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Building a Medical App? Doctors prescribe the iPad Mini

According to a recent poll of doctors by Epocrates, one-third of physicians planned to purchase the iPad Mini prior to its public announcement. It makes sense, given the size of lab coat pockets and the fact that almost 2/3 of physicians use tablets. So, what does this mean for developers? First, it means that doctors want to use medical apps. We developers will see an increasing demand for apps that medical professi
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Using Constraints to Brainstorm Simple Designs for Mobile Apps

While a mobile app may do a lot of things, it’s essential to design the app so it feels simple to the user at any moment during its use. But how do you generate ideas that will make an app simple? Try the following approach. List the top ten features you want in your app. These should be the most important things that characterize your app. If you have more than ten that’s OK, but try to come up with at least ten. On
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Moving Your Apps to Mobile: Part 3 – Mobile Opportunities

In part one of this series, I wrote about how mobile should be central to your development strategy because of the major shift that is happening to people’s computing habits. In part two, I cover key characteristics you need to consider in determining what you should (and shouldn’t) build. In part three, I will cover the opportunities this presents, and key questions to ask when you are exploring those op
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Moving Your Apps to Mobile: Part 2 – How Mobile is Different

In part one of this series, I wrote about how mobile should be central to your development strategy because of the major shift that is happening to people’s computing habits. In part two, I cover key characteristics you need to consider in determining what you should (and shouldn’t) build. In part three, I will cover the opportunities this presents. Just port it? Wrong. The wrong answer is to take all of
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iPhone and iPad Application Design – to HIG or not to HIG…

It is amazing how much one company has influenced our digital lives. You can not seem to look at any “smartphone” today without seeing Apple’s influential design sprinkled in. Need proof? Take a look at the Android prototype before the iPhone came out. Now look at Android today. Does Apple get everything right? Heck no, but they have been setting the interaction trends for the last several years. Th
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Designing for Touch: The Science of Tap vs. Click

We know intuitively designing for a touch interface is different than a mouse driven interface. But why are they different? Let’s wrap a little bit of science around these two worlds. Both interfaces, tap or click, use the same three basic cognitive functions. Seeing, locating and acting. In the mouse world, a user sees an item of interest on the screen, locates the mouse to that item and then clicks. In the touch wo
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Should the iPad be in your Product Strategy?

Chicago hosted it’s first Product Camp last month, and Bob Moll and I put together a presentation entitled “Should the iPad be in your Product Strategy.” Bob ended up covering for me on the day of the presentation, and the feedback has been great, including requests to do the presentation at some fairly well known companies. Take a look, and let us know what you think. If you’re looking at thi
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The Balkanization of the Application Development Landscape

photo credit: Mushroom and Rooster I can still remember how I felt the first time I deployed a a Java application from the WinNT desktop where I had developed it to a pair of Solaris servers. It was either late 1998 or early 1999. Up to this point most of my experience in cross platform development had consisted of the surprisingly difficult and painful task of tweaking the code and header files of open source progra
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Kindle Killer? Reading on the iPad Will Make You Go Blind

photo credit: Michael Cory I bought a Kindle shortly after the second version came out, then upgraded to a DX soon after. The device worked for me and carrying around a few hundred books in a little package beats schlepping a bag full of physical books. There are some things that the device doesn’t do well, mainly jumping around in a reference works. So the Robert Parker wine guide or the Gang of Four patterns
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The iPad: The Laptop I've Always Wanted

photo credit: photomequickbooth I’ve always wanted a laptop that was all solid state, near instant on, noiseless, with long battery life and a cool to the touch tiny footprint. Back when i was writing every morning, I loathed the many minute startup time of my Windows laptop. At least the macs have been nearly instant on, but the fan and/or disk noise is annoying, and the battery life still sucks. Who knew that
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