user inputs the information.
Using the telephone example, the user should be allowed to input dashes, spaces, brackets; the script will strip these characters sending only the information needed.
Other alternative is to use a multi-field format with properly labeled and sized fields, and scripting to allow the user to continuously type the information by jumping from one field to the next one once the field is completed.
As a last note, don’t wait until the user fills the complete form to provide feedback, immediate validation is necessary to offer a positive user experience.
I was recently presented with a web application for evaluation and I was surprised to see that what we think as a “Usability Basic Principle” was poorly executed. The use of “You Are Here” indicators.
It is important to let the users know at all times where they are. A user may lose track while browsing through your website or using your application and unless they know where they are, they will abandon the task and leave your site… frustrated!
What to do:
Display a Clear Page Title – Use the highest visual hierarchy for the title in your content and always present it in the same place.
Indicate the Location in the Navigation – Highlight/differentiate in the Menu and Sub-menus where the user is.
Other ways to let the user know their location in your site:
Use Breadcrumbs – Breadcrumbs are a powerful navigation tool that also help communicate where users are in relationship with the rest of the site/application and the path they took to get where they are now.
Use Progress Indicators – Let users know their progress during a process or while filling a multiple-page form.