SecretAgent Mobile Automation
Last updated on: 6/19/2012 1:06 PM
Created on: 3/21/2014 2:18 PM
Automation: Minimizing User Interaction
I have not seen many people in my field using Pocket PC devices. To me, they seem a convenience for the simple tasks are carrying files around when a standard notebook is overkill. When I was a master's candidate at DePaul my friends and I would head over to a near by O'Hare hotel for drinks after class. Being situated near the convention and meeting halls there would be many a business person in the bar at these late hours. It is here that I have seen the Pocket PC devices being used. My favorite were the guys who were using the infrared port to send data from one device to another. I can guess that it was either presentation or contact info but it did give me an idea of the direction Pocket PC software needs to go in.
The idea got planted in my head that these devices were primarily used on the road such as travel at airports, planes, meetings, and drinking after the meetings. This says to me the typical user of these devices will want to read or enter the information they need and then move on. The trick is here that the user can not be burdened with details. In fact, I found myself trying the idea that pinball machine programmers usually follow and that is design the product for the drunks in the bars. I set a couple of goals as a result of these observations:
- Any interaction the user needs to have should be done primarily with screen taps and not require a lot of data entry.
- The software is going to have to do much of the work and avoid prompting the user unless it is absolutely necessary.
Combining both these goals I was able to add in some automation. Once an archive is open in this view it is easy to keep track of what files are open and modified so that when a user closes the window any changes can automatically be saved back into the archive. The primary purpose of having this software on the device is to make sure files can not be recovered if the device is lost or stolen. Due to the device's small size the risk of a device being lost or left behind is extremely high compared to that of a notebook computer. The automatic re-encryption is a feature I wanted to have so the user can just close the archive and not worry about sensitive information being left on the device in the clear.
To make it easy on the user to use, I like to provide the user tables of options for the user to select from. The benefit to this two fold. First, for a Pocket PC device the user can just tap on the option they want. Second, because the table only contains valid options I provided I can reduce the possibility for user error. A side effect or providing tables of information for the user to tap on is that I do not need to display the on screen keyboard which gives me more screen real estate for the information I am trying to provide.
Navigate the topics to dicover the lessons uncovered in building for Mobile in the now retired Windows CE/Windows Mobile build.SecretAgent Mobile (SAM) User Interface Size Constraints and Considerations Automatic Data Protection Certificate (Contact) Management Certifications