Jakob Nielsen on the T-mobile Sidekick

Usability guru Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox for this week gives a quick review of the Danger Hiptop (branded by T-Mobile as the Sidekick). He's been using his for about six months, while I have only had mine since the color model came out. While I agree with his points, I have to add that there are several nice touches on the Hiptop that I haven't seen mentioned in other reviews yet.

First and foremost is the @ key. There is a dedicated key for @, meaning that the smaller keyboard, which is slower to type on than a regular-sized keyboard, is a little easier to use than if you had to use a key combo. This is extremely useful for the Hiptop, where the focus is placed on mobile e-mail, web, and IM. Oh yeah, it's a phone too.

He also glosses over the fact that when you're reading long documents, you can use the space key to page down, and the @ key to page up -- as long as the cursor isn't currently inside a textbox. This corresponds nicely with Mozilla and IE on a desktop computer, and is much easier to use than the scroll wheel. I seem to be most comfortable with using the keys for larger paging movements, and the scroll wheel for selecting individual fields or controls on a page.

I intend on giving an in-depth review of the Sidekick from the perspective of usability and professional/personal use "in the field". Most of the reviews I've seen leave out many of the cool details, although they go out of the way to mention lack of syncing. Outlook syncing would be a good thing market-wise for the Hiptop to support, though I personally would prefer iSync compatibility for my personal data. Rumors had gone around in the past about a third party developing the sync capability, but only time will tell.

As for my in-depth review, that will have to wait for now. I'm not feeling my best so I will hit the sack and maybe get that review done sometime in the future. Just wanted to make sure I got the Alertbox written up.

Posted on August 18, 2003 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Bruce Tognazzini on Interaction Architects

If you're interested in or employed to conduct interaction design, Tog's article "It's Time We Got Respect" is a must-read. In short, Bruce is advocating a concerted effort at professionalizing and branding this field as Interaction Architecture, in order to bring uniformity in jobs and help on the salary front. Presently, there is no single universally-accepted job title for this function, which often results in lack of respect from others with heavier-sounding titles. I will be watching this with great interest.

Posted on August 16, 2003 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack