This is far more academic compared to what I usually post here but it’s worth the effort as this relatively long paper is full of insights.
Interacting with a mobile device is very different from our interaction with desktop devices. But what does that mean precisely? In this article for the Journal on Multimodal User Interfaces, Luca Chittaro of the HCI Lab at the University of Udine proposes five types of specific differences, that together make it more difficult to design efficient user interfaces for mobile users.
People want to do more with their mobile phones, but their desire is frustrated by two classes of limitations. One is related to the device, its hardware and software. The other is related to the context, and comprises perceptual, motor, cognitive and social aspects. This paper will discuss some of the opportunities and challenges that this complex scenario presents to multimodality, which can be a key factor for a better design of mobile interfaces to help people do more on their mobile phones, requiring less time and attention.