My Notes on Bill Scott’s Designing for Mice & Men

As follow up to my Web App Masters Tour report, this last talk with Bill Scott from Netflix was focused on cross-platform experiences. Very interesting perspectives.

My notes on it:

  • Many companies think one size fits all, but the reality is we need to design for many different devices. Not just web, but mobile and TV.
  • HTML5 is now the way to go to base every version.
  • Learn fast and fail quickly – Take risks, test results, make changes and adapt.
  • Netflix way of managing across platforms
    • Portability layer with HTML5
    • User experience variation across platforms (web, tv, mobile, tablet)
    • Consider user posture, device capabilities, among others.
    • Consider restraints and design for mobile first.
  • Mice – Web and TV
  • Men – Mobile and tablet
  • The design principles are the design, but they vary in input, posture, navigation and display.
  • Three principles
    • Design for physicality – add a realistic physical phenomenon to your application to make it easier, more intuitive and enjoyable.
      • Don’t break metaphors by using language out of place or misplacing elements. The user’s mental model is the experience cushion.
      • Strict physicality is hard to accomplish. You can add some ‘magic’ that replaces real life features.
      • The evolution of the scrollbar – it’s now an indicator more than a controller. The content is the one that scrolls.
      • Remember: fingers are fat. Recommended size of touch input is 44 pixels.
    • Maintain flow – Take out the ‘jumps’ from your experience.
      • Focus + context, simple navigation, user control
      • Content is the flow.
      • Minimize page transitions.
      • Replace hover details with dedicated detail panels
        • Keep navigation simple
      • Three types of iPhone navigation: Flat, Tab, Tree
    • Be responsive
      • Use animations/transitions to create responsiveness
        • What can be done with less is done in vain with more
        • Use them just as needed and think about the reactions you will be generating in the user.
        • Show state changes, focus attention, create delight, and simulate physicality, among others.
      • Use invitations for related actions.
    • Performance is not always a given

Luke Wroblewski also tweetted a couple of very good articles on the subject you might want to read.

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