From Server to PDA: An HCI Perspective on Porting Wireless Roaming Business Applications

Paul Clement, Paul Vickers

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Advances in processor design, display technology, and lithium polymer batteries have led to a new generation of powerful, compact, and highly mobile devices. There is a range of different physical interfaces available, from the original Palm Pilots and Psion Organisers to the new generation of pocket PCs and personal digital assistants (PDA's). We focus on the stylus/touch-screen-based Compaq iPaq PDA. Combining a PDA with wireless communication technology has the potential for extending the application of computing in business. Many businesses already use handheld data recording devices. A drawback is the need to return the device to a computer to upload the information into the system, where it can be processed and made available to other applications. Using wireless devices this delay can be removed, providing a more accurate and up-to-date data repository. In order to see how a desktop to PDA migration might be carried out, a prototype interface to a mainstream accounting and stock control system was built to run on a Compaq iPaq 3850. Some of the problem areas of migrating server/desktop functionality to handheld devices, including wireless communication, device limitations, and security were demonstrated and explored with this interface. The informal feedback from the users will be fed into a redeveloped version of the system which will then be evaluated using a formal experiment The main lesson learnt was that providing desktop/server functionality on a mobile device requires more than copying a system's existing functionality and shrinking the interface to fit on a smaller screen. User feedback from a prototype system supported the idea that applications benefit from a redesign process when being ported to a mobile environment.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2002
EventIWNA5: 5th IEEE International Workshop on Networked Appliances - Liverpool
Duration: 1 Oct 2002 → …


ConferenceIWNA5: 5th IEEE International Workshop on Networked Appliances
Period1/10/02 → …


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