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A social application's primary goal is to facilitate the ability to connect and
communicate with friends or other people of interest. The time spent interacting
with social mobile web applications is usually significantly higher than time
spent using utility-based applications.
The primary goals for social media applications are usually threefold.
Users visit to consume content.
Users visit to contribute content.
Users visit to participate.
These three fundamental rules underpin nearly every social mobile application
available today. If users do not contribute content, there will be no content for
other users to consume and participate with.
Just because users spend more time on social mobile web applications does
not mean that the path to complete a task, such as sharing content, should be
any more different than that of a task-based application. The same
considerations for the user's situation should be accounted for. It should be
both easy to share content and easy to consume content.
As an example, Twitter and Facebook are poles apart in terms of feature set, but
the primary goal for both applications on the mobile web is to make it easy for
users to consume, contribute, and participate.
Figure 2-4 shows three screens from the Facebook touch-based mobile web
site (to the left). Upon login, you are presented with the Facebook news feed, so
you can immediately consume content. You are also presented with three clear
and distinct buttons to share content such as your status, photos, and current
location (check-in). You also have a toolbar at the top to provide you with
content and updates related specifically to you (Friend Requests, Messages,
and Notifications) in the form of modal menus or pop-outs. Further features are
in the hidden menu, which leaves scope to add more secondary features and
actions without cluttering the rest of the application.
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