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Does Size Matter in a Mobile Applications?

Posted By Praveen Joshi on 14 June 2013
what makes a mobile app popular

Most of the people have the question “Whether size matters in mobile application?” before purchasing a new mobile. Experienced mobile application developers and users say that size and structure have an impact on overall user experience, especially in today’s world of complex mobile applications. How you would feel if you are not able to view the complete user interface because that your mobile screen size is small or if you need to spend too long to create a text message? This does not mean that you should have gigantic mobile phones to enjoy optimized user experience.

It is always better to use mobile applications on standard phone (iPhone) or tablet (iPad) or something in middle such as iPad mini. It is true that mobile application users are not much concerned about navigating across the mobile screen, vertically or horizontally, as long as they get the content they need. Still, many times it is found that the size really matters when it comes to overall user experience. Whatever the size of mobile phone is, you should be able to use it comfortably.

Have you ever heard about PSINET score? As per The Physical Size Inquiry Non-Exhaustive Theorem,  PSINET score is the ratio between the smaller of the width and height and the resolution. If PSINET score of a mobile phone is close to 5, then the device is medium sized. If the score is less than 5, then the device is physically small and greater than 5 means physically large. 

HTC Wildfire, Motorola Defy, Samsung Galaxy S IV etc are examples of physically small devices. Motorola Xoom, Samsung Galaxy Tab and Amazon Kindle Fire HD are medium sized devices. Obviously, it is very difficult to design mobile phones with PSINET score greater than five because it would be impossible to carry such big mobile phones in your pocket.

Most of the standard mobile phones such as iPhones and Android phones have QWERTY keyboards. So, if you wish to send an email to your client, you don’t have to press same button multiple times while creating a new message. QWERTY keyboard layout is exactly same as that of laptop or computer keyboard. Thus, you can use both your hands to complete your task easily, quickly and accurately. When you have large mobile phones, reading, texting and browsing becomes comfortable and easier. Playing games is more enjoyable with large mobile phones.  You can browse web, view photos and videos and listen to music very comfortably. Thus, larger mobile phones usually offer better user experience.  

However, we cannot generalize the above statement as there are exceptions. We cannot neglect the fantastic user experience offered by iPhones. If you calculate the PSINET score of different models of iPhones, you could find that most of them are physically small. Still, the user experience offered by them is incredible. We should also consider HD ready mobile phones while considering the effect of mobile phone size on overall user experience. HD ready mobile phones are gaining popularity among users who wants to enjoy better multimedia experience. Users with HD ready mobile phones can capture, share and view high quality multimedia content anytime anywhere. These mobile phones are not too large while comparing the user experience offered by other large size phones. Altogether, we could say that there is no specific answer for the question “Whether size matters in mobile application?”. It all depends on the user requirements and mobile phone features.

Praveen Joshi

Praveen Joshi

Praveen is a seasoned IT Solutions Leader and Director at RSK Business Solutions, a technology-driven IT Consulting Company that specializes in Bespoke Software Development, Agile Consulting, Mobile App Development, Smart Sourcing, and much more. For the last 17 years, he has been delivering quality custom IT solutions that help businesses achieve their goals.

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