Another interesting read from Michael Mace in his Mobile Opportunity blog, this time about style vs. substance in mobile applications. key quote:
Too often, we as an industry equate an app that looks simple with an app that’s easy to use. Those are two entirely different things. Stripping all the text out of an app and hiding all of the buttons makes for a beautiful demo at TechCrunch, but a horrible user experience for people who are trying to get something done with an app.
I agree with him on the subject of cryptic icons. I have a Windows phone, which has its own library of interesting symbols for different functions. Fortunately, Windows always provides text labels for icons at the bottom of the screen, so there’s always a way to decode the runes.