An Event Apart: “Mobile In the Future”

Luke Wroblewski speaking at An Event Apart Seattle 2018 on April 3, 2018.

In this session, Luke will take a look at what we’ve learned over the past ten years of designing for the largest, most connected form of mass media on our planet. Have all the mock-ups, meetings, emails, and more we’ve created in the last decade moved us beyond desktop computing interfaces and ideas? If not, can we find inspiration to go further from looking at what’s happening in natural user interfaces and hardware design? Find out in this session from the author of Mobile First.


  • 3 major eras of computing:
    • Mainframes
    • Personal computers
    • Mobile
  • 10 years of iOS camera design
    • Classic case of feature creep? Or minimum viable product process?
  • Are designs coming full circle?
  • When users have the option to see their password they are entering on mobile, there is a statistically significant decrease in failed logins
    • 75% won’t complete purchase if attempt to recover password while checking out
    • When the option to show password is available, 75% used it — 88% unmasked password after entering first character
  • Amazon iOS app progression
    • Can’t view password — tap to reveal password — password revealed by default, tap to hide — reveal password below as you type
    • Now you can use Touch ID (fingerprint) for a password
    • What are we iterating toward?
    • Your face is the password — Face ID
  • Form improvements
    • Avoid splitting inputs
    • Address lookups
    • Inline validation
    • Input mask
    • Scan credit card to enter numbers
    • Smart defaults
  • NUI (natural user interfaces) vs. GUI (graphical user interfaces)
    • NUI can be a great north star (where we should be going)
  • Not every interaction on mobile can/should be that simple, right? — perhaps not, but it really helps to try
  • People log into their phones 75-80 times per day
  • More than half of user phone sessions are 30 seconds or less
  • Apple Watch has a 7 second average interaction time
  • Mobile phones have a 38 second average interaction time
  • Mobile design now:
    1. Immense opportunity — mobile devices, audience, growth, revenue at global scale
    2. Optimize for today — for critical interactions, many improvements possible now
    3. Aim for the future — set vision, iterate toward it, NUIs as a guiding star

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