Moore’s law doubles but Koomey’s law does more with less power

Wednesday, 21 September, 2011

While Moore’s law states the number of transistors that can be placed on a computer processing chip doubles every two years, Koomey’s law, devised by Jonathan Koomey, a Stanford University professor, suggests that the energy efficency of mobile devices, such as smartphones, will double approximately every 18 months.

“The idea is that at a fixed computing load, the amount of battery you need will fall by a factor of two every year and a half,” says Jonathan Koomey, consulting professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford University and lead author of the study.

Does this mean reasonably active smartphones might one day go a week between battery re-charges?

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Multi-tasking, mobile devices, social networks make 27 hour days

Tuesday, 24 August, 2010

Adept multi-tasking skills, together with the use of mobile devices, TV, and social networks, can result in the equivalent of five hours consumption and usage of media daily from just two hours.

People are also using several types of media at the same time, with the average person cramming eight hours and 48 minutes of media into just over seven hours during the average day. Younger people are even more adept at multi-tasking, cramming nearly five hours of media usage into just under two hours a day.

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The bored, the pedantic, and the impatient, they’re mobile users

Wednesday, 23 June, 2010

Search engine and technology company Google has identified three distinct behaviours exhibited by users of mobile devices (smartphones, handheld computers, etc), which could probably also apply to many non-mobile device users…

The “repetitive now” user is someone checking for the same piece of information over and over again, like checking the same stock quotes or weather. Google uses cookies to help cater to mobile users who check and recheck the same data points.

The “bored now” are users who have time on their hands. People on trains or waiting in airports or sitting in cafes. Mobile users in this behavior group look a lot more like casual Web surfers, but mobile phones don’t offer the robust user input of a desktop, so the applications have to be tailored.

The “urgent now” is a request to find something specific fast, like the location of a bakery or directions to the airport. Since a lot of these questions are location-aware, Google tries to build location into the mobile versions of these queries.

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Mobile web usability out paces desktop web usability

Wednesday, 29 July, 2009

From a Jakob Nielsen usability study: websites designed to be served on mobile devices (iPhones, mobile phones, etc) tend to be a little easier to use than sites intended for viewing on desktop computers:

When our test participants used sites that were designed specifically for mobile devices, their success rate averaged 64%, which is substantially higher than the 53% recorded for using “full” sites – that is, the same sites that desktop users see.

Not so encouraging though was the overall finding that “the mobile user experience is miserable”.

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Which screen resolution do I design for?

Monday, 8 December, 2008

Excellent guidance for dealing with all manner of screen resolutions now that we’re no longer designing for monitors with only three screen resolution settings.

Desktop monitors are generally bigger, but they come in a variety of sizes and ratios; and users don’t always maximise their browser windows anyway. People are browsing on tiny mobile phones that weren’t really designed for anything longer than a text message. Devices like the iPhone, Nintendo Wii and Asus Eee PC are new and shiny, yet their resolution is retro. All of these displays are new. We don’t have a situation where the major differences are divided between new and old, nor is there a linear increase in size as new displays come out.

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And now for some browser display statistics

Wednesday, 19 November, 2008

Man I am so old skool. disassociated.com remains “optimised” for a 800 by 600 (or 80 by 60 if you want to be kewl about it) screen resolution despite the fact just eight per cent of web users (desktop and laptop) now use the setting.

I often see my site on studio display monitors and from time to time think it looks a little lost at sea in a vast white ocean. Given disassociated.com is meant to be like a notepad it seems quite appropriate though.

Besides if I extended the width of the site, how would I utilise the extra space? By inserting no end of advertising banners and the like? I don’t think so.

On the subject of screen resolutions, does anyone know where I could find such data for mobile devices. What for example (easy question) is the screen resolution of an iPhone?

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Some iPhone website development resources

Thursday, 6 November, 2008

A small but useful round up of resources for anyone charged with the task of developing an iPhone optimised website, from Web Directions.

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The Open Letter Initiative and the Mobile Web

Friday, 2 May, 2008

The Open Letter Initiative and the Mobile Web

Lisa Herrod and the “we want more discussion about best practice and mobile accessibility issues” Open Letter Initiative.

What I’d really like to see is a lot more information presented by web community groups and industry nights that focus on accessibility issues for the mobile web. I don’t give a toss about what the latest Nokia is, or what cool data plan 3 is offering at the moment. I want presentations, discussions and tutorials. I want to hear real people talking about their experiences and I want us to do it now.

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Our nomadic future

Wednesday, 16 April, 2008

Our nomadic future

Wireless technology is increasingly turning us into nomads, not quite the nomads our ancient ancestors were, but rather digital nomads, as there is no longer the need to base work, and even study, out of a particular physical location anymore.

Ancient nomads went from place to place – and they had to take a lot of stuff with them (including their livelihoods and families). The emerging class of digital nomads also wander, but they take virtually nothing with them; wherever they go, they can easily reach people and information. And the barriers to entry are falling. You don’t have to be rich to be a nomad (wander round any American college campus if you doubt that). It is getting harder to find good excuses for being offline: this week the European Union allowed airlines to offer in-flight mobile-phone service, and several carriers have Wi-Fi. The gadgets, too, are getting ever smaller and more portable.

While not a nomad per se, I spend stints moving from place to place, and can certainly identify with the nomadic lifestyle… it sure makes returning home feel a treat though :)

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The Web Beyond the Desktop

Monday, 7 April, 2008

The Web Beyond the Desktop

Despite all the talk about the mobile web, and surfing the net from BlackBerrys or mobile phones, designers are still predominantly catering for web users on desktop or laptop computers.

For all the multiple environments, cross-platform concerns, and varied use-case scenarios we take for granted when building on the web today, the fact is we still make some fundamental assumptions about how the users of a site or application are interacting with our work. In our mind’s eye, we picture a place and a device. The place: users are sitting at a desk, or a table, or some other hard surface where their bum is firmly in a chair and their hands are at a comfortable 90-degree angle to their work surface. The device: maybe they’re using a desktop PC, or a Mac, or a laptop computer running Linux.

While quite a lengthly article, there are some useful insights, particularly the graphic showing the screen resolutions of various mobile devices, and the screenshots of the mobile versions of Facebook.

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