Mobile Design: Sequential Presentation

Nokia phones , back to the old days, were always better than other phones in term of usability. They had very strong usability and design culture  which was described in the book Mobile Usability: How Nokia Changed the Face of the Mobile Phone. I have that book in my bookshelf, and sometimes re-read it. One of the important point was mentioned first in the book is a diagram looks like following:

Portability -> Small Size -> Small Screen -> Sequential Presentation -> Prioritization -> User Understanding

In order for the mobile phones get carried around, the size must be compact. Hence, with the small  surface area, and the amount of data can be presented on the screen at a given time is very limited.  So information in general must be presented to the users sequentially (opposed to desktop UIs where we can present plenty of options simultaneously on a sizable screen). The high density of the current Retina display technology slightly improves display quality, but we still stuck with the small-physical-size screen; there are only that much stuffs you can pack into a single screen.

I am working on the next version of our leading product BaoMoi iPhone, and this important point has totally changed our approach to the design, we have no longer tried to present too many items on the same screen.

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