Casting Off The Desktop Shackles by Jason Grigsby


Jason Grigsby spoke at Hewlett-Packard today on Mobile, in a talk called Casting Off The Desktop Shackles. Here are my notes:

Casting Off The Desktop Shackles
Jason Grigsby 
@grigs | cloudfour.com
  • Basics
    • Don’t skip core functionality.
      • Example: there’s no way to add RSS feeds into certain RSS readers
    • URLs should go to content, not mobile home
      • really poor implementations of separate sites
    • Why go to the desktop web?
      • The NYT does this... gives you the mobile site, unless you know to change the url. Even though they have a great mobile site.
  • People will do anything on mobile if they have the need
    • complex tasks
    • write long emails
  • Our vision of mobile context is often wrong
    • We think that all mobile cases are people walking down the street
    • Actual
      • 80% during misc downtime
      • 76% while waiting in lines
      • 62% while watching TV
      • 69% for point of sale research
      • 39% use on the toilet (61% are lying)
    • We can’t know the mobile context
      • We can’t know where they are, or what they are doing.
    • Mobile is the 7th mass media
      • printing press
      • radio
      • recordings
      • tv
      • internet
      • ...
      • mobile
  • 8 unique abilities of mobile
    • 1) incredible personal (not shared, even with spouses)
    • 2) always carried (within arms reach, slept with, etc.)
    • 3) always on
    • 4) builtin payment channel (itunes or google wallet, or using carrier billing to buy groceries)
    • 5) available at moment of creative impulse
      • the best camera is the one you have with you
      • the best notetaking app is the one you have with you
    • 6) accurate measurement
      • a phone is likely to be 1 person
      • groundtruth has logs from most carriers, will give you analytics for sites compared to competitors
      • one ID always (as opposed to many different browsers/cookies on desktop browsers)
    • 7) social context
      • your phone knows where you are, who you are supposed to meet, and when. It can do really powerful things with that knowledge: automatically detect you are going to be late to an appointment, txt the person you're meeting, and pop open directions to the location.
    • 8) augmented reality
      • ability to hold up your phone and see augmented information in real time.
  • mobile is the most borg-like technology we’ve ever seen
    • in 2005, more phones with cameras were sold than all the digital cameras up until that point.
    • garmin ruled the GPS market, and now they are a drop in the bucket.
    • mp3 players went by the wayside
    • lesson: If you are making a product that has some kind of mobile use case and/or sensor, you have to think about what happens if phones adopt that sensor. Where would that leave you?
  • Check out John Allsopp, Dao of Web Design
    • “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...”
  • What are we borrowing from the previous internet - the desktop internet - and what do we need to get rid of?
    • Why do we need to look at phones to get directions? One vibration to turn left, two to turn right.
    • Old saying: Asia is two years ahead of Europe, and Europe is two years ahead of the U.S.
  • Digital Divide
    • In Asia and Africa
      • ~20% of ecommerce / mobile banking occuring through the web
      • compared to 2.5% in the U.S.
    • Blacks and Latinos ~60% likely to use phones for internet connectivity, compared to ~40% for whites. For most, it is their only access to the internet.
      • So anything that is going to be done online(applying for jobs, banking, purchasing) must be possible via mobile
    • Used for purposes we wouldn’t imagine here...
      • cellscope: a microscope attached to an old nokia phone used to MMS send bloodwork photos to cities for analysis when working in remote villages.
      • farmers using mobile access to figure out where to get the best prices for their goods.
    • textually.org: stories about people interacting with mobile tech
    • mobileactive.org: supports people doing this kind of stuff
    • StatCounter Global Stats: Mobile vs. Desktop in Nigeria
    • Africa is the Silicon Valley of banking. The future of banking is being defined here...It’s going to change the world.” -- Carol Realini, executive chairman of Obopay
    • If it works in Africa, it will work anywhere
    • 25% of internet users in the U.S. access it only via mobile
    • (and it goes way up from there... 70% in Egypt.)
  • Polar Rose. Bought by Apple.
    • Recognizr app: Uses facial recognition and then displays social network information for that person.
    • Google Goggles can do the same thing, but Google has decided not to release it yet for fear of the backlash.
  • Luke Wroblewski’s First Person User Experience Presentation at http://www.likew.com/presos/preso.asp?21
    • Dozens of sensors in a phone. What can be done with them all? We’ve only scratched the surface.
  • Is mobile a new mass media?
    • (Yes)
    • Is mobile web part of that new mass media?
      • 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
      • This is discouraging.
      • This would make me hang up my HTML and go learn objective C.
    • Tim Kadlec also said that mobile phones are the closest thing we have to those futurist science fiction always-on-always-there devices that do everything.
  • Mobile Apps Must Die
    • Upcoming zombie apocalypse of devices
      • android is in everything.
      • price of everything is coming down.
    • Lots of just-in-time interactions. Getting a restaurant menu, get bus locations, unlocking a car: You dont want to install an app for every possible thing to do. The only thing that can scale this way is web technology.
  • Questions
    • Security and the lack thereof: enabler or disabler?
      • Every app is at some point jailbroken and cracked and put there out on the web.
      • You can never trust the client, whether it is javascript validation, or a mobile app. Relying on server security.
    • Do you see mobile replacing a lot of print? 
      • It’s inevitable that a large percentage of things that are printed won’t be printed in the future.
      • I buy everything on the iPad. I don’t want books anymore.
      • I get the newspaper because I believe in supporting local news coverage. But if I could pay for it electronically, I would.
      • No medium has replaced any other medium. There will always be things that are printed.
      • I’m as mobile as you get, and I still have two printers in my house

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