SO- I have had my Nokia 770 for a few days, and am waiting for my 1GB RS-MMC to arrive. The 64MB chip that comes with it may be adequate for casual users, but I want to do some development on it.
I can already see that in its out-of-the-box configuration it is not ready for prime time in a healthcare environment, even the relatively relaxed environment of a GCRC's inpatient unit. It looks and probably is somewhat fragile, though Forbes ran a story about a Nokia executive hurtling his across the room into a wall without hurting the instrument. I'm not sure clinicians and support staff will believe it is that rugged (I certainly can't, sitting here holding it). One solution might be to have the hapless persons responsible for deployment hurtle theirs at the wall during training to demonstrate how tough the little things are, while fervently praying that Murphy's Law is somehow momentarily suspended.
But the biggest problem is also its biggest advantage, an 800x480 display. This is enough pixel-width to provide adequate display of many websites, but its 800 pixels across are on a screen about 4 inches on the diagonal, not 14", 15" or 17" like most folks now have if they use computers intensively. A colleague of mine tested his with some typical forms used in electronic data capture, and found that the type was almost too small to read and certainly too small for patients or for use in low-light conditions.
Moreover, a common usability flaw in Web-based workplace data entry software is using too much screen real estate for vanity decorations (e.g., logos and slogans), and titles across the top of the page, and often the sides as well. Product vendors, including health center IT product architects, seem to be afraid that the worker bees will forget where they work or what product they are using. If the UI designer allocates space for such things across the top and left sides of the page using typical assumption of 1024x768 pixel screen dimensions, the available visible screen real estate can be reduced by as much as 50%, forcing potentially vital information or data capture points out of the area to which the user is attending.
I'm going to get a ruggedness test done this week, assuming I can convince my colleague to hurl his 770 at the wall with sufficiently believable force. (Not.) I'm also going to try to put together a Typepad blog site whose template has been adjusted to fit the 770 screen and increased font size for better readability. Hopefully with some experimentation and some collegial interaction, we'll find a way to put this beautiful little machine to work.
On the good-news side, the Wi-Fi works beautifully.