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Posts in category 'Mobile phone'

19 January 2014

Why the resurgence of user-centred design matters for marketers

Facebook mobile

Marc Landsberg, CEO of socialdeviant, believes that marketing departments will increasingly invest in social platforms that are committed to users’ needs and interests

In his article, Landsberg considers three immutable human truths, and how they connect to what’s happening in the marketplace:

1) People want to be heard
The explosion of Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr reflects this. Everyone has a story to tell, in both words and pictures.

2) They want you to know what they want
The social web is a tremendous environment for personalisation, delivering content and experiences tailored to an individual’s interests.

3) Everyone is on the go
Native searches and content origination are now predominantly mobile-based. People are on the go, fluidly moving in and out of their social spaces via their mobile devices. Platforms are therefore investing heavily in mobile enablement.

12 January 2014

Discover the world’s best mobile UX

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To help you build better mobile experiences, UX Archive finds and presents mobile’s most interesting user flows so you can “compare them, build your point of view, and be inspired.”

“Documenting user flows is probably something many UX designers already do to some degree. Now a great collection is in one place, and wired to grow as new discoveries are added to the archive. Even more useful, the site is set up so you can easily filter user flows based on specific tasks, such as onboarding, purchasing and sharing, and compare just those.”

A side project of Feedly co-founder and designer [and former Experientia collaborator] Arthur Bodolec, and developers Chris Polk and Nathan Barraille, UX Archive is a lean, clean site that just does one thing and does it really well, writes Penina Finger.

9 November 2013

Ubiquitous across globe, cellphones have become tool for doing good

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With 96 percent of the world connected, organizations are using mobile phones to deliver, via texts, water, energy, financial services, health care, even education.

“The number of such initiatives seems likely to increase. “The development community is eager to learn more about how to use mobiles effectively,” said Nick Martin, a founder of Tech Change, a social enterprise based in Washington that educates development practitioners via online courses.

Mr. Martin said his most popular course has been Mobiles for Development. In the last three years, TechChange has taught the course eight times to nearly 400 participants from over 60 countries.”

9 November 2013

The rise of the mobile-born

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The mobile-born generation will drive a radical rethinking of office productivity, writes Paul Holland, a general partner at Foundation Capital,

“Fast-forward a few years and we’ll see a new workplace with workstations akin to air traffic control centers powered by multiple touch-, swipe- and voice-enabled devices, allowing workers to visualize and manipulate information tactically, driving the adoption of new user-interfaces and fundamental changes in software and hardware. Think the new FOX newsroom, just without the “fair and balanced” reporting.

The way we interact with colleagues or business partners will change as we move to a mobile enterprise environment. We’re beginning to see new companies focused on augmented memory. Refresh, for instance, has created a dossier to put an end to small talk for your next business meeting. A nice-to-have now, but as the mobile-born mature, these services will become a must-have.

But this is just the beginning. It’s hardly far-fetched to imagine companies that exist and are run entirely in the cloud by a de-territorialized mobile workforce. Already we carry much of our day job’s office communications, data, colleagues, customers and products around in our pockets. This trend will only accelerate as the mobile-born found their own companies around entirely new expectations for organizational structures and workforce optimization.”

22 October 2013

How teachers in Africa are failed by mobile learning

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Only projects that work with existing education systems will improve learning and cut poverty, says Niall Winters of the London Knowledge Lab at the University of London, and he argues for a user-centred approach (rather than a technology-centric one) that is focused on understanding teachers’ practice, co-designing interventions with them and providing them with training

“There is a vibrant Human-Computer Interaction for Development community that promotes user-centred approaches to technology design, use and evaluation. In my own work over the years, including in a current project for training community health workers in Kenya, we extensively use participatory approaches to help design and develop mobile learning interventions.

The idea that techno-centrism or even solely content-based solutions can address important educational challenges by themselves must be dropped. Research shows they can’t.

The path to success is clear: the risks of increasing the marginalisation of teachers — and by extension students — can only be ameliorated by understanding teachers’ practice, co-designing interventions with them and providing them with training.

Projects which work with existing educational systems, not against them, should have priority funding. Only then can mobile learning be seen to work for teachers, for their students and for the alleviation of poverty among those at the margins of society.”

25 September 2013

Mobile mastery

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Lauren Pope of Nokia writes that there are three things to think about if you want your devices and your brain to sing in unison: mindfulness, attention and metacognition.

The video is cute and well-done, but doesn’t match the three things in the text, as the three things are: mindful, purposeful, and playful.

The thing comes with a free ebook.

5 September 2013

Experientia designs mobile site for UN affiliate to promote mobile learning

mobile-promo

This week, the ITC-ILO, a United Nations affiliate, officially launched an Experientia-designed mobile site to promote mobile learning tools within the organisation.

The mobile site is an internal communications tool to showcase best practice mobile learning use within ITC-ILO, and it has been designed to be optimally viewed from a smartphone or tablet.

The ITC-ILO is the training arm of the UN’s International Labour Organization. Based in Turin, Italy, ITC-ILO runs training, learning and capacity development services for governments, employers’ organizations, workers’ organisations and other national and international partners in support of Decent Work and sustainable development.

With the dominant shift to mobile learning, ITC-ILO is keen to demonstrate how it uses mobile tools within its programs and frameworks, and to promote future use of mobile tools to extend ITC-ILO’s activities into a variety of settings, through a broader range of interactions with people, exploiting different types of content.

mobile.itcilo.org focuses on the three key advantages of mobile learning: improved ability to engage participants, with dynamic content, and lasting contact; more opportunities to share knowledge, from one to many, and from many to many; and the ability to connect and interact with information in new ways, generating meaningful insights and providing access to expertise and resources.

Experientia designed the site, and helped to develop the content and promotional materials. The site is optimised for iOS and Android, offering an excellent user experience from smartphone and tablet, as well as from desktop PC. It’s online at mobile.itcilo.org.

29 August 2013

User-centred mobile app development in Kenya

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The success of a mobile app – its high adoption rate and actual use – largely depends on the degree of involvement of the end user during the development stage.

Mark Kamau, Kenyan web solution expert at the iHub UX Lab in Nairobi, believes a user-centric approach to mobile app development is critical to building a sustainable ICT-based solution.

“The failure rate of mobile apps is high and many development man-hours are wasted when user experiences are not taken into account right from the start of the development process. That is why people like Kamau and initiatives such as the UX Lab seek to convince developers to include the users in the earliest possible stage of the design process to better understand their needs and wants, and how, when and where they would use the new mobile app.”

23 August 2013

Empowering women with Mobile Money. Enough research to support further investments.

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Hannes Van Rensburg, founder and CEO of Fundamo, a VISA company based in South Africa, writes that there is enough research on empowering women with Mobile Money to support further investments.

The industry have made big gains getting to understand the need and the benefits to women through the work of the GSMA mWomen Programme with support from Visa. Research reports covering these aspects have been released conducted in five key countries Indonesia, Kenya, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea and Tanzania. It is worthwhile to have a look at some of the clips posted where women talk these studies (Video for Indonesia, Kenya, Pakistan and PNG). USAid also performed a study looking at the access that women have to mobile technology in Afghanistan. (Read here).

With Mobile technology women are empowered to entry into the financial mainstream much more easier. They now get access to life-enhancing services such as savings, payments, health-care, education, and entrepreneurship. However, the research shows that the gender gap in mobile phone ownership and usage still reduce the access that women have in many countries to these benefits. In order to achieve the full potential of the role mobile technology can play in women’s empowerment globally, it is critical that service providers understand what women need and design products that effectively reach this audience.

There are three key characteristics to women’s financial management that is of relevance in looking at mobile money: the difference in roles between men and women for managing money, the demands living in rural areas – compared to cities and the general lack of control women often have over their own finances. It is clear that the new capabilities made available through mobile money do and will have an positive impact in the lives of women in emerging markets.

Note also the excellent work by CGAP on the same topic.

22 August 2013

User modes as the raw ingredients of digital experience

 

The best way to design successful digital products is by understanding how users’ behaviour changes according to their mode, according to MEX.

Modes can be defined as the common ways people engage with digital products depending on their intent, environment, time and technology constraints. Where more simplistic measures such as designing for a particular device type or screen size may fail, understanding modes can deliver design insights closest to the users’ true needs.

It is these modes which explain why a user’s behaviour may vary substantially from app to app and from time of day to time of day. There are times when people are explorers and times when they are consumers or creators or communicators. In each of these modes, design should adapt to their needs.

As a starting point, MEX are currently researching six modes:

  1. Explore: Discovering novelty on an evolving path
  2. Augment: Enhancing activity with additional layers
  3. Communicate: Exchanging meaning with others
  4. Consume: Absorbing and interpreting information
  5. Control: Simplifying life through commands and automation
  6. Create: Originating something with expressive or functional qualities
19 June 2013

New Ericsson report on needs of today’s smartphone and mobile internet users

unlockingconsumervalue

A new Ericsson ConsumerLab report, Unlocking Consumer Value, identifies the needs of today’s smartphone and mobile internet users.

“The rapid uptake of smartphones and other connected devices has transformed the mobile broadband landscape – shaping and broadening the way users work, play and communicate. When the uptake of smartphones begins to accelerate in a particular market, it is vital to differentiate between consumers based on what they prioritize in an offering, whether that’s unwavering performance or cost control and data usage.

This report outlines Ericsson ConsumerLab’s findings and details six different mobile internet target groups: the Performance Seekers, the Cost Cutters, the Curious Novices, the Control Seekers, the VIPs and the Devicers.

As an example, for Performance Seekers the interaction with the operator is less important and price is of medium importance while the device and the performance are of high importance. Cost Cutters, on the other hand, only prioritize the price.

The report can be used to help operators and developers better understand what is important to their users. This information can enhance overall consumer experience and loyalty by creating more value through relevant services and offerings.”

6 June 2013

Technology puts power in the hands of the Millennial Generation

millennial

This week the Financial Times has run two reports on the Millennial Generation.

Part Two (pdf) came out today, whereas Part One is from June 3.

Part Two’s leading article is definitely worth exploring, particularly in how it connects technology and mobile devices with empowerment of a new generation:

“Technology has played a huge role in how they’re different from the ­generation that came before them,” says Jean Case, chief executive of the Case Foundation, which she and her husband Steve Case, AOL’s co-founder, created in 1997.

This generation sees technology as levelling the playing field. In the FT-Telefónica Global Millennials Survey of 18 to 30-year olds almost 70 per cent of respondents said “technology creates more opportunities for all” as opposed to “a select few”.

This belief has brought tremendous confidence to the world’s first generation of digital natives, despite facing the worst economic outlook since the great depression.”

More background also in this article.

27 May 2013

Social networks of mobile money in Kenya

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Social networks of mobile money in Kenya
Sibel Kusimba, Harpieth Chaggar, Elizabeth Gross, & Gabriel Kunyu
Institute for Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion
University of California, Irvine

With mobile money technologies, people use mobile phones to send money to friends and relatives, connect to bank accounts, and make payments. This research examines the role of mobile money in Kenyans’ social and economic networks. Research reported was conducted in Bungoma and Trans-Nzoia Counties in Kenya, and among Kenyans living in Chicago, Illinois in the summer of 2012.

Although mobile money services are often described as a form of “banking,” most users in Western Kenya use mobile money as a social and economic tool through which they create relationships by sending money and airtime gifts. A wide range of mobile money uses includes social gifting, assisting friends and relatives, organizing savings groups, and contributing to ceremonies and rituals.

Even though mobile money was designed for person-to-person transfers, its practices are best understood as created by collectivities and groups. In savings groups, groups of siblings and other relatives, and communities who contribute to ceremonies, users “save with others” through the entrustment of value to kin and friends and create new groups and communities based around the “floating world” of mobile technology. Individuals balance their social and economic capital in order to create marginal gains and mediate the conflicts created between social obligations and personal economic betterment. Ties to and through mothers are prominent in social networks of mobile money flows. Matrilineal kinship ties are a means of sharing or circulating money among those marginalized from access to other resources and forms of value.

24 May 2013

The future of technology isn’t mobile, it’s contextual

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In the coming years, there will be a shift toward contextual computing, writes Pete Mortensen of Jump Associates, defined in large part by Georgia Tech researchers Anind Dey and Gregory Abowd about a decade ago.

“Always-present computers, able to sense the objective and subjective aspects of a given situation, will augment our ability to perceive and act in the moment based on where we are, who we’re with, and our past experiences. These are our sixth, seventh, and eighth senses. [...]

The adoption of contextual computing–combinations of hardware, software, networks, and services that use deep understanding of the user to create tailored, relevant actions that the user can take–is contingent on the spread of new platforms. Frankly, it depends on the smartphone. Mobile technology isn’t interesting because it’s a new form factor. It’s interesting because it’s always with the user and because it’s equipped with sensors. Future platforms designed from the ground up for contextual computing will make such devices seem like closer to toys than to a phone with cool tools.”

Read the article with a critical mind, and think about what kind of invasiveness people would be willing to tolerate. Mortensen definitely is an optimist:

“Within a decade, contextual computing will be the dominant paradigm in technology. Even office productivity will move to such a model. By combining a task with broad and relevant sets of data about us and the context in which we live, contextual computing will generate relevant options for us, just as our brains do when we hear footsteps on a lonely street today. Then and only then will we have something more intriguing than the narrow visions of wearable computing that continually surface: We’ll have wearable intelligence.”

21 May 2013

How the Mobile Mind Shift is different in Europe

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People are in the midst of making a Mobile Mind Shift, which can be defined as “the expectation that any desired information or service is available, on any appropriate device, in context, at your moment of need.”

Attitudes and behaviors are shifting around the world, and the shift is rapidly accelerating.

However there are significant regional variations are fascinating.

According to Josh Bernoff of Forrester Research, Europeans are in general behind Americans on the Mobile Mind Shift:

“Europeans differ from Americans on all three components of the Mobile Mind Shift: the number of connected devices, the frequency of access, and the diversity of locations in which connections occur. While Europeans actually have more connected devices, they connect significantly less frequently and in fewer locations. This appears to be a result of the data plans on European mobile devices, plans that interfere with users’ natural desire to access mobile everywhere as a matter of habit.”

Although interesting, the post is very incomplete: it doesn’t include (a link to) the data by country. Moreover, Bernoff doesn’t explain why he thinks this is only based on data plans (what about cultural and contextual differences?), and why he claims that data plans will change so fast that “within six months, we expect European attitudes to catch up to where Americans are right now.”.

So are Europeans behind or are they just, eh, different?

13 March 2013

Will mobile education arrive in the developing world

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(As if it hasn’t already).

In developing countries, where smartphones and dependable cellular networks are still scarce, it’s been difficult to gauge the real impact of the mobile education movement. But with the combination of different factors — the advent of new technology, decreased pricing for data, a worldwide lust for mobile education, and a persisting patience for smaller screens and lower connection speeds in nations with little alternative — the landscape in developing countries may be at a tipping point.

By the way, make sure not to miss the mobile education image (here reproduced in small)!

1 March 2013

The user research behind HTC One’s Sense 5 interface

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Drew Bamford, Director of User Experience at HTC, explains Sense 5.0 and why the company’s Android UX needed redefining.

“HTC radically overhauled the look and feel of Sense UI aboard the HTC One. It removed the standard homescreen of app icons and a weather widget and replaced it with something HTC says is far more useful.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg, says Drew Bamford, Director of User Experience at HTC. Sense 5 is more than just a UX – it’s a redefined experience born from extensive research.

‘After releasing Sense 4 last year, I challenged the team to step back and take a fresh look at the overall customer experience,’ said Bamford, writing on the HTC Blog. ‘We interviewed customers for their personal feedback and we became students of human behaviour, taking more time than ever to observe how people use their phones today.'” [...]

The company’s research turned up three rather interesting points about the way in which its users interacted with Sense UXs of old. Most people, apparently, don’t differentiate between apps and widgets.

Widgets aren’t widely used – weather, clock and music are the most used and after that, fewer than 10 percent of customers use any other widgets.

Most of us don’t modify our home screens much. In fact, after the first month of use, approximately 80 percent of us don’t change our home screens any further.

14 December 2012

Are the older generation getting tech-savvy?

oldpersonipad

BBC News has published a 5 minute video feature on Cambridge University’s Design Centre where they test how elderly people use technology.

Must-have modern gadgets are designed by young people with young people in mind – that is the view of Ian Hosking, who works at Cambridge University’s Design Centre.

This can mean that elderly people, who have much to gain from modern technology, feel excluded.

Mr Hosking’s mission is to improve the accessibility of modern, mass-produced devices like smartphones and tablets. To this end, he conducts experiments with volunteers.

The Design Lab conducts tests on individual products, but the general findings that Mr Hosking discusses here apply to digital communication devices across the market.

BBC News also posted a longer article on the same topic.

14 December 2012

McKinsey’s iConsumer Global Research Initiative

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Recent reports from McKinsey’s iConsumer Global Research Initiative:

Moving from “mobile first” to “touch first”
December 2012 (published on the EconomistGroup site)
Already, more than a third of the time people spend web browsing, using social networking sites, and using e-mail/messaging software is on mobile devices. In a couple of years, we expect it to be more than half. This is creating a ‘touch first’ computing paradigm, which means overhauling how information is delivered to and accessed by the consumer.

The rise of the African consumer
October 2012
The single-largest business opportunity in Africa will be its rising consumer market. A McKinsey report, one of the first of its kind, offers a detailed profile of African consumers, including their demographics, behavior, and needs.

The complex path to purchase taken by Europe’s iConsumers
June 2012
What are Europe’s iConsumers thinking? To find out, McKinsey & Company studied the digitally-based purchasing behavior of 40,000 Europeans in eight countries for the second year in a row. This study sheds light on future threats and opportunities by comparing European consumers and examining the resulting business implications.

The next stage: Six ways the digital consumer is changing
April 2012
The Internet, not yet 20 years on from its emergence into the consumer mainstream, is evolving as fast as ever.

26 November 2012

New York Times interviews Jim Wicks, Design Chief at Motorola Mobility

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Motorola Mobility, which Google acquired in May, recently released new smartphones and reintroduced itself as the “New Motorola.” But what does that even mean? One thing is for sure: Motorola is not the same company that it was when it was riding the huge success of the first Razr in 2004.

In an interview, Jim Wicks, senior vice president for consumer experience design at Motorola Mobility, who has been with the company for 11 years, talked about the company’s design strategy and how it will change going forward.

“We established [our] design organization about 11 years ago. The whole point was to build one centralized design organization in the business, one that was very holistic in nature, that covered both the physical and digital disciplines of design of product.

For the physical design, we have within our groups industrial designers, surface engineers, advanced mechanical engineers, material scientists and trends forecasters. On the digital side we have user experience designers. Additionally we would have design researchers, and there are people who are engaged in ethnographic studies on automobiles and homes. They track how people use technology and identify some of the needs that are unmet at this stage.

That’s what our design group is, and we’re located in Chicago, California and Korea.”