Mobile Device Screen Size and UX

For a device with a small screen, you must limit the number of features to those that matter the most for the mobile-use case. Even on desktop computers, precious pixels are the world’s most valuable real estate.

These wise words, no-brainers to some, come from Jakob Nielsen and Raluca Budiu’s Mobile Usability book (p. 52). The authors highlight the need to balance available screen space with the amount of information that is presented; too little as well as too much information will create a poor mobile user experience.

How to determine what’s appropriate?

  1. Conduct user research to determine requirements for design
  2. Follow design best practices in the mobile user-centered design philosophy
  3. Conduct heuristic evaluations and usability testing
  4. Tweak design based on insights from step 3


Why You Should Ignore Feature Requests

Users are expert in knowing what they need to accomplish, but not in knowing how software ought to be designed to support their needs. Allowing users to design software through feature requests is the worst form of disaster by committee.

Wise words by Stephen Few from Information Dashboard Design (2nd edition). I substituted ‘users’ instead of ‘customers’ to underscore that to properly design for users, their needs must first be uncovered through various research methods (e.g. contextual inquiry) rather than by asking the user “What do you need?”