2Know Magazine: Sharing KM Knowledge
2Know: Sharing KM Knowledge
September 2013 - Magazine No. 168
September 2013 - Magazine No. 168
Edition:
Written By Anat Bielski

The emergence of Smartphones into our lives and their increased use, forces the planners and constructers of Smartphone applications and websites to answer the new needs created due to the use of this platform.

When planning an application / website adapted for a Smartphone, we should take its characteristic properties into consideration.

  1. A use of gestures in order to operate the device: when using the computer version, we use a mouse and keyboard. When using a Smartphone, we use gestures such as:
  • Tapping in order to click the computer mouse.
  • Dragging in order to scroll or move a platform.
  • Flick in order to skim quickly between items, such as pictures in an album.
  • Pinch close/open in order to zoom in or out.

*There is usually nothing in the interface that suggests the use of gestures (besides the help menu) and they are usually learned through using the site/application and using common gestures such as those described above.

  1. Screen display: the display of most Smartphones is adapted to the direction in which the device is held, i.e. when the user holds the phone horizontally or vertically the display changes accordingly.
  2. In order to overcome the lack of tactile feedback (the feeling of mouse/keyboard), integrate the use of two senses, such as sight and touch (vibration) or sight and sound.
  3. Small screen size: screen size affects
    • Reading the text- approximately 5 lines of text avg. without scrolling. Therefore, if lots of text is presented it is difficult for the user to read it.
    • Navigating in the screen: navigating and clicking on the screen is performed by the user's finger. Therefore, if the links in the screen are too close to each other or the number of links is too large the finer will have a hard time focusing on the correct link. This may cause frustration, as the user might click on buttons he/she did not intend to.
  4. Use of movement: the Smartphone serves the users always, including when they on the move. This is critical when the user needs to type something on the phone (which in some cases can be cumbersome even when not on the move).
  5. Response speed of the Smartphone: Since the Smartphone has a weaker processor than a PC or laptop computer, and occasionally the internet connection is slower (especially when the user is one the move) the applications and websites should be easily uploaded in order to provide optimal response time.
  6. Target audiences: the availability of smart cellular devices nowadays enables access to users of a range of various target audiences, from children to adults from all segments of the population.

When characterizing an interface of a Smartphone, it is important to plan the unique experience adapted for the needs of the mobile phone and its users. We must understand who is the application/website's target audience, what they expect to find in it, where and why they approached the website/application.

 

Tips for planning an interface for a website/application for a Smartphone:

  • Keep it simple: the site/application should be simple to navigate through without too many depth levels (up to 3 levels is recommended).
  • Number of controls on screen: up to 4-5 controls on the screen in order to prevent clicking mistakes.
  • Easy uploaded screen: use of quickly uploaded code and graphics for the screen.
  • A use of applications that ease the use of the website/application and provide a user friendly site, such as:
    • Search: uploading relevant search results in order to save time and prevent the need for unnecessary typing as well as saving previous searches performed by the user.
    • Adapting the content according to the user's location: a context oriented search in accordance with the user's location, adapting content in accordance with the user's location (for example, restaurants nearby).
    • Use of filters in order to focus information.
  • Providing suggestions of links with similar content in order to ease the user's navigation.
  • Highlighting the important information: the needs of a Smartphone user may differ from the needs of a PC/laptop user. For example, sites viewed on a PC can emphasize content while Smartphone sites will more emphasize the search of content, specifically a location-oriented one.

 

In conclusion, we can say that the planning of a UI interface for a Smartphone is totally different from a UI interface for a website presented on a PC. The advantages provided by the Smartphone should be utilized in order to overcome the challenges this platform enfolds.

 

References:

http://uxi.org.il/pages/1477
http://uniqui.co.il/downloads/sguide/

 

Have you ever met someone for a very short period of time, yet still felt like you really know them? In this short meeting you already imagined their lifestyle and values, foresaw their behavior in different situations and have reason to believe you would enjoy their company in the future. In short, you acquired an inclusive understanding of the person you just met.

It is not uncommon for a small amount of information to provide us with a larger picture. A first impression occurs between 90 seconds and four minutes. In a first impression, people receive a small portion of what they see and it is in fact a precise and inclusive representation for them. Psychological research has shown that when people evaluate their environment, they give initial information much more weight than information acquired later. This initial information affects the way in which they later process information regarding the issue. In other words, it is more probable that people will believe the initial things they learn are true. It sometimes takes many examples of positive behavior to 'erase' the affect of one example of negative behavior performed during the initial meeting. As the saying goes, you only get one chance at first impressions. This way the first impression creates a promise for us.

 

What does this have to do with content and it becoming secondary?

We all surf the web, all day every day. We search for content, acquire content and share content. Try to remember the last time you entered a website and were taken aback by its design: its unique structure, the impressive pictures, the colorful banners and the special brand colors. The site has undoubtedly left an impression. It is so pretty, you say to yourself, I will surely find the information I am searching for. Now, did it fulfill its promise? Did the sire provide you with the information you were searching for? Did you get an answer for the question you were asking? Was it easy? Was it quick?

More than once we've encountered websites that are amazingly designed yet contain hardly any content. It is important that the site be pretty, dressed in the most hip clothing and wearing matching accessories. Design is indeed an important, central part of a website. It assists in building am image for the business and plays an important part in its success. Yet a design and image are not enough. Without real content to back it up, the image formed isn't real. It will work for only a short while before shattering in the face of reality. In these cases, the stunning design and the image created do not pass the test of reality. We can all purchase a suit and surround ourselves with different status symbols yet if there's nothing real to back it up, these will all remain merely a façade. In case the surfer did not find the information he/she was searching for, or found it but was not satisfied, you will not get another chance. It will take a few seconds for the potential user to move on to a competing website.

 

Content is not of secondary importance, rather it is the main component and is here to stay. Remember that the site you are designing is merely the backdrop for the content you are presenting, and not the other way around. The content is the reason the surfers were attracted to the site in the first place; it is what will make them spend more time in the site, it is what will make them return and visit again. The purpose of design is to enhance the message: the clearer the information is, the more it is accurate and promotional, the more the user will know of your product and services and ultimately-the more you will sell.

 

So, how will you create quality internet content?

Some tips:

  • When on the internet, the surfer's patience is usually minimal (unlike other reading sources). If the content is uninteresting, the user will not read it. Be careful to use focused, clear and concise messages. Divide the content into passages that enable a quick scanning of the eye and will ease the reading. Nevertheless, remember that the content must answer the user's needs. Try assisting the user to reach the objective while reaching the bottom line quickly and easily.
  • Articulate your message. Your website and content speak of you as a business, and create an image for you. Content which is not articulated, e.g. with typos or incorrect punctuation, will show a lack of professionalism and directly affect the positive image you are attempting to create and conserve.
  • Articulate concise writing is not enough. The writing should be marketing oriented. Understand who your customers are and write to them from their perspective. What do they need? What are they looking for? What is your edge? Why should they choose you?

Bridge between the need and your answer through the text.

  • Searching for information in the internet is like looking for a needle in a haystack. Navigation trees and titles direct the surfer to the desired content. Use short titles that provide information regarding the content. And most importantly, be clear and refrain from slogans.
  • Don't do this alone. Choose a professional for writing content as you have done with the website's designer or its developer. A professional content writer will regard your content from the surfer's perspective and will write the texts so that they are marketing and sales oriented and will ultimately sell. It is important to point out that a professional content writer does not exempt you from this task. You are your products' parents and know well what is precise and what is lacking. Cooperation between you and the content writer is critical for success.

Conclusion

Don't regard your website's content as a secondary component. It is vitally important for the success of your website. Good content is content that makes surfers stay on your site for as long as possible and return for future visits. A website that contains quality (and well designed) content is a big advantage that can assist you in opening doors for success, projecting a dynamic image and increasing profit. A pretty site with no content to back it up not can possibly harm your business. Keep your promise to the users and give content its rightful place.

What is OneNote?

Let's say that you're walking to work meetings. You usually take your notebook to meetings.  Suppose said notebook is a digital, modular, flexible and ever-changing notebook with many features including sharing knowledge with other users. Well, that is OneNote.

Consider your project folder. It contains several documents, such as Word files, PowerPoint presentations and a few pictures in folders and sub-folders. Now, consider possibly binding them all in one digital document folder shared (fully or partially) with other users.

 What is it good for?

OneNote is a powerful work tool from Microsoft. The software enables collecting and organizing data in various platforms in one location. Its advantages include:

A tool familiar to users (as part of the Microsoft Office package)

Simple and user-friendly

Modular, flexible; adapts to user needs

Supports Drag & Drop

Enables organizing, tagging and sorting content

Enables adding content of various forms (pictures, video, audio, links, etc.)

Allows protecting content (by password)

Features an internal search engine

Enables sharing knowledge and remote access (including saving on "clouds")

 

 

Easily interfaces with all Microsoft Office software.

For more information, click here or Microsoft OneNote's initial tutorial screen.

 

References

Review of tutorials from the official Microsoft website and OneNote.

 

Written by Rom Knowledgeware
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