Luke Wroblewski – Designing Mobile Web Experiences

Sean Carmichael

April 8th, 2011


The surge in mobile technology is incredible. Manufacturers ship over a million touchscreen phones every day. These devices allow people to interact with the web in new ways. Users generally need something the can easily operate with “one thumb, one eyeball”. When they access your application or website, what kind of experience are you delivering? Are you risking frustrating your users?

Luke Wroblewski, the former Chief Design Architect for Yahoo! and founder of Bagcheck, is at the forefront of the “mobile first” approach. Streamlining your design for mobile helps you focus on what is absolutely necessary. In this podcast, Luke joins Jared Spool in a discussion about designing mobile experiences.

Here’s an excerpt from the podcast.

“… I think we’re still really in the beginning stages of this stuff. I personally have this philosophy that what we call the personal computer isn’t really the personal computer, the laptop, desktop that you have attached to your messenger bag or your desk at home.

The real personal computer is the thing that’s with you all the time. That increasingly is our smartphone level mobile phone. And it’s much more personal than your laptop or desktop can ever be, because with a single click you can talk to anybody you know. The address book is sort of embedded in it.

And not only can you talk to them, you can text message them, you get instant messages, and you can now do video calls with them. You can as you said buy anything you want using the services you’re interested in. And you can look up any information you want.

You can play god and say I’m stuck in traffic right now, show me an over head view of the map with real time traffic, and give me a satellite view to see if there’s a short cut I can take half this road somewhere else, right. And all that happens from the palm of your hand literally.

It’s the old William Gibson, “The future is here, is not just evenly distributed yet.” So yeah, I think these devices are much more personal. They can be used anywhere and everywhere because of the high portability factor.

And they’re connected to a network through pretty decent speeds, and increasingly getting better. And now we have all of our assets in the cloud. This is triumvirate that Google CEO, Eric Schmidt talks about.

He says, because these devices have better processors, there are faster networks, and because more and more of our stuff is up in the cloud, then the mobile phone is sort of this high volume end point of what we can do with computers right now…”

Tune in to the podcast to hear Luke cover these additional points:

  • How does direct manipulation affect user interaction?
  • How difficult is it for an organization to switch to a mobile design mindset?
  • What benefit, as far as prototyping goes, is there to creating a browser-based experience?
  • How can this thinking be brought back and applied to the desktop?

Luke is also one of the Masters joining us for the 2011 Web App Masters Tour. We’re coming to Seattle in May and Minneapolis in June. For more details such as dates, pricing, and agenda, visit

UIE Web App Masters Tour:
Get $100 off the Minneapolis Masters Tour with the promotion code BLOG.
Last Stop! Minneapolis

Recorded: February, 2011
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3 Responses to “Luke Wroblewski – Designing Mobile Web Experiences”

  1. 10 Tips For Designing Mobile Learning And Support Apps: Instructional Design and eLearning: Tips, Advice and Reviews Says:

    […] reside on the phone), there are many advantages to prototyping your app on the web first. In an interview with digital product designer, Luke Wroblewski, he points out that prototyping apps for the web […]

  2. Iulia Vântur e fan Șuie Paparude!Le știe toate versurile. | Says:

    […] Luke Wroblewski – Designing Mobile Web Experiences » UIE Brain Sparks […]

  3. Audio: Designing Mobile Web Experiences | Gnu Architecture Says:

    […] by Gnarc on May 13th, 2011 I recently had the pleasure of talking with Jared Spool on the UIE podcast series about designing mobile Web experiences: why we should care about mobile and how designing for it […]

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