Yesterday, Josh Clark of Global Moxie kicked off O'Reilly Media's one-day Tools of Change conference with a presentation that outlined the "seven deadly myths of mobile":
- Users are rushed and distracted, so mobile apps should "do less"
- Mobile content must be a watered-down version of what's made available through other channels
- Complex content can't be consumed on a mobile platform, so dumb it down
- Extra taps and clicks are evil
- "We have to create a mobile web site"
- Mobile is all about apps, and
- CMS and APIs are for database nerds.
In his talk, Clark developed several themes to counter these misperceptions. In response to the fourth myth ("extra taps are evil"), he noted that higher bandwidth speeds and effective caching have made additional navigation preferable to the fallout from limiting information depth.
Here, he thought that clarity of design could overcome information density. With new tools like speech, gesture and facial recognition already on the horizon, Clark noted that this is the time to think about the capabilities that mobile platforms provide us.
Responding to the last myth, Clark quoted Ethan Resnick in claiming that "metadata is the new art direction". He went on to describe content as a service; mobile is just one of its containers.
When it comes to mobile, Clark emphasized that the platform offers an opportunity to repurpose content, not to repurpose design. He's scheduled to give the talk again at Breaking Development 2012 in April. Not a publishing conference, admittedly, but if you are attending, make time for his talk.
Updated March 11 to add a link to Clark's presentation materials. Thanks to Porter Anderson for finding the PDF and pointing me to it.