Topping in
Successful PC and mobile experiences are built on fundamentally different conceptual models and leverage different psychological functions of the user, argues Rachel Hinman. Understanding these differences will help you create better experiences for both contexts.

She delves into the matter in a longer article that acts as a preview for her forthcoming Rosenfeld Media book “The Mobile Frontier: A Guide for Designing Mobile Experiences“:

“The natural user interfaces (aka NUIs) found on most modern mobile devices are built on the psychological function of intuition. Instead of recognizing an action from a list, users must be able to sense from the presentation of the interface what is possible. Instead of “what you see is what you get” NUIs are about “what you do is what you get.” Users see their way through GUI experiences, and sense their way through NUI ones. Unlike GUI interfaces with minimal differentiation between interface elements, NUI interfaces typically have fewer options and there is more visual differentiation and hierarchy between the interface elements.”

Read article