There’s not really much more one can say about this topic. Usability is a huge issue these days and important if you want people to buy or use your app or service (mobile, web, whatever!) Think about apps and services that are so simply to use that it’s pretty much mindless for the user… I’m talking about Twitter, Groupon, foursquare, Google’s search, heck, even iFart! All these apps and services perform the task at hand and keep the experience simple. Geo tech developers are notorious for trying to accomplish too much with little real estate, often trying to figure out where to bury or hide another toolbar or menu list etc… think of the apps that you like to use then ask yourself why do you use them? Instagram is one new app that comes to mind for me… it’s way simple, almost to the point that it;s lacking in some functionality that I’d really like, however, the uptake of the app has been amazing – simply put, it’s simple and it works.
As for GIS and Geo developers start turning to mobile and rolling out mobile apps for iPhone, Android, Blackberry and Win mobile the topic of usability will be first and foremost on the minds of developers. Once again, focus on the main tasks, keep it simple and logical, and design the app with the user and device in mind. For a great example of a mobile app that’s received a fair bit of attention from the likes of Esri and others, turn to CitySourced. the app is crazy simple to use, addresses a need (ie. it connects the citizen with local government) and it works!
Design your app on a chart… if it looks something like this then maybe think again!
Source of image