disruptive technology mobile development

Designing mobile enterprise apps for ‘high cognitive load’ environments

Very soon, it’ll be every worker on a smart device, not just the traveling salesman submitting his lunch receipt on the go. Imagine technicians working on top of wind turbines or in the bowels of hospitals fixing state-of-the art equipment on iPads. Or brain surgeons removing tumors thanks to a Nexus. Or to get Hollywood about it, astronauts working off that shiny new Surface 2 up there in space. The design of mobile enterprise apps that must serve these high cognitive-load business environments require an extreme balance of form and function, and must keep context, communication and clarity front and center despite the complexity of the job at-hand. Mobile Enterprise apps face a constant tension: The need to work with large amounts of data versus the limited screen real estate on which to display it. In practice, this means that users often need to browse or search through several organizational layers of material to find a value for an input field or form. At the same time, mobile users are frequently interrupted with calls, texts and other events that take over the entire screen. So it’s critical to maintain context at all times.


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