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Experience Design

Mobile App Development: Use Cases and Native vs. Web

Use Cases Determine Design
A few weeks ago LinkedIn released their iPad app; it was immediately praised for it’s slick interface and immediate usability. With a full-featured and flexible site like LinkedIn, most users expect a recreation of the original desktop website with a minor design change for tablets. What LinkedIn actually delivered shows more intuition than a simple port to tablet. Upon launching the app, the user is greeted with an uncluttered display of three content types – updates, profile and inbox. Each choice shows only the basics: large photos, headlines and brief descriptions – in short, all of the information that the user wants and nothing more. When using the smartphone app, the user experiences fewer options. With so many features available, why limit the mobile experience

“We’re looking at the ‘entrenched’ use case [for desktop users], the coffee-and-couch use case [for tablet users], the two-minute use case [for mobile phone users],” Prasad said, rapidly outlining a few of the ways people are interacting with digital information and highlighting how unique each of those scenarios can be — and how different are the needs they present.

Rather than giving a full featured, cluttered and non-responsive app that spans across tablets and smartphones, the mobile development team chose to serve only what users want to see based on how they access the network. A great example of three use cases at work.
App Development and Structure
After making strategic investment into mobile web technologies and testing the theory on their smartphone apps, LinkedIn decided to lean heavily on those technologies and only serve native application screens when necessary. While the smartphone apps utilized 60% web and 40% native functionality, but the iPad app shifts the balance to 95% web and 5% native.

“We always focus on user experience and app speed as a number one priority,” he told us. “If the performance wasn’t there, we wouldn’t have gone with the web.
“But with the iPad having the faster processor and being a more powerful mobile device, we felt like the web-based version could give us the performance we needed.”

The focus on delivering content through the network also allowed the team to cut out unnecessary design elements and increase design simplicity in order to make the app responsive and fast. The result is a seamless experience between the native home screen and the app content served via the mobile web.
LinkedIn’s surprisingly sexy new iPad app proves this company gets mobile – VentureBeat
You’ll never believe how LinkedIn built its new iPad app – VentureBeat

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