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Casting Off Our Desktop Shackles

Casting Off Our Desktop Shackles

No matter how much we try to put ourselves into a mobile first mentality, it is hard for us to do so fully. Our access to PCs prevents us from experiencing mobile the way many in the world do.

We're currently fighting for parity among experiences. We're arguing that the mobile version shouldn't be a dumbed down version of the desktop site.

But we've set our sights too low. In a true Mobile First world, the mobile version should be the best experience. Mobile shouldn't just match the desktop experience, it should exceed it.


Jason Grigsby

March 01, 2012


  1. Casting Off Our Desktop Shackles Jason Grigsby • @grigs •

    cloudfour.com Slides: bit.ly/desktop-shackles http://www.flickr.com/photos/theroadisthegoal/372137752/
  2. Follow along @grigs_talks bit.ly/desktop-shackles After event: @grigs http://www.flickr.com/photos/stevegarfield/4247757731/

  3. ere is no mobile web. http://www.flickr.com/photos/robboudon/6035811624/

  4. I’m con icted. http://www.flickr.com/photos/tudor/4324056624/

  5. ere are valid reasons to question mobile context. And despite

    that, I can’t help but feel… http://www.flickr.com/photos/bourguiboeuf/5364614975/
  6. http://www.flickr.com/photos/lintmachine/2306383943/ We’re limiting ourselves.

  7. http://www.flickr.com/photos/quinnanya/4599750124/ 1. Mobile doesn’t mean taking things away.

  8. How Do I Add an RSS Feed to My RSS

    Reader? Don’t Skip Core Functionality
  9. 1024 x 768: Still No Way to Add RSS

  10. URLs should go to content, not mobile home.

  11. http://xkcd.com/869/

  12. Why go to the desktop web?

  13. Great mobile site. Good luck nding it.

  14. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned in observing people

    on their mobile devices, it’s that they’ll do anything on mobile if they have the need. Write long emails? Check. Manage complex sets of information? Check. And the list goes on. If people want to do it, they’ll do it on mobile - especially when it’s their only or most convenient option. —Luke Wroblewski lukew.com/ff/entry.asp?1333 http://www.flickr.com/photos/emmacox/6095336904/
  15. http://www.flickr.com/photos/brunauto/5062644167/ 2. Our vision of mobile context is often wrong.

  16. 80% during misc downtime 76% while waiting in lines 62%

    while watching TV 69% for point of sale research http://www.flickr.com/photos/missmeng/5327470961
  17. TMI: 39% use phone on the toilet.

  18. Yes, we can’t know the mobile context. http://www.flickr.com/photos/timcaynes/158599960/

  19. But that doesn’t mean mobile isn’t unique and powerful. http://www.flickr.com/photos/sparktography/2485147794/

  20. Mobile as the 7th Mass Media?

  21. 1. Printing press http://www.flickr.com/photos/buschap/3917984966/

  22. 2. Recordings http://www.flickr.com/photos/taviona/278461610/

  23. 3. Cinema http://www.flickr.com/photos/m4tik/4687194723/

  24. 4. Radio http://www.flickr.com/photos/kt/249301268/

  25. 5. Television http://www.flickr.com/photos/simon_aughton/2178768452/

  26. 6. Internet http://www.flickr.com/photos/lecates/454787692/

  27. 7. Mobile http://www.flickr.com/photos/djwudi/382030798/

  28. Mobile’s Eight Unique Abilities http://www.flickr.com/photos/pedestriantype/4789244416/

  29. http://www.flickr.com/photos/fchouse/2829381653/ 1. PERSONAL 63% do not share phone

  30. 2. PERMANENTLY CARRIED ~50% of US admit to sleeping with

    phone http://www.flickr.com/photos/kk/3615287378/
  31. 3. ALWAYS ON http://www.flickr.com/photos/gilderic/3517477267/


  33. 5. CREATIVE IMPULSE http://www.flickr.com/photos/d_a_v_i_d_m_/246298437/

  34. http://www.flickr.com/photos/memotions/259656126/ 6. ACCURATE MEASUREMENT

  35. http://www.flickr.com/photos/mythoto/1234638761/ 7. SOCIAL CONTEXT

  36. 8. AUGMENTED REALITY http://issuu.com/mkparsley/docs/ikea

  37. Mobile is the most borg-like technology we’ve ever seen

  38. Inspiring http://www.flickr.com/photos/asphericlens/5661878892/

  39. “When a new medium borrows from an existing one, some

    of what it borrows makes sense, but much of the borrowing is thoughtless, ‘ritual’, and often constrains the new medium. Over time, the new medium develops its own conventions, throwing off existing conventions that don’t make sense.” —John Allsopp, Dao of Web Design
  40. What are we borrowing from the previous medium—the PC Internet—that

    doesn’t make sense for mobile?
  41. And can an article written for a previous medium really

    be the key to a new one?
  42. “ e history of mobile phones has been a long

    slow process of copying what works on the desktop and then sheepishly realizing that it just doesn’t quite work right.” —Scott Jenson
  43. 320 px Too much focus on the smaller screen.

  44. Why do we need to look at our phones to

    get directions? One vibration for left. Two for right. http://www.flickr.com/photos/williamhook/4225307113
  45. Old saying in mobile: Asia is two years ahead… http://www.flickr.com/photos/romainguy/3673700251/

  46. of Europe which is two years ahead… http://www.flickr.com/photos/djou/2079730487

  47. of the United States. http://www.flickr.com/photos/davearquati/459024208/

  48. None
  49. “My impression is that there was no computers anymore. Only

    tablets and phones.” “Some Apple devices, but not that much. Most of the smartphones are Samsung and HTC phones (no surprise here), but also a *lot* of feature phones and not-that-smart-phones (old smart phones). ”
  50. It’s fairly certain that the highest-value use will stay predominantly

    on desktop. —Jakob Nielsen http://www.flickr.com/photos/dplanet/82899080/
  51. Most complex tasks have vastly better user experience on the

    desktop and thus will be performed there. I'm talking anything from researching your next car purchase to learning about a new medical condition (and its associated pharmaceuticals) to managing your investment portfolio. Yes, you might enter a stock trade with your broker's mobile app, but you'll research new mutual funds on the desktop. —Jakob Nielsen
  52. http://www.millennialmedia.com/wp-content/images/mobilemix/MM-MobileMix-Dec2010.pdf

  53. Unlimited Voice, Text and Web for $40/mo.

  54. None
  55. None
  56. http://www.flickr.com/photos/acaben/541334636/ e Post-PC Era Didn’t Start with the iPad

  57. It started in Asia with mobile phones and spread to

    developing countries. http://www.flickr.com/photos/jamesjustin/3914923307
  58. Connections (millions) % Total YoY Growth % Largest Market Asia-Pacific

    3,019 50% 17% China (961M) Africa 648 11% 18% Nigeria (99M) Americas 627 10% 11% Brazil E.Europe 541 9% 6% Russia (231M) W.Europe 539 9% 3% Germany (112M) USA/Canada 367 6% 9% USA (340M) Middle East 330 5% 11% Iran (82M) World 6,071 100% 13% GSMA Predictions for End of 2011
  59. Officially #2 mobile region. “Out of every 100 people, 65

    have some form of mobile connectivity.”
  60. Africa has more in common with Asia than Asia does

    with the United States. http://www.flickr.com/photos/ict4d/3068105816/
  61. slideshare.net/CMSummit/ms-internet-trends060710final

  62. nytimes.com/2011/04/18/technology/18mobile.html anks Steve Souders!

  63. nytimes.com/2011/04/18/technology/18mobile.html anks Steve Souders!

  64. 20% of Kenya’s GDP sent through mobile banking. http://www.flickr.com/photos/kiwanja/3169447879

  65. We often get asked how much to add mobile to

    desktop. It should be the opposite. http://www.flickr.com/photos/stephenhackett/3728570312
  66. Mobile is the most important technology since the printing press.

  67. UN urging more mobile for developing countries.

  68. A 2005 London Business School study found that for every

    additional 10 mobile phones per 100 people in a developing country, GDP rises by 0.5%. http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/jul/24/mobile-phones-africa-micro nance-farming
  69. Saffron uprising

  70. Cellscope puts microscopes in remote areas.

  71. None
  72. World changing tech. Not just for the affluent.

  73. Afghan Women Tolerate Beating for Cell Phones in Emerging Market

    Tanzanian farmers report improved yields via SMS 3 million poor in Africa and South Asia to gain access to mobile phone numbers India Turns to Mobile Phones in Bid to Improve Vaccination Rate U.N. plan provides mobile numbers to poor with Cloud Number Information helps combat food insecurity in Kenya Cambodia: Using text messaging as weapon in malaria war Android Phones Help Poor Farmers in Uganda World changing tech. Not just for the affluent.
  74. Want more? Textually.org

  75. Support MobileActive.org

  76. http://dstorey.tumblr.com/post/10045571079/mobiledominance

  77. None
  78. According to California-based mobile-banking innovator Carol Realini, executive chairman of

    Obopay: “Africa is the Silicon Valley of banking. e future of banking is being de ned here… It’s going to change the world.” http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/jul/24/mobile-phones-africa-micro nance-farming
  79. http://www.flickr.com/photos/whiteafrican/2888960873

  80. And really, is the United States that different? Or is

    the story simply not being told? http://mobithinking.com/mobile-marketing-tools/latest-mobile-stats#mobile-only
  81. Understanding mobile as the primary and sometimes only device… http://www.flickr.com/photos/e4a-2030/5106562313

  82. is difficult when we spend so much time on our

    PCs. http://www.flickr.com/photos/goobi/4021009835/
  83. Word Lens

  84. A9 Flow Powered by Amazon

  85. Polar Rose. Bought by Apple.

  86. None
  87. None
  88. 27 • Location detection: GPS, WiFi, cell towers • Orientation:

    direction from a digital compass • Device positioning & motion: from an accelerometer • Audio: input from a microphone; output to speaker • Video & image: capture/input from a camera • Device connections: through Bluetooth between devices • Proximity: device closeness to physical objects • Ambient Light: light/dark environment awareness • RFID reader: identify & track objects with broadcasted identifiers • Multi-touch sensors • Haptic feedback: “feel” different surfaces on a screen • Biometrics: retinal, fingerprint, etc. • Push: real-time notifications “instant” to user Sensor Capabilities We’re just scratching the surface of what these sensors can do. Highly recommend Luke Wroblewski’s First Person User Experience Presentation at http://www.lukew.com/presos/preso.asp?21
  89. Is there a mobile web? http://www.flickr.com/photos/robboudon/6035811624/

  90. http://www.flickr.com/photos/robboudon/6035811624/ Is mobile a new mass media?

  91. http://www.flickr.com/photos/robboudon/6035811624/ What about mobile web?

  92. If mobile is a new medium, then the mobile web

    is a bit of a half- breed – it is part mobile medium and part internet medium so it inherits traits from both. —Tim Kadlec
  93. http://www.flickr.com/photos/meredithfarmer/377846740/

  94. A common element in many of the more futuristic stories

    are devices that are most comparable to mobile phones – always with you, always on. ey don’t stop there though. ey respond to context of environment and adapt based on the users behavioral history – they create a truly personalized and responsive user experience regardless of the situation. —Tim Kadlec
  95. A common element in many of the more futuristic stories

    are devices that are most comparable to mobile phones – always with you, always on. ey don’t stop there though. ey respond to context of environment and adapt based on the users behavioral history – they create a truly personalized and responsive user experience regardless of the situation. —Tim Kadlec Where have I heard this recently?
  96. None
  97. Upcoming Zombie Apocalypse of Devices http://www.slideshare.net/scottjenson/mobile-apps-must-die

  98. http://www.slideshare.net/scottjenson/mobile-apps-must-die

  99. http://www.slideshare.net/scottjenson/mobile-apps-must-die

  100. http://www.slideshare.net/scottjenson/mobile-apps-must-die

  101. http://www.slideshare.net/scottjenson/mobile-apps-must-die

  102. http://www.slideshare.net/scottjenson/mobile-apps-must-die

  103. http://www.slideshare.net/scottjenson/mobile-apps-must-die

  104. http://www.slideshare.net/scottjenson/mobile-apps-must-die

  105. Just-in-time interaction http://www.slideshare.net/scottjenson/mobile-apps-must-die

  106. We look at mobile as a small screen version of

    the our computers… http://www.flickr.com/photos/bendodson/3367856091
  107. when we should be looking at mobile as so much

    more. http://www.flickr.com/photos/whiteafrican/3401121885
  108. BIG THINK

  109. Jason Grigsby • @grigs • cloudfour.com Slides: bit.ly/desktop-shackles

  110. Get 40% off of the print and 50% off of

    ebook version using code AUTHD at oreilly.com. OR Amazon link (no code): http://bit.ly/hf-mw
  111. Jason Grigsby • @grigs • cloudfour.com Slides: bit.ly/desktop-shackles