The "Mobile First" User Experience

Design & User Experience, Mobile
Location: 2001 Level:
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The number of mobile users are growing at an exponential rate, with a plethora of new mobile devices, mobile Internet services and powerful user interfaces vying for consumer attention and adoption. The mobile web is not just about accessing the Internet from your phone; it’s a revolutionary technology and communication platform transforms our experience of the Web, the world, and ourselves. Mobile devices are a highly personal extension of the individual, and have unique sociological and technological attributes – they are location aware, temporally situated, and socially connected.

In the highly fragmented mobile space, it is increasingly important to offer consumers an elegant and satisfying user experience and mobile services that are intuitive, yet stunning and feature-rich. However, if we look at the broader mobile industry – how do companies and individual developers create scale by reaching users with the same products with the same user interfaces that run across hundreds of different types of devices, operating systems and carrier networks? As the mobile Internet experience evolves, it’s not about simply porting the PC experience to a smaller screen – the user experience and the user interface demand that the industry create ‘mobile-first’ products – services that harness the unique strengths and attributes of the mobile device while negating the limitations of size, memory, speed and processing power.

As the importance of mobile development increases, developers will need to deliver indispensable mobile user experiences through increased focus on building contextually relevant content, leveraging the mobile environment and allowing consumers the ability to choose and customize their content and experiences.

‘Open’ mobile experiences are another key element to take into account when designing user experiences. While open applications are a powerful element of the mobile experience and allow consumers access to services tailored to their needs, they present an interesting challenge to incorporate into designing user interfaces – how to create open systems that ensure 3rd party services render and operate effectively, efficiently and harness the UE they are created for? If there are design flaws within the application, and/or the way the consumer navigates to their 3rd party content, the user experience is spoiled.

Ultimately, design and user experience revolves around personalization and customization. Those who are able to develop innovations to that end will find success in meeting the expectations of mobile users, and shaping how they interact with their mobile devices when on the go. This session will discuss the current and future user experiences on mobile, and how to design experiences that run across multiple mobile platforms and address some of the problems the mobile industry will have to overcome.

Photo of Marc Davis

Marc Davis

Yahoo! Inc.

Marc Davis is Chief Scientist and VP of ESP (Early Stage Products) for Yahoo! Mobile. Marc and his team invent and help realize the future of mobile, social, media, monetization, and platforms. His work focuses on creating the technology and applications that will enable the billions of daily media consumers to become daily media producers. His research encompasses the theory, design, and development of sociotechnical systems that leverage contextual metadata and the power of community to enable people around the world to produce, describe, share, and remix media, and to connect to each other in new ways. ESP has been involved in innovative upcoming products from Yahoo! Connected Life such as oneConnect, which reinvents mobile communications by aggregating a user’s social networks and communications tools into a socially connected address book. Marc was also a key contributor to the Yahoo! Open Strategy (Y!OS) and the vision demo for the future of Yahoo! shown at CES 2008.

Marc Davis earned his B.A. in the College of Letters at Wesleyan University, his M.A. in Literary Theory and Philosophy at the University of Konstanz in Germany, and his Ph.D. in Media Arts and Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Laboratory. As part of his doctoral dissertation at the MIT Media Laboratory, he developed Media Streams, an iconic visual language for annotating, retrieving, and remixing digital video. At the MIT Media Laboratory, Marc Davis co-founded the Narrative Intelligence Reading Group, which innovated interdisciplinary discourse at the intersection of literary and media theory, artificial intelligence, and media technology and design. From 1993 to 1998 at Interval Research Corporation, he led research and development teams in creating patented automatic media production technology. In 1997, he was an invited contributor to the 50th Anniversary Edition of the Communications of the ACM, for which he wrote a vision piece about the next 50 years of media technology. From 1999 to 2002, Marc Davis was Chairman and Chief Technology Officer of Amova, Inc., a developer of media automation and personalization technology.

From 2002 to 2006, Marc Davis served as Assistant Professor at the UC Berkeley School of Information where he directed Garage Cinema Research whose projects included: Mobile Media Metadata (context-aware mobile media technology and applications that leverage contextual metadata—spatial, temporal and social—to infer media content and support media sharing and reuse); the Social Uses of Personal Media (social science and design research to learn how and why people use digital imaging in order to support the design of next generation mobile media applications); Media Streams Metadata Exchange (media metadata framework for annotating, retrieving, sharing, and remixing video on the Web); Active Capture (interactive cameras that use signal processing and computer-human interaction to capture high quality, reusable, annotated media assets); and Adaptive Media (adaptive media templates and automatic editing functions to mass customize and personalize media). Garage Cinema Research worked on its projects with many sponsors including British Telecom, Hewlett-Packard, France Telecom, Nokia, Ricoh Innovations, Opera Software, TEKES, and the UC Discovery Grant for Digital Media. At UC Berkeley, Marc Davis was also a Co-Founder and Executive Committee Member of the interdisciplinary UC Berkeley Center for New Media (CNM), an Advisory Board Member of the Art, Technology, and Culture Colloquium (ATC), and an Affiliated Faculty Member of the Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD).

In 2005, Marc Davis worked with Yahoo! Inc. and UC Berkeley to launch Yahoo! Research Berkeley, a research partnership to explore and invent social media and mobile media technology and applications that will enable people to create, describe, find, share, and remix media on the web. Marc Davis was the Founding Director of Yahoo! Research Berkeley and many Garage Cinema Research students and alums were involved in this lab and throughout Yahoo Research Berkeley produced a number of breakthrough public prototypes in mobile media and social media: ZoneTag, context-aware mobile photo capture and tagging software; TagMaps, a collective map of human attention created by analyzing the millions of geocoded Flickr photos; Zurfer, a context-aware mobile photo browser; and Remixer, a web-based video remixing tool developed for the San Francisco International Film Festival. In 2006, Marc Davis joined Yahoo! to bring his vision of social media and mobile media to billions of people around the world.

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  • Ascentium
  • Awareness
  • HiveLive, Inc.
  • ImageSpan
  • Jive Software
  • Juniper Networks
  • Kapow Technologies
  • Keynote Systems
  • LithiumTechnologies
  • Nokia
  • nomee
  • Qtask
  • Rackspace Hosting
  • Remy
  • TamTamy
  • Vignette
  • Yola (fka SynthaSite)
  • Znak
  • IBM
  • eBay
  • Microsoft Corporation
  • Adobe Systems, Inc.
  • EffectiveUI
  • Germany Trade & Invest
  • NeuStar
  • ONEsite

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