Mobile Form Language: The Impact of Text and Image on Mobile Device Design

By Jason O. Germany.

Published by The International Journal of the Image

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

With the growth of smartphone sales over the last decade has come a shift in approaches to interface design as well as the industrial design of mobile handsets. No longer are these devices constrained by the hard button interface but instead have come to rely on increasingly more screen based interactions. These touchscreen interfaces have allowed for a great deal of flexibility in both software applications as well as the overall presentation and representation of text and other image based content. This shift from button to screen not only represents a new and continually emerging user experience but has also come to inform the physical form language and development of the mobile device. This impact of user interface (screen) on the physical form of the device is driven by not only the inherent nature of screen based interactions but also something more fundamental—the structure of text and depiction of images in 2D form. This paper serves to examine the role that user interface design and by a greater extent the actual organization of text and image has come to indirectly drive the form language of both current and future mobile devices.

Keywords: Mobile Device, Mobile Phone, User Interface Design, Industrial Design, User Experience, Interaction Design, Form Language

The International Journal of the Image, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp.35-44. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 332.586KB).

Jason O. Germany

Assistant Professor of Product Design, School of Architecture and Allied Arts, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR, USA

Jason O. Germany is an Assistant Professor of Product Design in the school of Architecture and Allied Arts at the University of Oregon. Previous to his academic appointment, he received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from Montana State University. Upon completion of an additional degree in design, Jason went on to work as a Senior Industrial Designer and project leader for nearly a decade before returning to graduate school at the University of Washington, completing his MFA in Industrial Design. During this time, his work experience has ranged from design firms and action sports to housewares and mobile devices, in each case creating and executing within interdisciplinary groups. As a result, his designs have received numerous patents as well as regional, national, and international awards, including an ID Magazine “Best in Category” and an IDEA “Gold” for consumer products. Professor Germany’s particular research interests include; mobile computing, technology adaptation, entrepreneurship, and design methods.