[Part 1 begins by exploring possibilities, looking at a range of activities in which children (and even adults) are involved that might be supported by mobile technologies.]
DESIGNING FOR MOBILES AND SMALL LIVES
Now we turn away from the design space to think more about the process of developing new mobile devices and services in a human-centered, inclusive way. This process can be called mobile interaction design. It is a highly participative, iterative process in which the design team and the users work together to shape the final designs. It begins by trying to understand how mobile technology might fit into users'lives: to support some activity; to meet a need; to refl ect their values. This usually involves intensive fieldwork, interviews with users, and even drama to elicit insights.
From this stage, a range of prototypes - from low-fidelity mockups to working hardware and software - are built. Prototypes provide the basis for further engagement with users. Lab-based studies and field trials, often over extended periods, are used to refine further versions of the design. A full presentation of the issues, methods, and tools can be found in the book I coauthored with Gary Marsden (Jones and Marsden, 2006).
New methods and emphases
For designers experienced in nonmobile design, working on mobile systems offers some new approaches and emphases:
• Greater use of self-reporting tools. It is hard to be with users all the time in the places they might use the proposed service. Well-known self-report techniques (such as getting participants to use paper-based diaries to record issues of import) are being supplemented with technology-based methods. For example, mobile probes (Hulkko et al., 2004) employ users'phones to gather insights into their needs.
• Using logging and machine-learning techniques. Studying an individual's use of a mobile technology over limited periods is appropriate for many applications, but several research teams are showing the benefits of automatically gathering large amounts of use data over extended periods. Nathan Eagle describes the collection and analysis of data about location, proximity (of a user to others), and communication patterns (demonstrated in calling and texting logs) (Eagle, 2008). Through a process dubbed reality mining, the researchers claim they are able to get insights into deep issues such as paces of life in various groups and social connections and reactions to extraordinary events such as natural disasters and major political or cultural events.
• Use of creatively engaged methods. If the increasing use of data mining in design worries you, be assured that there is also a need for methods that engage people intensely and directly. These include drama-based approaches, bringing actors and users together in real contexts to work through possibilities (Macaulay et al., 2006) and design interventions and provocations providing users with frameworks for wide refl ections on their environments or use of technology. Examples of these include cultural and technological probes (Wyeth and Diercke, 2006).
• Need for advanced prototyping techniques. Communicating a range of designs for a graphical user interface on a desktop in a paper-based sketch is relatively easy to do. Consider, though, gestures and haptic controls (refer back to Figure 6.4). Getting users to comment on the viability and effectiveness of these sorts of interaction in ways that cheaply allow several fast cycles of evaluation is more challenging. To address such new needs, a number of techniques have been proposed. These range from the combination of nonfunctional physical mockups and PC-based screen presentations (Berg et al., 2003) to desktop tools that allow quick prototyping and user feedback for mobile context-aware systems (Li et al., 2004), sophisticated real-time integration of physical components for realistic user input, and head-mounted displays to display system output (Nam and Lee, 2003).
• Advanced evaluation kit. To get a richer picture of how a mobile prototype works in practice, designers can provide participants with rigs that capture audio and video as they use the new system in their everyday contexts (Oulasvirta et al., 2005).