On a Small Screen, Just the Salient Stuff

An important part of my work is producing web and mobile user interfaces. Both cases have traditionally had trade-offs: A modern desktop or laptop computer web browser is so powerful and potentially has so much screen space to play with that deciding how best to make use of all that resource is a daunting task. Typical lowest-common-denominator mobile devices, on the other hand have so little power, flexibility and screen territory that getting enough information and interactivity on any single screen-full is a struggle.

In this arena, the success of the iPhone is especially interesting. For many application developers, the iPhone has already gained enough market presence to be worth re-building mobile and web applications to suit the particular blend of size and features offered by the device. This in turn has led to some surprisingly usable condensed applications.

Slipstream – On a Small Screen, Just the Salient Stuff – NYTimes.com