Talking of design... has anyone else noticed that working on web site design leaves a whole bundle of preconceptions lying around your head?

I've noticed on a few projects recently (mobile ones, of course) that we, or the people we've been working with, have thought of designing flows and architecture in terms of "site maps" (actually using that phrase). Whilst what you might end up with might superficially resemble a map of a web site, in fact this brings in a whole load of assumptions (e.g. navigation links on each page, "breadcrumb" trails, a "home" link, "back" links) which might be valid for a mobile application... but needn't be.

Mobile applications don't have "site maps". For complex applications (e.g. a complete handset UI) then a single piece of paper mapping out a hierarchical organisation of information just won't cut it. For simple applications, why do we insist on building such maps? By doing so, aren't we implicitly asking the end-user to build a similar model in their heads, and navigate around it (remembering all the time "where they are" in the application)?

Interaction design for mobiles is IMHO more like appliance design than web, or even application, design. Focus on core tasks, simplicity, and elegance... try to avoid forcing the end-user to think more about interfaces than getting the job done.