Department

Graphic Communication Department

Degree Name

BS in Graphic Communication

Date

3-2012

Advisor(s)

Penny Bennett

Abstract/Summary

Mobile devices are rapidly gaining popularity. There is an increasing demand for individuals who can develop quality mobile websites and applications. In the world of mobile, the most important consideration is the end user. Who is the application or mobile website trying to target and what do they want? This study was designed to determine what users value and whether current developers are accurately reflecting these values. Determining this was accomplished through surveys of mobile users, interviews with mobile web developers, and analysis of successful websites and apps through case studies. The survey included questions to determine what qualities mobile users find valuable. The interviews with mobile developers determined what qualities web developers value when designing, and whether the end user is a significant determinant for design. Lastly, an analysis of top mobile websites and apps searched for trends in successful site and app design based on user responses. The study found that users rarely utilize their web browser, preferring native applications to a mobile web site. Simple, intuitive, and clear navigation and layouts are preferred by users. Web developers seem to recognize the importance of the end user and often place themselves in the shoes of the user to determine design. Speed and responsiveness are important considerations for developers. Often, the client inhibits efficient design, but can be swayed when the benefits of a more usable app are explained. The most important consideration for a developer is following the current standards of design.

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