Why everyone who evaluates mobile apps should read Apple’s iOS Human Interface Guidelines

Designing for iOS


In my online course, Apps for Librarians and Educators, one of the assignments is to read some of Apple’s iOS Human Interface Guidelines.

These guidelines are for app developers, but it’s also very useful and eye-opening for app users to become familiar with them — especially if you are an information professional or educator who helps others with mobile apps and writes reviews of them.

These are the sections I ask my students to read: (more…)

Organize your life with mobile apps: online course

lower stress, function smoothlyI’m in the midst of creating a new online course called Organize Your Life with Mobile Apps. If you’ve ever lost important information or forgot to bring it with you, this will help.

Have you been too busy to find and set up the best apps for organizing your life?

I’ve met many people who tell me they are too busy to set up and use any new apps. They use email, web browsers, Facebook, and a few games on their iPhone or Android smartphone — but not productivity apps. If this sounds like you, this course will help. (more…)

Available now: Selecting and Evaluating the Best Mobile Apps for Library Services

Selecting and Evaluating the Best Mobile Apps for Library ServicesMy latest book, Selecting and Evaluating the Best Mobile Apps for Library Services, is now available from ALA TechSource as one of their Library Technology Reports (vol. 50, no. 8)

Last summer ALA approached me about writing this for their series.

Instead of being a guidebook to over 100 of the best apps like my other book, Apps for Librarians: Using the Best Mobile Technology to Educate and Engage, this one focuses on what you need to know to evaluate mobile apps for educational use.

It includes:

  • An overview of app literacy: mobile operating systems, mobile ecosystems, core apps, natural user interfaces, device capabilities, accessibility, and jailbreaking.
  • A detailed app evaluation checklist that supplements traditional review criteria for print resources.
  • Review sources for keeping up with the newest apps.
  • Summaries of iOS features that support accessibility.
  • Ideas for library instruction and event-programming with apps.

You can purchase it here.

Want a sample? The publisher offers a free copy of the first chapter (see PDF download link).

See my other titles on the books page of my site.

Why you don’t need to stick with one mobile platform: 50 best apps for multi-platform productivity

iPhone next to Android phone

Photo by Flickr user “janitors.”

How many times have you heard people say, “I’m a Mac person,” or “I’m a Windows person?” That’s pretty common with desktop computing. We’ve all experienced the pain of switching platforms — certain programs only work on one or the other, conversions sometimes get messed up, and all those tasks you’ve learned to do automatically become hard when you first switch from Windows to Mac or vice-versa.

Well the good news is that it’s getting easier in the mobile world. (more…)

Fragmentation frustration – keeping track of your notes in multiple formats

notebookWhen I was head of user experience at the MIT Libraries, my team and I interviewed undergrad and graduate students about their academic workflows as part of a study of how new technologies were changing how students did their work. One of the problems we heard about often was something I’d like to call “fragmentation frustration.”

With notes in so many formats (handwritten, typewritten, photos, scraps of paper, printed PDFs with notes scribbled on them), students were finding it difficult to keep track of everything and later find something they knew they had. (more…)