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Got a nail?

Russell Beattie:

It’s easy to think about examples of useful mobile-specific applications that are not “feed-centric”:

* Search - including local search, product search, movie times, etc.
* Maps and Location - unless you want to put your entire route into an RSS feed before you walk out the door, but even then, most people don’t use a map or directions unless they don’t know where they are. :-)
* Messaging - including email, community, forums, chat, etc. - sure you could see new messages if they came in via a feed update but don’t you want to respond?
* Money - Checking your balance? Trading shares? Buying a ringtone of a song you just heard? Shopping for an anniversary gift while you have some downtime? Hard to do with just a feed.

Ok, let's go through that list.

  • Search: Got me there for the form. Search results are lists though.
  • Maps. Got me there for the UI. I bet for prefetching the grids can come back as a list.
  • Messaging. All lists. Even threaded conversations (you ship a list and thread on the client).
  • Money. Invoices are itemised lists. Shopping carts are lists. Aisles are lists. BestSellers. Most Popular. Classics. Wishlists Purchases in the last 6 months. Orders. Featured items. Wedding gift planners. New ringtones. All lists. A double ledger is two lists.
  • Trading shares. Never done it. Trading data are events, use XMPP/SMS. Unless you get batches, which would be lists of events.

I take Russell's point about interaction design over a phone. With the exception of maps data trading his point can summarized as "you forget about forms". I did. I still say a list is a key data structure for shipping data over networks. The less mucking about we have to do with that, the more we can focus on the interactions (the useful stuff). And you know, most forms are lists as well ;) So I suspect the set of interactive things you might do with phones is larger than I knew, and the set of things that can be serialized to list form for phones is much larger than people realize.

August 2, 2007 09:29 AM


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