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The Mobile Frontier: A Guide for Designing Mobile Experiences Paperback – June 6, 2012

3.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

A must-read for anyone who cares about the future of digital media, The Mobile Frontier explains not only the technological revolution that's upon us, but also the behavioral, cultural, and psychological changes (and opportunities) ushered in by mobile. If you're not listening to Rachel Hinman, you're not hooked up right. ----Josh Clark, Author, Tapworthy: Designing Great iPhone Apps

In The Mobile Frontier, Rachel Hinman offers a comprehensive perspective on designing for mobile devices in support of mobile people. She draws on her decade of experience, and the results are highly readable, engaging, and more importantly actionable. ----Jon Kolko, Director, Austin Center for Design

From tiny touchscreens to geo-located services, mobile devices have caused us to rethink how we design. If you're looking for a primer on mobile fundamentals, look no further than The Mobile Frontier. In casual, easy-to-understand language, Rachel Hinman gives an overview of today's mobile landscape and tomorrow's. --Dan Saffer Author of Designing for Interaction

In The Mobile Frontier, Rachel Hinman offers a comprehensive perspective on designing for mobile devices in support of mobile people. She draws on her decade of experience, and the results are highly readable, engaging, and more importantly actionable. ----Jon Kolko, Director, Austin Center for Design

From tiny touchscreens to geo-located services, mobile devices have caused us to rethink how we design. If you're looking for a primer on mobile fundamentals, look no further than The Mobile Frontier. In casual, easy-to-understand language, Rachel Hinman gives an overview of today's mobile landscape and tomorrow's. --Dan Saffer Author of Designing for Interaction

In The Mobile Frontier, Rachel Hinman offers a comprehensive perspective on designing for mobile devices in support of mobile people. She draws on her decade of experience, and the results are highly readable, engaging, and more importantly actionable. ----Jon Kolko, Director, Austin Center for Design

From tiny touchscreens to geo-located services, mobile devices have caused us to rethink how we design. If you're looking for a primer on mobile fundamentals, look no further than The Mobile Frontier. In casual, easy-to-understand language, Rachel Hinman gives an overview of today's mobile landscape and tomorrow's. --Dan Saffer Author of Designing for Interaction

About the Author

Rachel Hinman is a researcher, designer and a recognized thought leader in the mobile user experience field. Her passion for cultural study, art, and design coupled with the belief that people can use technology to improve the human condition have been the driving forces in her career for over a decade.

Currently, Rachel is a Senior Research Scientist at the Nokia Research Center in Palo Alto, California. There she focuses on the research and design of emergent and experimental mobile interfaces and mobile experiences for emerging markets. Prior to joining Nokia, Rachel was an experience design director at Adaptive Path, and a mobile researcher and strategist for Yahoo's mobile group. Rachel's innate sensitivity to people and culture have proven powerful skills in the field, enabling her to successfully lead research studies on mobile phone usage in the US, Europe, Asia and Africa.

Rachel writes and speaks frequently on the topic of mobile research and design. She is the creative force behind the 90 Mobiles in 90 Days Project and her perspectives on mobile user experience have been featured in Interactions Magazine, BusinessWeek and Wired.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Rosenfeld Media; 1st edition (June 6, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933820551
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933820552
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #480,793 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. Young on June 8, 2012
Format: Paperback
I'm only about 1/3 of the way through, but so far it's an engrossing read on a topic that is sorely in need of a foundational UX text that is accessible to not only designers and usability folks, but to project managers, developers and marketers.

Here's what I like about the book so far:

- The first few chapters discussed the theoretical underpinnings of mobile UX, and also included a thoughtful--and thought-provoking--discussion of mobile context.

- The text discusses the "why" and "what for?" rather than only focusing on the "how."

- GUI to Natural User Interface (NUI): the whole concept is exciting.

- Moving toward "uniquely mobile." How can we take advantage of all mobile has to offer to create a great user experience? The answer isn't always the same as a reshuffled desktop site.

- Lucy Suchman's theory of situated action and mutual reconfiguration. You'll want to know more.

This book will inspire you to think about mobile differently. And like I said, I'm not even done reading the book yet. But above all: the book (so far) is platform and technology agnostic. It's about the user and design, not about code snippets. This also makes it more future-facing...I'm sure what I've read so far will still be relevant in a few years, no matter what devices are on the market.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Overall this book is a success. It walks a line between the academic and the practical, providing a number of different pathways for thinking about and understanding the "mobile frontier", as well as concrete methods and guidelines to follow when building new mobile experiences.

The best sections are those dedicated to ways of exploring the mobile frontier -- types of prototyping, ideating, and collecting information from users to help discover and plan new mobile experiences.

While this book is not a practical guide to building your first mobile app, it does suggest tools and methods for higher-level planning. On top of that, however, it also encourages thinking well beyond the current state of mobile devices, software, and experiences. Given how fast this space is evolving, this seems the right approach.

If you're going to buy this book, I recommend the pdf edition from the publisher, or the physical book. The Kindle edition was rather poorly put together, with lousy typography and zero layout. (Kind of ironic, given that it's a book *about mobile*).

You can read a more complete review at the Web Designers' Review of Books.
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Format: Paperback
The author has attempted to cover many important topics on mobile design but only seems to have surface knowledge for most, except for the mobile prototyping chapter, which seems to be her forte. She has an understanding of the topics she has presented in the book and has also provided good (and useful) references for each topic. There were a few new concepts that I enjoyed.

What I liked:
Concepts like NUI vs GUI
Shapeshifting
Context of mobile
Overall understand of the author for each of the concepts.

What I did not like much:
The author seems to rely too much on secondary research - work done by others. She did not present too much originality. If you have read design books, you will notice concepts just picked up from various books.
The author is also incorrect about how she uses the concept of affordance, when she actually meant signifiers (important difference introduced by Don Norman - The Design of everyday things).
When she introduced the Double Diamond approach, she forgot to mention that it was first introduced by British Design Council.

When the author presented the Mobile Context Framework, I was still looking for anything novel in the approach. The model she talks about is about nouns and verbs - not sure where she was going, but I was lost. According to her, the current mobile solutions do not focus on places and people, and I think this is an incorrect analysis.

Anyway, at the beginning of this review I was not sure if the book was 3 or 4 stars, but now I am sure it is a 3 star. It is browse worthy but not shelf worthy (not worth buying)
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Format: Paperback
Good mobile interaction design books are scarse, and I am still waiting for a comprehensive volume to be published. This reflects the fact that mobile design is an evolving, exciting field that won't reach its end station for a while.

This book does a great job at introducing the reader to more general issues and principles regarding mobile interaction design, whereas other books tend to delve more into gritty details without too much of an overview. The Mobile Frontier on the other hand gives good pointers what to look out for in the evolution of mobile design. It won't give you clear cut-out principles, you'll need to read other books and interface guidelines and gain experience designing for that.

In sum, a good overview of the subject, especially if you're new to this.
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