Designing for small surfaces

13Dec09

No space not to stick to the really necessary

I must admit that designing for small surfaces has one very big benefit: constraints.

Designing for a normal screen gives you way more freedom, but it is too easy not to stick to that one thing that really is important.

Small screens on the other hand force you to stick to the core, those basics which are what makes it all work.

Design for small surfaces to the max

This week I came across the LG watch phone. Remember the 80’s with the calculator phone? Well, this one is kind of like that. So most probably will end up in the weird and wonderful cupboard, but what caught my eye was that there is only place for 2 buttons or a few lines of text.

So fed up of phones that do everything well, but to make a simple phone call you need 10 clicks?

Well, here you go. More stuck to the basics you won’t get it.

Create a mobile App. Even if it doesn’t make sense

Feature creep. Sounds familiar that it is difficult to avoid more and more features creeping in? Most probably it won’t be difficult to convince people that you need a mobile app. (maybe it actually doesn’t make any sense, but the exercise could be sufficiently useful just to go through the design process)

Start selecting what really is important in your products. Strip it down to the bare basics. Put it in a design and even if you are not going to develop the mobile app, keep it, print it out and make everybody see it. I promiss you, having consensus on what is really important is a massive step…

Try it and let me know if it gave any results!

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(image thanks to CNET)

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One Response to “Designing for small surfaces”

  1. 1 Sun Sunich

    I’ve always been interested in mobile apps design. I use mobile web sites on my phone and often-times come across some good design ideas… Great exercise it is to design for small surfaces.


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