Yesterday, I had a conversation with a PM @savored who is newer to developing mobile apps. We chatted about what’s important to keep in mind when developing for mobile. My answer: it’s simple, just find the one (or two) things that matter most and nail those. You can ruthlessly deprioritize everything else. Seriously.
Let’s take a favorite example of mine, my Amazon Kindle Keyboard 3G. It lets me take 1,000 books anywhere and read them. When I first got my Kindle, I fell in love it with immediately. It was a clear, distinct step-function improvement over my status quo reading experience (trying to stuff 2 or 3 books into my bag before a week of travel).
It does not matter that 80% of the features on it are complete garbage. Tweet a quote? I’d wager that <1% of users have ever tweeted directly from Kindle and I bet less than 2% of users even realize it exists. The highlights section is cumbersome and painful to search through. The dictionary lookup forces all sorts of unnecessary clicks (if I’ve painfully scrolled to a certain word and double clicked to see a definition why am I forced to go to a new page if the definition happens to be longer than 100 characters?).
But you know what, it doesn’t matter. At all. The core reading experience is a quantum leap improvement over the status quo. Amazon got the one thing right and it makes all the difference.