As I write this, we’re getting set to cruise into the second sensational day of the IDEA conference here in the city of brotherly love. I came out of yesterday’s sessions with my brain chock full of user experience and content strategy. It’s been a great show so far.

Hopefully I managed to give a little bit back, too, with my own talk about mobile culture. I’ve posted the slides at SlideShare. As usual, my slides don’t have much text on them, but I’ve added an outline of my remarks in the speaker notes for the slides. Click the Notes tab below the slides on SlideShare.

(I always have fun putting presentation slides together, but this time I had a particularly good time, with an all-LEGO-all-the-time theme. If you dig toys, I think you’ll dig these slides. Have a peek. Not included in the slides: Me yelling “KHAAAANNNN!” at the top of my lungs from the stage. Kinda had to be there.)

Lego anthropology

Here’s the talk’s big picture:

Think of mobile OS platforms as cultures. Deciding which platform to target and how to design for each—whether web or native—doesn’t hinge only on tech specs or audience reach. In an era where consumers suddenly perceive mobile apps as richly personal, where software is content instead of tool—culture matters.

Every mobile OS has a different personality, design sensibility, and even government. All of these factors determine how well your individual app (and its audience) will thrive, and will have a direct impact on design considerations. For example, how does the prescribed design and paternal culture of iPhone’s philosopher-king model fit your app, compared to the frontier-maker culture and bare-bones geek design of Android? And where does the web fit in? In the next year alone, we’ll have ten major mobile operating systems to contend with as we design apps. In this session, you’ll discover the cultural and practical considerations of choosing the right platform for your app and your audience—and of crafting a design that works for all.

Going Native: the Anthropology of Mobile Apps

Presentation slides and notes

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