Mobile Technical Debt

Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility.


Mobile Form Design

Most mobile forms are aweful.  As a mobile user, I want to take a picture of my driver’s license, so that I don’t have to type in my address and scroll to find my state.

I was really impressed with a healthcare startup called Oscar, their form was actually fun (use the zip code 10013 just to try their form).


Walmart Bollards and Mobile Application Pacing

Bollard is a fancy word for cement posts that stop cars from going where only people should go.  Now that you know the word, you will start to see them everwhere.  Walmart’s objective is to get your to browse for the longest period of time possible, so you can see more things to buy.  One way they do that is to prepare you to start shopping early.  The floors in the entry way are rough and the bollards are bigger than they need to be (just lift up the plastic cap and look at the tiny cement core), all to slow you down and get you in the shopping mindset.

This is analogous to certain mobile design problems.  Get the user to slow down to weigh the pros and cons of a certain choice.   Get the user to slow down so the learn about the product and will be more likely to complete the activation process.  Get the user to slow down so they can understand why your product might now be right for them.

Turbotax has a highly refined sense of pacing, the speed increases and slows down through the process of completing your tax return.  The flow drives emotional weight at the points they are adding value (we are analyzing your return for risk) or where they are trying to sell and an add on service: