[Printing-architecture] on printing and mobile...

peter sikking peter at mmiworks.net
Sat Jun 25 11:55:45 UTC 2011

hello printing architects,

I am seeing that first tentative steps are taken to explore the
world of mobile printing UI.

Maybe you did not know this about my firm, m+mi works:
apart from driving for years printing user interaction
on the desktop, we have been in mobile for more than 14 years.

This has always been for major mobile brands and major networks.
The result is that software we designed can be found in more
than half a billion mobiles. Since 2007 we have worked on the
fundamentals of touch mobile devices and hybrid touch (touch +
keys) devices.

These days we work at the level of overall device UI strategies
and designs, and mentoring the UI designers of our clients.

Combining the above (printing + mobile), I think we are in
a unique position to give some insight on the theme.

The point I really want to get across is that where it comes to

- mobile with keys
- mobile with touch
- tablets with touch
- tablets with keys (amazon kindle)

all of these are separate worlds and none of these is an extension
or derivative of another.

none of these are an extension or derivative of desktop computing.

The conclusion from this is that designing printing interaction for
the four platforms above are four separate projects, which is certainly
separate from the desktop cpd project. Note also that when doing the
tablets with touch project, you will have to make a separate design
for 10" and for 7" devices. One size will not fit all, and with touch
everything is defined in centimeters, not pixels.

Recently we were helping out at the KDE UX sprint,


where we talked for hours about this theme. I quote from that post:

"What doe it take to bring the same application to different platforms,
e.g. desktop, tablet and mobile touch devices? I say: more than just
different widgets or rearranging screen layouts. The different vibe
of each platform—the sofa factor of the iPad, being on the move with
mobile—leads, in my experience, to non‑trivial differences
in UI structure and flows, for the same app."

This links again to an earlier talk I did for a transport industry
body (hey infrastructure, like printing!):


to quote the punchlines:

- mobile is not a shrunk desktop

- touch is not mobile. neither is it a shrunk desktop

That is the short version of 14 years of experience that I can
share with you. I hope you can take it in and avoid very costly
mistakes by structuring 'printing for mobile' in the wrong way,
or by ignoring the user and interaction aspects of it.

yours sincerely,


        founder + principal interaction architect
            man + machine interface works

        http://blog.mmiworks.net: on interaction architecture

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