MobileDesign was pretty darn good this evening. It was the first time I'd been - which I now regret even more - and with an excellent crowd (familiar and new faces), lovely venue, and good speakers (ahem) I was most impressed.

Steal This Interaction PatternI particularly enjoyed Nick Richards' talk on the work he did at Fjord on the BBC iPlayer. Nick exhorted us to steal all we could from Auntie, and I came away with a few notes of interesting stuff:

  • They designed for 5-way navigation (up/down/left/right/fire), not 3-way (up/down/fire); horizontal navigation allowed them to increase the density of information on-screen - a key goal of the project;
  • Repetition of imagery between its selection (in navigation) and presentation further down, to reassure users they'd made the right choice;
  • "Light personalisation" through areas of the screen which expand on clicking, and whose state is remembered;
  • The importance of "resume" functionality when your user sessions are typically 15m long and programmes average 30m;
  • Targeting specific high-end devices only;
  • Use of click-to-send smsto:// URLs and iCal format events to save into the on-phone calendar;
  • Thinking carefully about what happens when constraints loosen - e.g. when those 900 hours of content increase to 9000 in future;
  • Implementing pages as sequences of modules, each of which had a fall-back "low-end" version, instead of having a "hi" and "lo" version of the site as a whole;
  • Weekly iterations with user testing every week, and how lovely the BBC are to work with;
  • Full customisation didn't make it in to launch;

MobileDesign: your hostI did the following talk on "knocking down walls between designers and developers". I wasn't happy either with my delivery or the overall content; I felt it should've been less of the "designers and developers should just hug each other"-fest it felt like at times - a truism I don't see much point in repeating; that I should've drawn on more specific experiences we'd had at FP (we're not short of them!) rather than making general sweeping statements; and I shouldn't do a talk when I'm half-asleep after a planning day... slides are here, anyhow, if you want to see some kitty photos.

The UsTwo guys gave a very nicely-done presentation about personalisation and future UX, which I really enjoyed despite dozing off within - would love to see it again.

Thanks to the Yiibus for all their efforts in bringing this together, and to Seren for having such a wonderful office :)