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I'm writing a 6 page paper on "Design & Usability for Handheld devices: An Interaction Designers Introductory Guide."

My instructor has been of little or no help during this class. She
actually has made this class more confusing. But that's irrelevant
right now...

Does anyone have any guidance or advice to give me? Where should I start? Where should I be looking?

Here are the topics the paper MUST cover:
- Provide a basic anatomy or architecture of handheld devices; components and elements of the
handheld experience to be successful.

- Present a brief History of the evolution of handheld devices.

- Define the "mobile and handheld" user persona. Who are these user
groups? What are their backgrounds, objectives, needs and usage
patterns? Who are we designing for?

- Discuss the challenges of designing for small screen interactions. Why they are important for
designers to understand as they enter this space. How are they
different from designing for the "Big Screen"?

- What can you provide a designer who is starting in this field with to use on day one
of a "mobile and handheld design project" for a client?

There you have it.

Should I be doing interviews or surveys?

Thanks for any help you can throw my way.

Warmest Regards,
~Roy

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Hi Roy,

The first two questions seem to be background information which can be found on the net quite easily, so I will try and provide input on the other questions.

When you talk about the user groups, it comprises of almost all age ranges from 14-15 to 60-70 ! One of the ways can be, hold surveys for specific age groups and device questions based on what they most commonly do on a hand held device (for eg. younger age group tends to text much more than elders, so what do u think is more important in terms of information and interaction theory?)

For new hand-held device ideas, interviews would be a good idea if you were talking to Usability Experts. A cognitive walk through for usability evaluation of a new product, i feel, would make more sense. Pre/post interviews from usability experts, prototyping certain modules of the hand-held devices and targeting user-groups that use it the most might give you more insight of preferences. Again, a survey of what the general public expects out of a hand held device and then incorporation of basic usability concepts to the survey results may bring out major usability issues!

As for the challenges of a small screen. Think big and then try and incorporate those things in a small screen, i dont think it is feasible.. ha (think letters, words, symbols, scrolling, color contrast, brightness, screen type, space sharing when an app is running, alerts)

Anuj Mistry

P.S. since its a class project, i have tried not to give out every detail. I hope it helps anyway !
Thank You - Thank You.
This has helped a lot.
I'm in the same class as Roy and I'm having difficulties with this paper also.
Hey Roy,
Have you finished your paper yet? Am at 3 pages thus far and its Tuesday.
I'm at 2 pages.
What do you think of her as an instructor? What did you think of the class?
As an instructor, I think she is very unresponsive and did not provide alot of guidiance on what we needed to do. Also, she gave us two big projects to do without much prep work. The class itself is not bad. I just did not learn as much as I would have like too. Are you going to be able to turn your paper in tomorrow? Finding the resources is the hard part of this paper. Most of the articles cost.
I agree wholeheartedly -- and so do my project teammates.
I HAVE to turn in this paper tomorrow. Looks like I'm buying a case of 5 Hour Energy Drink and a gallon of espresso to finish this thing.

Yeah it blows that the articles cost alot moolah to read.
Are you searching for articles using databases from your institution's library? I am under the assumption that most universities have subscriptions to databases so that students can obtain articles for free (or really, for the price included in tuition for student services, haha). If not for this paper, definitely check out your library's resources for future research!
Wow! I never thought about that...good advice.
Ooohhh I was wondering why I was able to view it at school, but had to pay to view at home.

Thanks again Danielle.
Roy,
Do you have the link to the school website library?

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