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Chapter 10. From Desktops to Handhelds > Interaction and Navigation

Interaction and Navigation

In designing interaction and navigation strategies, it is important for designers to realize that the paradigm for mobile devices is the wristwatch, not the desktop computer. Hand Web users want to be able to interact and navigate almost instantaneously. These users do not have time to read large amounts of text, solve problems, or make hard decisions. They want instant access to information. Speed is of the essence.

On a handheld device, the Internet user should be able to find desired information, such as a stock quote, in a minimum amount of time; to navigate to a Web site, or within a site to a page, with little effort; and to invoke commands quickly. The designer's goals should include designing for fast command execution and quick viewing of information. Fast command execution means that we should distinguish between frequently used commands, links, selections, and buttons and those that are used occasionally. Frequently invoked actions are those that range between several times per hour and several times per week. The design should be such that the most frequently invoked actions can be taken with one tap. Actions that are used with moderate frequency should require no more than two taps, and actions that are very infrequently used can be activated with more than two taps, depending on their level in the frequency hierarchy. Designers can develop a default frequency hierarchy on the basis of task and usage analysis.


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