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Mobile Design and Development

Cover of Mobile Design and Development by Brian Fling Published by O'Reilly Media, Inc.
  1. Mobile Design and Development
    1. SPECIAL OFFER: Upgrade this ebook with O’Reilly
    2. Preface
      1. Who This Book Is For
      2. How This Book Is Organized
      3. Conventions Used in This Book
      4. Using Code Examples
      5. How to Contact Us
      6. Safari® Books Online
      7. Acknowledgments
    3. 1. A Brief History of Mobile
      1. In the Beginning
      2. The Evolution of Devices
    4. 2. The Mobile Ecosystem
      1. Operators
      2. Networks
      3. Devices
      4. Platforms
      5. Operating Systems
      6. Application Frameworks
      7. Applications
      8. Services
    5. 3. Why Mobile?
      1. Size and Scope of the Mobile Market
      2. The Addressable Mobile Market
      3. Mobile As a Medium
      4. The Eighth Mass Medium: What’s Next?
      5. Ubiquity Starts with the Mobile Web
    6. 4. Designing for Context
      1. Thinking in Context
      2. Taking the Next Steps
    7. 5. Developing a Mobile Strategy
      1. New Rules
      2. Summary
    8. 6. Types of Mobile Applications
      1. Mobile Application Medium Types
    9. 7. Mobile Information Architecture
      1. What Is Information Architecture?
      2. Mobile Information Architecture
      3. The Design Myth
    10. 8. Mobile Design
      1. Interpreting Design
      2. The Mobile Design Tent-Pole
      3. Designing for the Best Possible Experience
      4. The Elements of Mobile Design
      5. Mobile Design Tools
      6. Designing for the Right Device
      7. Designing for Different Screen Sizes
    11. 9. Mobile Web Apps Versus Native Applications
      1. The Ubiquity Principle
      2. When to Make a Native Application
      3. When to Make a Mobile Web Application
    12. 10. Mobile 2.0
      1. What Is Mobile 2.0?
    13. 11. Mobile Web Development
      1. Web Standards
      2. Designing for Multiple Mobile Browsers
      3. Device Plans
      4. Markup
      5. CSS: Cascading Style Sheets
      6. JavaScript
    14. 12. iPhone Web Apps
      1. Why WebKit?
      2. What Makes It a Mobile Web App?
      3. Markup
      4. CSS
      5. JavaScript
      6. Creating a Mobile Web App
      7. Web Apps As Native Apps
      8. PhoneGap
      9. Tools and Libraries
    15. 13. Adapting to Devices
      1. Why Is Adaptation a “Necessity”?
      2. Strategy #1: Do Nothing
      3. Strategy #2: Progressive Enhancement
      4. Strategy #3: Device Targeting
      5. Strategy #4: Full Adaptation
      6. What Domain Do I Use?
      7. Taking the Next Step
    16. 14. Making Money in Mobile
      1. Working with Operators
      2. Working with an App Store
      3. Add Advertising
      4. Invent a New Model
    17. 15. Supporting Devices
      1. Having a Device Plan
      2. Device Testing
      3. Desktop Testing
      4. Usability Testing
    18. 16. The Future of Mobile
      1. The Opportunity for Change
    19. Index
    20. About the Author
    21. Colophon
    22. SPECIAL OFFER: Upgrade this ebook with O’Reilly
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Chapter 7. Mobile Information Architecture

Your information architecture (also known as IA), is the foundation of your mobile product. A well-engineered product with good visual design can still fail because of poor information architecture. The truly successful mobile products always have a well-thought-out information architecture.

From a simple mobile website to an iPhone application, the mobile information architecture defines not just how your information will be structured, but also how people will interact with it. This is made especially tricky when you consider that different devices have different capabilities and therefore different interaction models. Take the way people interact with their devices: for example, a touch device on which the user literally points and clicks, or a more basic device on which the user uses the directional pad to navigate to the desired location.

Also, don’t forget that the information architecture emphasizes how you address context. In other words, a good mobile information architecture is based around the various user contexts that I talked about in Chapter 4. The secret is that mobile information architecture isn’t all that different from how you might architect software or a website; it just has a few added challenges.

What Is Information Architecture?

Before we get into the specifics of mobile information architecture, let’s first talk about exactly what information is. I can think of no better definition than the seminal O’Reilly book

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