2 January 2008

Samsung on the future of electronic devices

Be the first to share

Donghoon Chang
A few weeks ago, I published a summary of a talk given by Donghoon Chang, vice president of Samsung’s Mobile User Experience Design Group, at the recent Mobile HCI conference in Singapore.

The summary was originally published in Italian on the website of the Italian innovation supplement Nova by Prof. Luca Chittaro.

Today Chittaro published the second part of his summary, which you find translated below:

“The second part of the talk dealt with a number of specific user experience design issues that Chang considers crucial in our relation with future electronic devices, be they mobile or not:

  • Content portability. Users who buy or own digital content (photographs, songs, videos, etc.) have to be able to move these contents between the various electronic devices they own (TV, MP3 player, computer, telephone, home stereo, etc.) At the moment users are – incorrectly – assumed to delve themselves into complex technical issues and to burden themselves with the translation and the transfer of contents between various devices. Even worse is when companies are deliberately trying to limit the portability of contents, by restricting them to a specific platform. The industry should however aim to create integration between products: e.g. when I have a song on a USB key or on an MP3 player, I should be able to listen to it also on my computer, my phone, my home stereo, without having to buy other things, to master technical issues regarding formats and conversions, or to carry out complex actions that make me waist time. This topic is strongly connected with the new concept of migratory interfaces.
     
  • Adaptability of the interface, to allow for a personalisation of the experience. Here he shows the example of Samsung’s uGo interface for mobile phones (developed jointly with Adobe), an adaptive user interface that automatically responds to the user’s environments. The main screen displays a landmark picture that changes based on where you are and what time of day it is, with added graphics and animation alerting you of your mobile phone status (battery charge, missed calls, etc.). For example, the battery charge is displayed by an air balloon in the photo that high up in the sky when the battery is full, but increasingly closer to the ground when the battery starts running out.
     
  • New social paradigms. The impact of phenomena like Myspace, Youtube, Facebook etc. is not limited to the web. Also electronic products have to be rethought within a social dimension. He shows an example of a mobile phone application that Samsung developed in Korea that allows people to listen to music together with others, wherever they may be (the software supports groups of up to 6 people).
     
  • Managing the explosion of choices. Users are suffering under an excess of options, both in terms of devices as in terms of services. This is even exacerbated by a condition of “time starvation” that many live in — which leads to the fact that only 1% of people actually read the manuals of the products they buy, even though companies spend serious resources on producing them. The user experience therefore needs to take into account the fact that people need to be reassured. Some mobile network operators have come to similar conclusions.
     

Chang, also referring to some of the concepts he discussed during the first part of his talk, concluded his presentation by saying that an electronic product should “lead a person along a journey made out of a series of gratifying stages, thanks to a user experience that captures the imagination and reveals unexpected worlds.”.

An American in the audience, who was clearly pleased with the presentation, commented afterwards: “you are bringing magic into product design”.

This compliment could also be interpreted negatively, in the sense that interaction design sometimes runs the risk of becoming more magic than science. It is clear however that people like Donghoon Chang, who have a liberal arts background, can see certain aspects that technologists cannot (and vice versa). A multi-disciplinary design team that brings together these two points of view into a constructive dialogue is one of those “secrets” in how future innovative products ought to be designed.”

Be the first to share
25 May 2015
A Bauhaus-inspired, human-centered internet of things
In a short opinion piece in The Guardian, Jenny Judge and Julia Powles state that the Bauhaus movement could be a model for a more human-centered internet of things: "Back in the early 20th century, the …
17 May 2015
We are ignoring the new machine age at our peril
In 2009, W Brian Arthur published a remarkable book, The Nature of Technology, in which he formulated a coherent theory of what technology is, how it evolves and how it spurs innovation and industry. Technology, …
17 May 2015
Design thinking without deep analysis is reckless. A more balanced approach is needed.
Larry Keeley, co-founder of innovation firm Doblin which is now a unit of Deloitte Consulting LLP, says that too often advocates of “design” regard it as an elixir that can somehow transform conservative companies into …
13 May 2015
We’re more than mere consumers, and business should remember that
Companies collect an ever-growing amount of information on customers, but forgetting the individuals behind big data is detrimental, not least to business, writes author and speaker John C. Havens. Today’s customers, empowered by mobile technologies and …
13 May 2015
Myth of globalization in consumer tech
In nearly every category Ben Bajarin (Principal Analyst, Creative Strategies) studies, he sees the regionalization of consumer tech, not its globalization. This view of the market is showing how regional technology players in many segments …
10 May 2015
Developing patient-centred care: an ethnographic study of patient perceptions and influence on quality improvement
Developing patient-centred care: an ethnographic study of patient perceptions and influence on quality improvement By Alicia Renedo and Cicely Marston BMC Health Services Research (2015) 15:122 DOI 10.1186/s12913-015-0770-y Background - Understanding quality improvement from a patient perspective is …
9 May 2015
Modernizing the US immigration system with user-centered design
Vivian Graubard describes on WhiteHouse.gov how the U.S. Digital Service is working on modernizing the USA’s still largely paper based immigration service, pairing a better technical base with user-centered design. We traveled to USCIS (United States …
5 May 2015
Experientia designer Dohun YuLuck Jang 유록 in Design 4 Disaster
Design 4 Disaster features an engaging illustrated safety manual for ship passengers, a personal project by Experientia designer Dohun YuLuck Jang 유록. After the Korean ferry accident last year, Yuluck (who is Korean) wanted to …

We are an international experience design consultancy helping companies and organisations to innovate their products, services and processes by putting people and their experiences first.

5 May 2015
Experientia designer Dohun YuLuck Jang 유록 in Design 4 Disaster

Design 4 Disaster features an engaging illustrated safety manual for ship passengers, a personal project by Experientia designer Dohun YuLuck Jang 유록. After the Korean ferry accident last year, Yuluck (who is Korean) wanted to find a way to make safety manuals more interesting to read. He spent one year designing an interactive safety guide […]

16 March 2015
Better Health and Wellbeing: Giving the elderly in Singapore sparkling golden years

Invitation: sharing session, Singapore, 30 March 2015   What are the hopes and fears of the elderly in Singapore? How can designers offer solutions that support the elderly in managing their health and wellness? What can healthcare professionals do to help them keep active? What role can technology play in the elderly’s daily lives? Design consultants […]

1 January 2015
Happy Playful New Year
21 December 2014
Experientia’s Twitter feed live

Experientia has now its own Twitter feed. Four months of Putting People First posts and other links have already been uploaded. If you followed Experientia on Twitter through the feed of its CEO, Mark Vanderbeeken, make sure to now also follow the company (but don’t unfollow Mark, who will keep on tweeting away). And while […]

19 December 2014
Putting People First blog redesigned

Experientia’s Putting People First blog has been redesigned. It is now entirely responsive, allows for easier browsing, searching, and filtering, and features larger images on the posts. The entire history of posts remains accessible as before. We are still tweaking things and welcome any feedback.

27 November 2014
Why the world needs anthropologists – an update

Why the world needs anthropologists – Coming out of the ivory tower Location: Padua, Italy, Centro Culturale Altinate/San Gaetano Date and time: Friday, 5 December 2014, 13:00 – 18:00 Padua, Italy, 5 December 2014 – The second edition of the international symposium of applied anthropologists attempts to erase the boundary between ‘pure’ and ‘applied’ anthropology, […]

See all articles