I went to the June meeting of BayCHI. They had a very mobile-focused event this time around, and the speakers were fantastic. Unfortunately it’s after midnight already, and I got all of about 2 hours of sleep last night. So you’re gonna have to get a shotgun treatment of some of the interesting stuff that was said there.
- When women text message they tend to have multiple threads of conversation bundled into each message, and there tends to be more of a structure to the message itself. Standard things like a sign off for each message (kisses, love you, etc). Messages from men a simple and normally singularly focused.
- Clamshell devices are apparently considered girlie in Europe. I didn’t know that.
- There was mention of a corpus of text messaging data available from somewhere in Singapore. Sure enough, here it is. Very cool. A collection of about 10K messages that can be used as a base in doing research.
- Scott Jenson told a story about how difficult it was to find web folks to work on set top boxes because they kept dragging preconceptions from the desktop into the new system, and that just didn’t work.
- He also gave much of his presentation with the slides formatted into small screen rendering style to show just how small that small screen is. About 50 to 100 times small on the handset than on the desktop. Although screens are getting “bigger”, that doesn’t really mean there’s all that much more you can display in terms of text. the difference between small and large screens can be up to 9 times as much in terms of pixels, but that only results in 50 percent more characters on the screen.
- He brought up Christian Lindholm and the work during the 90s to get as many buttons as possible off the phone. And the glowing reports from users that it “felt like their phone was reading their mind” when the interface was tuned to make common actions the default and use context sensitive interaction. Of course power users hated it.
- Mention of some of the one button games being put out by Digital Chocolate, where the entire game is played by pushing and releasing one button.
- Web content is going to need to be tailored to the mobile if it’s ever going to be useful on the mobile. Interaction styles that work on the desktop simple do not on the handset.
- ZoneTag apparently lets you add RSS feeds to provide additional context info to be used in tagging photos. I completely missed this. For example you can add an Upcoming.org feed to your ZoneTag config and the names of the events occuring around a given time will appear as tagging options when you upload a photo. How cool is that?