Openwave Systems Inc., the worldwide leader of open IP-based communication infrastructure software and applications, announced that it has contributed its Open Usability Interface server-side programming library and source code to the open source developer community under a Mozilla License. Openwave is contributing Open Usability Interface as a code base for developers for developing mobile applications that can be accessed through multiple networks and mobile devices. Open Usability Interface is a server-side programming library that that abstracts the presentation of content from the underlying platform implementation details. In practice, developers code to the capabilities that each platform offers. The library presents the best possible user experience by adapting the application user-interface for the particular device and gateway requesting the service.
OpenWave Contributes Open Usability Interface to Open Source
2002-06-04 Wireless 2 Comments
I spent a year designing and developing much the same thing.
Funny this was one of the browsers we had to deal with was by a cmpany called Phone.com who designed most if not all of WAP. They later became …OpenWave.
The early Phone.com browser was pure evil. It was designed for anti-useability. There were later versions which may have been better but The phone I tested it with – a brand new Motorola – used an old version for some strange reason.
Then again that suited the Motorola, you needed a degree in quantum physics to operate the rest of the phone.
Openwave later brought out a GUI browser which from the images on the site actually looks pretty resonable.
Good usability doesn’t come from a piece of software, it comes from the programmer (or whoever is in charge of designing the user interface) knowing enough about usable design and caring enough to do user testing. It’s the software between the designers ears, not the software on his computer.
Unfortunately most people designing the interfaces in the Open Source Community know next to nothing about creating usable interfaces and many of them don’t really care enough to do very much user testing. And I really don’t see any of them doing very much of the necessary tailoring you have to do for the interface paradigm of each platform. I say this because we’ve already seen many open source GUI toolkits originally designed for desktops migrated to embedded forms and most of the embedded toolkits give little thought to the difference in display and navigation between a desktop and a PDA and the design constraints that result from these differences.