Last month Nokia published a document (PDF) that presents examples of good mobile design based on the interaction design, easy-of-use, and visual appeal of the products. The set includes:
Here are a few screen shots from the document:
Although the analysis is quite subjective, I think the sampling is a good one. I have used quite a few of these products and agree that the overall interaction is pleasing.
In particular, I use the Gmail mobile application on a regular basis and find it very similar to the online experience in many ways. It is easy to search and see what I have read versus not. However, the one thing that truly annoys me is the need to confirm almost every action. For example, if I select a message in my inbox, I have to click again to say “open.” Additionally the convenient “undo” feature for deletion has not been ported over so I must also confirm that action. In later releases I hope to see these overlays reduced to make this application even easier to use.
Related to this one, Google Maps mobile is simply a must-have; I have navigated many a foreign domain with this handy and simple tool.
Another one worth mentioning is Opera Mini, which I use on my Blackberry Pearl. This application is one of the reasons I don’t feel that compelled to get the iPhone (among other reasons obviously as there are certainly a lot more features and hooks on the latter).
If you are interested in mobile, I would recommend reading through the document. As for me, I’m going to try out some of these other applications to see how they measure up. In particular I plan to upgrade to the latest Yahoo! Go to see if they improved the performance, which in my opinion severely impacted the user experience.