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Mobile User Interface (small-form UI)

Question asked by tcoz on Aug 28, 2014
Latest reply on Feb 20, 2015 by eric.angus

Some conversations I've had recently indicate that small-form mobile versions are becoming more desirable for enterprise tools. I say "small form", because standard tablets are becoming more like laptops all the time; touch screen shouldn't be a deal breaker for any modern UI. But phones, due to size and default portrait display (the Sidekick, although great, lost that battle), are another matter.


Even with that said, you probably still think it's a no brainer...but you'd be surprised. About three years ago I came to vmturbo assuming mobile was going to be on my plate right away. Users didn't seem to find it all that urgent though; replies were along the lines of, "meh sure why not," and since monitoring tools with a decade-or-older perspective on monitoring and data presentation hadn't really evolved the UX, most UI ports failed to deliver anything usable. Web clients could be problematic due to mobile browser JS issues, and so on.


But small-form app dev is easier than ever, and the Software Defined Control revolution is here. Don't monitor and react: control and strategize.


This leads to fundamentally different User eXperience. A control/strategy UX (as opposed to monitoring) communicates situational awareness via higher order visualizations and immediately actionable (and viewable) recommendations.


But, it comes with a requirement:


If you want Me-The-User to accept that monitoring tasks related to lower-order detail are best served by a control tool, and that I should be focusing on the higher-order situational state and recommendations...then I want to be able to see those higher-order visualizations and related recommendations ALL the time. And that means my phone.


So with that said, and keeping in mind that "as little as possible" is a guiding principle of small-form dev:


- Would a "second screen" version of the VMT UI be useful.

- If so, what would the essential "if it didn't do this it'd be totally useless" control-focused views and capability be?

- Would you be willing to install an experimental version of it on your phone?