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Widgets Usability

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The widget is used to refer to either the graphic component or its controlling program or to refer to the combination of both. It can be a GUI that allows the user to interface with the application.Widgets display information and invite the user to act in a number of ways. In other words Mobile widgets are the applications that user can install on his mobile device to add functionality to device. Each widget provides functionalities like brings information to you (news widgets), mail to your inbox (mail widgets) & all. Mobile widgets are easliy downloadeble from internet or web to once's mobile phone. As now a days many mobile comes with preinstalled widgets on them. There are lots of company providing widgets like eBay provides mobile widget ticker, some news sites also offers new related widgets, maps widgets & many more. Widget is also called as gadget, badge, module.

S60 Web Runtime Widgets is a portable and lightweight application framework that makes mobile web apps easy. It is an extension to the Webkit based browser engine on the S60 Platform - that allows instances of the browser to be run as if they are applications. Widgets can be created using HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Web Runtime Technology allows small applications called Widgets to be easily distributed and installed.

Some important guideline regarding widget usability are.

1)Widget should not keep refreshing the screen everytime user makes changes in widget value. Sometimes Unexpected refreshes creates confusion.

2)Support for animated GIFs is limited in early versions of WRT. Testing on actual devices is recommended, especially if animated GIFs are critical to your design.

3) Most required input fileds should be kept in up-front. Use asterisk at the end of the field label to indicate it as required field.

4)Transitions and animations can be extremely CPU intensive. Always test animations on several devices and use the Nokia Energy Profiler to determine the load on the CPU.

5)If you wish to include text with a custom font, use a graphic image instead of solutions such as SiFR (an approach to custom fonts based on Flash and JavaScript technology), which may be too heavy for most mobile devices.

6) Help for the widgets should be provided for understanding the use & the flow of widget. Help content should be simple & clear enough to understand. Help options should also be place in the position where user easily find it.

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