Motorola Motofone User Experience

5 Dec 2006 - 1:35pm
7 years ago
32 replies
1009 reads
jstanford
2003

I just visited this website that Motorola put together describing how they
created the User Experience for their new Motofone...their is an incredible
focus on the design process including profiles of the designers on the
project. Unfortunately, there are not that many photos of the actual screen
UI...just descriptions of it and discussion of the inspiration which is good
and bad.

http://direct.motorola.com/hellomoto/motofone/experience/experience/index.ht
ml

Julie

________________________________
Julie Stanford
Principal, Sliced Bread Design
650-969-0400 / 800-969-0434 x706

Comments

5 Dec 2006 - 2:16pm
Barbara Ballard
2005

On 12/5/06, Julie Stanford <julie at slicedbreaddesign.com> wrote:
> created the User Experience for their new Motofone...their is an incredible
> focus on the design process including profiles of the designers on the
> project.
>
> http://direct.motorola.com/hellomoto/motofone/experience/experience/index.html

Wow. That's a visually beautiful presentation, although I couldn't
get much of it to work.

I remember, more than once, sitting as a carrier UI person listening
to another of Motorola's grand schemes for improving the user
experience. Fabulous research, talented designers, all the right
stuff.

Unfortunately, the results were never up to par. In general, Motorola
is good at coming up with a popular form factor (StarTac, RAZR), then
milking it for years. If you dislike the form factor, and I truly
despise the RAZR keypad, you are out of luck. Note that the keypad
design is the same as the RAZR.

On the interaction side, all this research and design expertise boiled
down to ... it makes more sense to put back and end on the left in a
left-to-right language environment, so we're going to do that despite
what everybody else in the industry is doing. Other than that, we'll
basically be doing a "me-too" approach, except where the engineers
override our ideas.

I'm not blaming the designers. I'm not blaming the engineers. I'm
blaming management. (thus speaks the UX/HF designer with an
engineering degree and an MBA)

--
Barbara Ballard
barbara at littlespringsdesign.com 1-785-838-3003

5 Dec 2006 - 2:29pm
Lorne Trudeau
2006

This is the first cell phone I've ever gotten excited about. It promises
exactly what I think a cell phone should offer: durability, reliability,
long battery life, easy-to-use interface. I was really getting sick of
the feature-itis in all the other phones (do I really need a camera,
pda, mp3 player, radio, recorder, all in one?).

Now I just hope they release in Canada!

Lorne

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of
Julie Stanford
Sent: Tuesday, December 05, 2006 10:36 AM
To: 'IxDA Discuss'
Subject: [IxDA Discuss] Motorola Motofone User Experience

I just visited this website that Motorola put together describing how
they
created the User Experience for their new Motofone...their is an
incredible
focus on the design process including profiles of the designers on the
project. Unfortunately, there are not that many photos of the actual
screen
UI...just descriptions of it and discussion of the inspiration which is
good
and bad.

http://direct.motorola.com/hellomoto/motofone/experience/experience/inde
x.ht
ml

Julie

________________________________
Julie Stanford
Principal, Sliced Bread Design
650-969-0400 / 800-969-0434 x706

5 Dec 2006 - 2:45pm
Dave Malouf
2005

Our very own Gabriel White was part of that team as the "Interaction
Design Lead". Congrats on that. It looks like it was a fun project and
great that Moto decided to put their research out there like this. It does
seem like something to be proud of indeed.

Gabriel, how come only the Industrial designers have faces and have
something to say? Can you give us a report from your perspective?

As a future Moto employee (I currently work for Symbol which is to become
the Enterprise Mobility Group for Moto) I'm really interested in how IxD
and Ind Des are working together for a project like this.

-- dave

Julie Stanford wrote:
> I just visited this website that Motorola put together describing how they
> created the User Experience for their new Motofone...their is an
> incredible
> focus on the design process including profiles of the designers on the
> project. Unfortunately, there are not that many photos of the actual
> screen
> UI...just descriptions of it and discussion of the inspiration which is
> good
> and bad.
>
> http://direct.motorola.com/hellomoto/motofone/experience/experience/index.ht
> ml
>
>
> Julie
>
>
> ________________________________
> Julie Stanford
> Principal, Sliced Bread Design
> 650-969-0400 / 800-969-0434 x706
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org

--
--
David Malouf
dave at ixda.org
http://ixda.org/

5 Dec 2006 - 3:18pm
Josh
2006

It definitely looks like they did some excellent work. I definitely like the
candybar form factor, screen brightness/contrast, and larger call/hangup
buttons. Though, I'm curious about 1 specific feature that I consider a
considerable frustration.

Please excuse the following rant:
I don't understand why mobile phone manufacturers insist on either
integrating the headphone jack with the power jack or putting them so close
together that it's almost impossible to have both attached at the same time.
When the two functions use the same jack it prevents users from using their
own headphones (on mobile devices that have stereo music capabilities), and
prevents users without Bluetooth headsets from using the phone w/ a headset
while it is charging.

What are users in Los Angeles going to do when they're stuck in traffic late
for an appointment, no Bluetooth headset (or it's out of power), and low
phone battery?

- Josh Viney

5 Dec 2006 - 8:42pm
Leslie Chicoine
2006

It's really unfortunate when such great insight to a project is masked in a
fancy flash presentation that overshadows all of the basic information in
the name of slickness. I'd love to see these kinds of sites also offer a
flash-less write up the information. Even a PDF report would make me happy,
and probably faster to sift through than a flash site that chokes up every
over step.

None-the-less, it is really awesome that they took the time to share this
information and it surely serves as a great hype building tool as well.

-Leslie

7 Dec 2006 - 10:18am
Josh Seiden
2003

Maybe I'm missing something, but there is almost no discussion of the way
the software behaves. (A small nod to flat navigation...) Motorola is
starting to pimp design, but as always with Moto, it's just about the static
elements. Hardware, icons, even sound get their own shout-outs. Where's the
love? More importantly, isn't this just more of the same?

JS

7 Dec 2006 - 10:31am
Dave Malouf
2005

Joshua Seiden wrote:
> Maybe I'm missing something, but there is almost no discussion of the way
> the software behaves. (A small nod to flat navigation...) Motorola is
> starting to pimp design, but as always with Moto, it's just about the
> static
> elements. Hardware, icons, even sound get their own shout-outs. Where's
> the
> love? More importantly, isn't this just more of the same?

While I agree that software didn't get its due in this presentation, I
think there is a lot of IxD love in this presentation. The discussions
about sound and visual contexts of user and how they had to design to meet
those different contexts than those that exist in western cultures to me
are precisely IxD decisions.

And as for iconography and other presentation layers, these are precisely
about IxD.

Why is it IxDers are so focused on software? The keyboard, the display,
the sound. These are the primary interaction points and while I do think
it would be important to add the software side, (Gabriel, can you do
something about that?) I think there is a lot to learn in this
presentation about doing broad research for consumer electronics across
different cultures.

My favorite thing was that "It's important for a phone to ring during a
wedding." G-d! I loved that!
1. Weddings are so common that it is worthy of a research note. I mean I
don't get to more than 1 wedding every 5 years or so.
2. That it is so counter my US-centric sensibilities to make sure a phone
can be heard in a Wedding.

Just love it!

-- dave

--
David Malouf
dave at ixda.org
http://ixda.org/

7 Dec 2006 - 10:48am
Josh
2006

I agree that it looks like a cool phone, but what makes it really different
from any other phone? It's great that they took the time to research the
mobile phone experience around the world, but I'm very skeptical about
whether coming up with a new display, menus, and "universal icons" is really
worth anything.

Check the specs. There are no new features, and it looks like they might be
missing a couple. There's no MMS, WAP, Web browser, email, camera, edge,
Bluetooth, music player and the list goes on.

It occurs to me that the new display technology is probably why they can't
support some of the features like MMS, a Web browser and camera. It may be
that in India people aren't interested in more advanced features (doubtful),
but what happens when they launch this phone in Japan, Korea (if they make a
cdma version), HK, Taiwan, China, Europe where advanced features do matter?

- Josh

On 12/7/06, Joshua Seiden <joshseiden at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> Maybe I'm missing something, but there is almost no discussion of the way
> the software behaves. (A small nod to flat navigation...) Motorola is
> starting to pimp design, but as always with Moto, it's just about the
> static
> elements. Hardware, icons, even sound get their own shout-outs. Where's
> the
> love? More importantly, isn't this just more of the same?
>
> JS
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>

7 Dec 2006 - 10:51am
Mark Schraad
2006

That is not traditionally Motorola's strong suit. The RAZR succeeded in spight of a rather poor software interface.

Mark

On Thursday, December 07, 2006, at 10:18AM, "Joshua Seiden" <joshseiden at gmail.com> wrote:
>Maybe I'm missing something, but there is almost no discussion of the way
>the software behaves. (A small nod to flat navigation...) Motorola is
>starting to pimp design, but as always with Moto, it's just about the static
>elements. Hardware, icons, even sound get their own shout-outs. Where's the
>love? More importantly, isn't this just more of the same?
>
>JS
>________________________________________________________________
>Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
>List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
>(Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
>Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
>Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
>Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
>Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>
>

7 Dec 2006 - 11:03am
Dave Malouf
2005

Josh Viney wrote:
> It occurs to me that the new display technology is probably why they can't
> support some of the features like MMS, a Web browser and camera. It may be
> that in India people aren't interested in more advanced features
> (doubtful),
> but what happens when they launch this phone in Japan, Korea (if they make
> a
> cdma version), HK, Taiwan, China, Europe where advanced features do
> matter?

1. this is NOT the only phone on the market for India by Motorola.
2. the phone is meant as a low-cost phone that meets the NEEDS of users
who otherwise could not afford a phone. Ergo - features are unimportant.
3. The phone is not for "Asia". It is for developing nations, ergo, think
Africa and Latin America instead of Japan and Korea.

A lot of the buzz around this phone from the blogsphere has been met with
"When can we get it?" There are many people in Western Markets who are
sick of the "do everything" phone. They are looking for a "phone" ... not
much else. Cameras, GPS, internet, etc. are not items they care about.

A phone like this would be great for my dad and my wife who just want a
good solid easy to use phone.

As an example of the niche market for simple phones not just in developing
nations, but also in industrialized nations, check out the "Jitterbug" -
http://jitterbug.com/.

Phone by Samsung, built around a service for seniors and others who need:
1. Big buttons
2. Require low minutes
3. Don't call a lot of people
4. Need emergency service
5. don't need features

This simple clamshell has no menu (like the MOTO).
To add to the addressbook, you need to call the service
There are 2 versions of the phone. 1 with a 3x4 keypad and 1 with 3
buttons (operator, tow & 911).

Personally, I think this MOTOPHONE would be great in all markets to a
sub-segment.

-- dave

--
David Malouf
dave at ixda.org
http://ixda.org/

7 Dec 2006 - 11:12am
Josh Seiden
2003

Because without software, it's either ID or User-centered design. That's
doesn't mean it's not interesting or valuable. It just means it's not IxD.

JS

On 12/7/06, David Malouf <dave at ixda.org> wrote:
>
>
>
> Why is it IxDers are so focused on software? The keyboard, the display,
> the sound. These are the primary interaction points and while I do think
> it would be important to add the software side,

7 Dec 2006 - 11:15am
John Schrag
2005

Josh wrote:
> Check the specs. There are no new features, and it looks
> like they might be missing a couple. There's no MMS, WAP,
> Web browser, email, camera, edge, Bluetooth, music player
> and the list goes on.

That's actually a huge positive for me. I'd love to be able to find a
cell phone that isn't burdened down (and made too complex) by hosts of
features I neither want nor need nor use.

-john

7 Dec 2006 - 11:27am
Dave Malouf
2005

Joshua Seiden wrote:
> Because without software, it's either ID or User-centered design. That's
> doesn't mean it's not interesting or valuable. It just means it's not IxD.

hmmm? I disagree with that statement.
While I agree that a digital component is almost always require. Digital
does not mean "GUI". (I'm interpretting your use of the term software to
mean software with a graphical user interface).

Phones had an IxD component before they ever had a screen display.

How the phone responds to different interactions? What if it was only an
IVR system behind it?

GUI is not the only thing that makes IxD.

as for ID, they don't know what we know about interactive behavior and
even if it was just a completely analog system, there is a ton of IxD
theory and practice that is required to make that system work well/better.

I would also take this the other way. We as practitioners need to expand
our influences beyond the screen. There are theories and methods that
directly impact even screen-based IxD that unless we look for the
inspirations we won't find. This doens't mean that because it comes from a
different source it isn't IxD, it just means that we have not been
previously able to articulate those theories into a useful/meaningful
manner that speaks to our practice.

25% of my new job as an IxD will be about keyboard/pad layout, design, and
behavior. This is a place where industrial designers need our help. And
I'll also say we need HF help as well.

I'm not saying you don't know this Josh, but if you take your messages
literally, as some who don't know you personally might, they give an
impression of a very narrow interpretation of what IxD is.

-- dave

--
David Malouf
dave at ixda.org
http://ixda.org/

7 Dec 2006 - 11:40am
.pauric
2006

Dave said "There are many people in Western Markets who are sick of the "do
everything" phone."

Hallelujah!! I speak in one end, listen to the other... its got some numbers
on the front for calling people. I have a 5 year old Nokia and love the
simplicity, my girlfriend has a swanky Sony Ericsson and wishes it was
simple to use. More choice can make a poorer ui.

I know a number of people who make the connection between more features =
more serivces = more charges.

More is not always better.

Unfortunately most phones seem to be designed by the marketing dept.

7 Dec 2006 - 11:46am
Marc Rettig
2004

Thanks Dave, for posting the link to the Jitterbug. Its combination of
features and service are the closest thing I've seen to a phone+service that
addresses the themes of field research we did this Summer. We looked at how
people are actually using all this communication technology, spending time
with twelve families in two cities, for a total of over fifty people of all
ages.

We saw a surprising (at least to me, though I later wondered why I should be
surprised) number of people who had cell phones but either couldn't use
them, used them only to receive calls and dial numbers from memory, or --
the power users of this significant group of people -- were able to look
things up in their contact list that someone else (usually a child or
spouse) had set up for them.

Besides the one-button version and the large-button/yes/no version, the
thing that made me excited about Jitterbug is the way they have addressed
what we heard so many times in our research. For example: before they ship
you your phone, Jitterbug will add up to fifteen numbers for you. Anytime
after that, you can hit the "operator" button and either ask them to call
someone for you or ask them to add a new number to your phone. And I'm
assuming that they have the numbers stored, so if something happens to your
phone you can just ask them to restore the numbers. (For so many people,
"dead battery = dead phone.)

As an alternative, they've recognized the importance of family members as
the primary source of tech support. You can designate someone -- a friend or
family member -- to be the one with the authority to manage your call list
remotely.

I appreciate the thinking that went into the Jitterbug. I very much like the
simplicity and humanity they are reaching for. Hope they succeed. Hope
others see them as an example.

- Marc

. . . . . . . . . . . .
Marc Rettig
Fit Associates
marc at fitassociates.com

7 Dec 2006 - 11:52am
Josh Seiden
2003

By what medium beyond the GUI is this phone responsive to user behavior?
Sound design is important, but in the case it's not richly interactive.
Tactile feedback is important, but again in this case it's not richly
interactive.

So--in this case--the richly interactive portion of this experience lies in
the software response to hardware. And--again in this case--the software
responds by means of a GUI. So, are they not thinking about it, or just not
talking about it?

JS

On 12/7/06, David Malouf <dave at ixda.org> wrote:
>
>
> Joshua Seiden wrote:
> > Because without software, it's either ID or User-centered design. That's
> > doesn't mean it's not interesting or valuable. It just means it's not
> IxD.
>
> hmmm? I disagree with that statement.
> While I agree that a digital component is almost always require. Digital
> does not mean "GUI". (I'm interpretting your use of the term software to
> mean software with a graphical user interface).
>
> Phones had an IxD component before they ever had a screen display.
>
> How the phone responds to different interactions? What if it was only an
> IVR system behind it?
>
> GUI is not the only thing that makes IxD.
>
>

7 Dec 2006 - 12:08pm
Josh
2006

I tend to agree with wanting a simple phone as opposed to an all-in-one
wonder (recently switched from a Windows Mobile nightmare to a Samsung), but
why build a phone that has to be a pure phone and can never be more than
that? Why not build a phone that starts off as a simple phone, but can grow
with users as they demand more functionality? The answer seems to be, so
that they can sell more phones. Not a bad answer, but I would hardly call it
user-centric. In my mind, user-centric design would account for user growth
and increased demand for advanced features through optional software
upgrades. I think it would be difficult to argue that it's easier/less
expensive to create new hardware than it is to write new software.

- Josh Viney

> That's actually a huge positive for me. I'd love to be able to find a
> cell phone that isn't burdened down (and made too complex) by hosts of
> features I neither want nor need nor use.
>
> -john
> ________________________________________________________________
>
>

7 Dec 2006 - 12:22pm
Dave Malouf
2005

Josh Viney wrote:
>
> why build a phone that has to be a pure phone and can never be more than
> that?

Cost!!! (the ultimate user-centric feature!)

Cheaper was a primary driver, so that markets that wouldn't be able to get
access to an extensible and extendable phone would have access to it.

Correct me if I'm wrong someone but isn't this phone below $20?

Now this is where I get really frustrated with the Jitterbug.
The phone is $150 and then an activation fee $35 and then a service fee
for just 911 service of $10/mo. and then gets more expensive after that.

$150 for this phone is really extreme.

But what Moto is trying to do is make the pricepoint really cheap.

Let's remember that in developing countries people make in a year what
people in teh US make in a month.

- dave

--
David Malouf
dave at ixda.org
http://ixda.org/

7 Dec 2006 - 12:56pm
Mark Schraad
2006

I would actually like a massively feature rich phone to use at work, and a very simple clamshell model for after hours that fits in my jeans pocket... and if I could switch the id card easily between - wow would I be happy!

Mark
On Thursday, December 07, 2006, at 12:09PM, "Josh Viney" <jviney at gmail.com> wrote:
>I tend to agree with wanting a simple phone as opposed to an all-in-one
>wonder (recently switched from a Windows Mobile nightmare to a Samsung), but
>why build a phone that has to be a pure phone and can never be more than
>that? Why not build a phone that starts off as a simple phone, but can grow
>with users as they demand more functionality? The answer seems to be, so
>that they can sell more phones. Not a bad answer, but I would hardly call it
>user-centric. In my mind, user-centric design would account for user growth
>and increased demand for advanced features through optional software
>upgrades. I think it would be difficult to argue that it's easier/less
>expensive to create new hardware than it is to write new software.
>
>- Josh Viney
>
>
>
>> That's actually a huge positive for me. I'd love to be able to find a
>> cell phone that isn't burdened down (and made too complex) by hosts of
>> features I neither want nor need nor use.
>>
>> -john
>> ________________________________________________________________
>>
>>
>________________________________________________________________
>Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
>List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
>(Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
>Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
>Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
>Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
>Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>
>

7 Dec 2006 - 12:54pm
Barbara Ballard
2005

On 12/7/06, David Malouf <dave at ixda.org> wrote:
>
> Josh Viney wrote:
> > why build a phone that has to be a pure phone and can never be more than
> > that?
>
> Cost!!! (the ultimate user-centric feature!)
>
> Let's remember that in developing countries people make in a year what people in teh US make in a month.
>

True but ... take a look at web access in those same developing
countries. The mobile is not just for voice communications, it is
also the replacement for the computer and wired access.

The BBC recently wrote about international WAP (mobile) access to
their site ... led by Nigeria (61%), South Africa (19%) and Jamaica
and Uganda (7% each).

I have readers of my blog who can only get to it via mobile - all African.

There was a recent news bit that "only slightly more than one out of
10 South Africans with bank accounts have used their cellphones for
banking". My take: 10%! That's amazing! What's the US or even UK
rate?

Pricing is indeed what is slowing the mobile internet trend in Africa,
with service costing twice as much as it does elsewhere. This is
likely the result of knowing that customers don't have the other
Internet options that they do elsewhere, plus the dearth of prepaid
plans due to lack of credit cards.

Anyhow, there are cogent arguments for multiple-function devices.

--
Barbara Ballard
barbara at littlespringsdesign.com 1-785-838-3003

7 Dec 2006 - 11:19pm
Vinay Rao
2006

Hi Josh

As someone who has significant HF, ID and IxD (Each in their
conventional walled-garden definitions) experience, I would agree with
Dave that there are fast blurring boundaries between these disciplines.
I trained many years ago as an ID'er, and practised hardcore ID till we
realised that there was a serious disconnect between our original design
intent and what hit the market after the GUI team were done with their
work.

We now approach ID and GUI together under overall UX, though admittedly
they have significantly different deliverables to different teams. Look
at the devices around you. Each comes with its own method of 'scroll'
and navigation that is dependant largely on the style of the physical
interfaces on the device - joystick/ 5-way key/ side-scroll-wheel/
dedicated keys and soft keys, etc. Eg. as an ID'er I'd want intuitive
user reactions to say answering a call, increasing volume, skipping a
song, without even having to look at the screen. There are still
interactions.

GUIs work best as extensions of user's mental models, while the physical
interfaces are extensions of natural (physical) and learned (mental)
human gestural abilities and styles. When you ask "By what medium beyond
the GUI is this phone responsive to user behavior?" you are making a
sweeping statement that there is nothing more in the dialogue between
user and product beyond a screen. As an IxD'er you have probably
conditioned yourself into making you purchase decisions on the
quality/type of the GUI alone. But in the real world out there, the user
sees this as a unified experience.

And then there's the style thing, which really is the game I primarily
play. Moto's tried to make internationally acceptable
black/dark/mysterious phones within which you can have
Indian/European/American style skins on the GUI without looking
seriously discordant. I'm not sure if the other phone manufacturers have
been as successful.

I havent seen the Moto presentation (It does not work from my location -
India). Is there any other method to copy-paste and host it elsewhere so
that it can be seen out of the US?

Vinay Rao
Bang Design

Joshua Seiden wrote:

> By what medium beyond the GUI is this phone responsive to user behavior?
> Sound design is important, but in the case it's not richly interactive.
> Tactile feedback is important, but again in this case it's not richly
> interactive.
>
> So--in this case--the richly interactive portion of this experience lies in
> the software response to hardware. And--again in this case--the software
> responds by means of a GUI. So, are they not thinking about it, or just not
> talking about it?
>
> JS
>
> On 12/7/06, David Malouf <dave at ixda.org> wrote:
>
>>
>>Joshua Seiden wrote:
>>
>>>Because without software, it's either ID or User-centered design. That's
>>>doesn't mean it's not interesting or valuable. It just means it's not
>>
>>IxD.
>>
>>hmmm? I disagree with that statement.
>>While I agree that a digital component is almost always require. Digital
>>does not mean "GUI". (I'm interpretting your use of the term software to
>>mean software with a graphical user interface).
>>
>>Phones had an IxD component before they ever had a screen display.
>>
>>How the phone responds to different interactions? What if it was only an
>>IVR system behind it?
>>
>>GUI is not the only thing that makes IxD.
>>
>>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
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>
>
>

7 Dec 2006 - 11:36pm
Vinay Rao
2006

Josh Viney wrote:

"... they can't > support some of the features like MMS, a Web browser
and camera. It may be that in India people aren't interested in more
advanced features (doubtful), but what happens when they launch this
phone in Japan, Korea (if they make a > cdma version), HK, Taiwan,
China, Europe where advanced features do matter?"

India adds upto 5 million subscribers every month (Mainly GSM), so it
represents a bigger market for most manufacturers than any other or
developed part of the world. Most of these are users who only want what
you probably call as basic features - voice, sms, bollywood ringtones,
games, and the ability to carry a lot of contacts, create groups, etc.
Indian students send upto 300 sms's every day obliterating the keypads
in their phones in a few months. Colour screen phones come with games
which do the same with the scroll wheels and joysticks.

There are few here who would want to browse the web on their phone,
though undoubtedly, much of the new software activity in the mobile
scene is in this area. A lot of us have GPRS connections and are also
sometimes close to WiFi spots at home and office, but browsing the
internet on a phone, even with a touch screen, is considered more dorky
than cool.

8 Dec 2006 - 9:16am
Josh Seiden
2003

Let me just be clear about my point: I think motorola phones have the worst
software UIs of any phone I've ever seen. I've had many Moto phones over the
years, and I am always left with the same impression. I think they do a nice
job with hardware design, and a %^&^ job at software design.

My point is not about the nature and relationship of one discipline to
another. My point is that Moto has a blind spot to a the type of design we
are gathered here to discuss.

I don't know why this is. Is it the titles of the people they hire? Is it
the "disciplines" those people employ? Is it the management focus? Is it
politics? Can't comment, beacuse I have no information.

All I do know is that Motorola are talking loudly about the power of design
now--marketing it every chance they get--but they have yet to demonstrate to
me that they are DOING anything different. I just see them talking about it
in a new way.

JS

On 12/7/06, Vinay Rao <vr at bangid.com> wrote:
>
> Hi Josh
>
> As someone who has significant HF, ID and IxD (Each in their
> conventional walled-garden definitions) experience, I would agree with
> Dave that there are fast blurring boundaries between these disciplines.
> I trained many years ago as an ID'er, and practised hardcore ID till we
> realised that there was a serious disconnect between our original design
> intent and what hit the market after the GUI team were done with their
> work.
>
> We now approach ID and GUI together under overall UX, though admittedly
> they have significantly different deliverables to different teams. Look
> at the devices around you. Each comes with its own method of 'scroll'
> and navigation that is dependant largely on the style of the physical
> interfaces on the device - joystick/ 5-way key/ side-scroll-wheel/
> dedicated keys and soft keys, etc. Eg. as an ID'er I'd want intuitive
> user reactions to say answering a call, increasing volume, skipping a
> song, without even having to look at the screen. There are still
> interactions.
>
> GUIs work best as extensions of user's mental models, while the physical
> interfaces are extensions of natural (physical) and learned (mental)
> human gestural abilities and styles. When you ask "By what medium beyond
> the GUI is this phone responsive to user behavior?" you are making a
> sweeping statement that there is nothing more in the dialogue between
> user and product beyond a screen. As an IxD'er you have probably
> conditioned yourself into making you purchase decisions on the
> quality/type of the GUI alone. But in the real world out there, the user
> sees this as a unified experience.
>
> And then there's the style thing, which really is the game I primarily
> play. Moto's tried to make internationally acceptable
> black/dark/mysterious phones within which you can have
> Indian/European/American style skins on the GUI without looking
> seriously discordant. I'm not sure if the other phone manufacturers have
> been as successful.
>
> I havent seen the Moto presentation (It does not work from my location -
> India). Is there any other method to copy-paste and host it elsewhere so
> that it can be seen out of the US?
>
> Vinay Rao
> Bang Design
>
> Joshua Seiden wrote:
>
> > By what medium beyond the GUI is this phone responsive to user behavior?
> > Sound design is important, but in the case it's not richly interactive.
> > Tactile feedback is important, but again in this case it's not richly
> > interactive.
> >
> > So--in this case--the richly interactive portion of this experience lies
> in
> > the software response to hardware. And--again in this case--the software
> > responds by means of a GUI. So, are they not thinking about it, or just
> not
> > talking about it?
> >
> > JS
> >
> > On 12/7/06, David Malouf <dave at ixda.org> wrote:
> >
> >>
> >>Joshua Seiden wrote:
> >>
> >>>Because without software, it's either ID or User-centered design.
> That's
> >>>doesn't mean it's not interesting or valuable. It just means it's not
> >>
> >>IxD.
> >>
> >>hmmm? I disagree with that statement.
> >>While I agree that a digital component is almost always require. Digital
> >>does not mean "GUI". (I'm interpretting your use of the term software to
> >>mean software with a graphical user interface).
> >>
> >>Phones had an IxD component before they ever had a screen display.
> >>
> >>How the phone responds to different interactions? What if it was only an
> >>IVR system behind it?
> >>
> >>GUI is not the only thing that makes IxD.
> >>
> >>
> >
> > ________________________________________________________________
> > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> > List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> > List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> > (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> > Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> > Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> > Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> > Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
> >
> >
> >
>

8 Dec 2006 - 10:26am
Gabriel White
2005

All,

I'm pitching into this discussion kind of late in the piece thanks to
dysfunctional GMail filters, but I'd like to thank everyone for the
interesting discussion around the MotoFone. I'd like to respond to a
few of the points that have been raised.

It's not often that designers on this list talk specifically about the
designs they have worked on. I hope you all understand some of the
commercial difficulties around doing this (and also the risk of a
public flailing!). But I'd like to share some of my experiences on
this project and hope that this helps encourage others to share
experiences about products they've worked on.

I no longer work for Motorola (the parting was amicable, and I had a
fantastic time working in their Beijing studio. I'd recommend CXD at
Motorola as a great place to work, and China rocks), and the following
views are mine and not Motorola's. Second, I'd like to make sure that
Richard Schatzberger gets due credit as the creative lead on the UI
for this project.

Motorola has done a few interesting things with MotoFone:

1 Worked to create a product that specifically targets the unconnected
poor in developing countries.
2 Used an innovative set of technologies in the device (specifically
an "EPD" or "electronic ink" display)
3 Brought "high end" design to a "low end" product

A lot about delivering on 1 was focussed on designing a product that
provides only essential functionality and doing away with many of the
things that are just cruft. Focussing on the essentials meant that we
were able to provide the best possible experience on core features
(sounds simple, but it becomes a compelling mantra). Fewer features
means less possibility for error - there's simply less that you can do
with the device. This makes mastery much easier for the unconnected
and inexperienced. There was lots we learned in research and testing
about opportunities for confusion, and simplification (especially
around the "flat" UI) just made things a hell of lot easier. The
"iconic" UI and voice prompts are part of that package.

The EPD is a fantastic piece of technology because: the display is
damn huge, the numbers are insanely huge, and it's high contrast in
full sunlight. It's so easy to read the display when you're dialling
and in a call, and it's so easy to read the display when it's outside.
These humble attributes are beyond fantastic.

While designing a phone for people who may not be literate posed a
significant number of challenges, one other challenge around doing the
IxD on this product was cost. The constraints of making a phone for
such a low manufacturing cost are not to be underestimated. For a
device like this 1 cent is a lot of money on the bottom line with the
projected sales volumes. The UI design / hardware engineering / SW
engineering teams were all co-located in a Beijing skunkworks and
worked hand in hand, which helped no end. This might sound kind of
straight-forward, but in a global company like Motorola this is in
itself a feat.

Motorola has taken a serious leap in bringing its high end design
language to a "low end" product. Normally you pay more for the high
end design and the cheap-skates get the design offcuts. Not with this
product, and it's really great to see an aspirational product that's
accessible to all.

I want to make sure that I don't paint this design as completely rosy.
There are some risks that Motorola is taking with this project, and
I'm sure that you'll be able to identify areas that may have questions
around them (and which product is without risk?). That said, though, I
think that in almost every situation the product team made decisions
that best supports the target customers' needs.

Now to some of the specific questions that have been raised:

Josh Viney jviney at gmail.com

I don't understand why mobile phone manufacturers insist on either
integrating the headphone jack with the power jack or putting them so
close together that it's almost impossible to have both attached at
the same time. When the two functions use the same jack it prevents
users from using their own headphones (on mobile devices that have
stereo music capabilities), and prevents users without Bluetooth
headsets from using the phone w/ a headset while it is charging.

GABE: Cost. When you're comparing the LEDs that cost 1c and the LEDs
that cost 1.2c, you know you're in for a long night.

David Malouf dave at ixda.org

Gabriel, how come only the Industrial designers have faces and have
something to say? Can you give us a report from your perspective?

GABE: I should have a face soon. I left the day before the photo
shoot, but a pic of me should be there shortly (and the observant will
notice that the photo will have given me a sex change).

Motorola is an engineering company that is transforming into a company
that values design. Significant advances have been made on this, and
things are continually getting better. Transformation isn't instant -
things have come a long way and will continue to improve. The UI teams
and industrial design teams are work much closer for each new product.
As UI and ID merge, close collaboration is a prerequisite.

Joshua Seiden joshseiden at gmail.com

Maybe I'm missing something, but there is almost no discussion of the
way the software behaves. (A small nod to flat navigation.) Motorola
is starting to pimp design, but as always with Moto, it's just about
the static elements. Hardware, icons, even sound get their own
shout-outs. Where's the love? More importantly, isn't this just more
of the same?

GABE: Good point. I guess it just reaffirms that communication is a
critical part of design. The UI team had unprecedented access and
leverage in this project. The product, engineering and design teams
defined this product together. We also had direct access to and buy-in
at senior VP level. Everyone understood that the UI was critical.

David Malouf dave at ixda.org

Why is it IxDers are so focused on software? The keyboard, the
display, the sound. These are the primary interaction points and while
I do think it would be important to add the software side, (Gabriel,
can you do something about that?) I think there is a lot to learn in
this presentation about doing broad research for consumer electronics
across different cultures.

GABE: We were able to do some fantastic research (like the quote that
you mention illustrates) before, during and after design. I've learned
some pretty amazing stuff about researching in developing countries.
Like bringing a whole design testing roadshow to a rural Indian
village without power (note to self: make sure your generators have
enough grunt otherwise you'll need to wait 4 hours for a new one). And
some amazing insights about people's perceptions and experience of
technology (logical hierarchies, bah!).

Josh Viney jviney at gmail.com

I agree that it looks like a cool phone, but what makes it really
different from any other phone? It's great that they took the time to
research the mobile phone experience around the world, but I'm very
skeptical about whether coming up with a new display, menus, and
"universal icons" is really worth anything. Check the specs. There are
no new features, and it looks like they might be missing a couple.
There's no MMS, WAP, Web browser, email, camera, edge, Bluetooth,
music player and the list goes on.

GABE: For people in developed countries, I think you have an arguable
point. For the primary target market of this phone it's a different
story. No, the phone's not revolutionary. But it provides an
experience that's sufficiently different to the current offerings to
make it more relevant to the people who will be using the product.
It's great for the fact that it DOESN'T have features.

David Malouf dave at ixda.org

A lot of the buzz around this phone from the blogsphere has been met
with "When can we get it?" There are many people in Western Markets
who are sick of the "do everything" phone. They are looking for a
"phone" . not much else. Cameras, GPS, internet, etc. are not items
they care about.

GABE: While the phone was designed for emerging markets, I think
you're right. This phone has a lot of potential for people who just
want a phone, and so could be a bit of a dark horse in developed
countries. Also, I'd love a sexy super-thin phone for when I go out on
a bender on the weekend (who cares if I lose it?!).

Thanks again for all the thoughtful comments.

Gabe

www.smallsurfaces.com

8 Dec 2006 - 10:53am
Josh Seiden
2003

Gabe,

Thank you so much for this post. What a huge value to the community.

JS

On 12/8/06, Gabriel White <gabrielwhite at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> All,
>
> I'm pitching into this discussion kind of late in the piece thanks to
> dysfunctional GMail filters, but I'd like to thank everyone for the
> interesting discussion around the MotoFone. I'd like to respond to a
> few of the points that have been raised.
>

8 Dec 2006 - 8:43pm
Vinay Rao
2006

Hi Gabriel

This is a fantastic mail. We really appreciate your sharing this on the forum.
If it is at all possible, it would also be great to know your research
experiences in India, China and Africa, and how your insights as on outsider
were translated to design attributes (if there is anything beyond the content in
the Flash presentation). I know that senior designers from Motorola are already
sharing this in conferences and other events, but I dont see this on the
internet, just yet.

Vinay

-----Gabriel White <gabrielwhite at gmail.com> wrote:
All,

I'm pitching into this discussion kind of late in the piece thanks to
dysfunctional GMail filters, but I'd like to thank everyone for the
interesting discussion around the MotoFone. I'd like to respond to a
few of the points that have been raised.

It's not often that designers on this list talk specifically about the
designs they have worked on. I hope you all understand some of the
commercial difficulties around doing this (and also the risk of a
public flailing!). But I'd like to share some of my experiences on
this project and hope that this helps encourage others to share
experiences about products they've worked on.

I no longer work for Motorola (the parting was amicable, and I had a
fantastic time working in their Beijing studio. I'd recommend CXD at
Motorola as a great place to work, and China rocks), and the following
views are mine and not Motorola's. Second, I'd like to make sure that
Richard Schatzberger gets due credit as the creative lead on the UI
for this project.

Motorola has done a few interesting things with MotoFone:

1 Worked to create a product that specifically targets the unconnected
poor in developing countries.
2 Used an innovative set of technologies in the device (specifically
an "EPD" or "electronic ink" display)
3 Brought "high end" design to a "low end" product

A lot about delivering on 1 was focussed on designing a product that
provides only essential functionality and doing away with many of the
things that are just cruft. Focussing on the essentials meant that we
were able to provide the best possible experience on core features
(sounds simple, but it becomes a compelling mantra). Fewer features
means less possibility for error - there's simply less that you can do
with the device. This makes mastery much easier for the unconnected
and inexperienced. There was lots we learned in research and testing
about opportunities for confusion, and simplification (especially
around the "flat" UI) just made things a hell of lot easier. The
"iconic" UI and voice prompts are part of that package.

The EPD is a fantastic piece of technology because: the display is
damn huge, the numbers are insanely huge, and it's high contrast in
full sunlight. It's so easy to read the display when you're dialling
and in a call, and it's so easy to read the display when it's outside.
These humble attributes are beyond fantastic.

While designing a phone for people who may not be literate posed a
significant number of challenges, one other challenge around doing the
IxD on this product was cost. The constraints of making a phone for
such a low manufacturing cost are not to be underestimated. For a
device like this 1 cent is a lot of money on the bottom line with the
projected sales volumes. The UI design / hardware engineering / SW
engineering teams were all co-located in a Beijing skunkworks and
worked hand in hand, which helped no end. This might sound kind of
straight-forward, but in a global company like Motorola this is in
itself a feat.

Motorola has taken a serious leap in bringing its high end design
language to a "low end" product. Normally you pay more for the high
end design and the cheap-skates get the design offcuts. Not with this
product, and it's really great to see an aspirational product that's
accessible to all.

I want to make sure that I don't paint this design as completely rosy.
There are some risks that Motorola is taking with this project, and
I'm sure that you'll be able to identify areas that may have questions
around them (and which product is without risk?). That said, though, I
think that in almost every situation the product team made decisions
that best supports the target customers' needs.

Now to some of the specific questions that have been raised:

Josh Viney jviney at gmail.com

I don't understand why mobile phone manufacturers insist on either
integrating the headphone jack with the power jack or putting them so
close together that it's almost impossible to have both attached at
the same time. When the two functions use the same jack it prevents
users from using their own headphones (on mobile devices that have
stereo music capabilities), and prevents users without Bluetooth
headsets from using the phone w/ a headset while it is charging.

GABE: Cost. When you're comparing the LEDs that cost 1c and the LEDs
that cost 1.2c, you know you're in for a long night.

David Malouf dave at ixda.org

Gabriel, how come only the Industrial designers have faces and have
something to say? Can you give us a report from your perspective?

GABE: I should have a face soon. I left the day before the photo
shoot, but a pic of me should be there shortly (and the observant will
notice that the photo will have given me a sex change).

Motorola is an engineering company that is transforming into a company
that values design. Significant advances have been made on this, and
things are continually getting better. Transformation isn't instant -
things have come a long way and will continue to improve. The UI teams
and industrial design teams are work much closer for each new product.
As UI and ID merge, close collaboration is a prerequisite.

Joshua Seiden joshseiden at gmail.com

Maybe I'm missing something, but there is almost no discussion of the
way the software behaves. (A small nod to flat navigation.) Motorola
is starting to pimp design, but as always with Moto, it's just about
the static elements. Hardware, icons, even sound get their own
shout-outs. Where's the love? More importantly, isn't this just more
of the same?

GABE: Good point. I guess it just reaffirms that communication is a
critical part of design. The UI team had unprecedented access and
leverage in this project. The product, engineering and design teams
defined this product together. We also had direct access to and buy-in
at senior VP level. Everyone understood that the UI was critical.

David Malouf dave at ixda.org

Why is it IxDers are so focused on software? The keyboard, the
display, the sound. These are the primary interaction points and while
I do think it would be important to add the software side, (Gabriel,
can you do something about that?) I think there is a lot to learn in
this presentation about doing broad research for consumer electronics
across different cultures.

GABE: We were able to do some fantastic research (like the quote that
you mention illustrates) before, during and after design. I've learned
some pretty amazing stuff about researching in developing countries.
Like bringing a whole design testing roadshow to a rural Indian
village without power (note to self: make sure your generators have
enough grunt otherwise you'll need to wait 4 hours for a new one). And
some amazing insights about people's perceptions and experience of
technology (logical hierarchies, bah!).

Josh Viney jviney at gmail.com

I agree that it looks like a cool phone, but what makes it really
different from any other phone? It's great that they took the time to
research the mobile phone experience around the world, but I'm very
skeptical about whether coming up with a new display, menus, and
"universal icons" is really worth anything. Check the specs. There are
no new features, and it looks like they might be missing a couple.
There's no MMS, WAP, Web browser, email, camera, edge, Bluetooth,
music player and the list goes on.

GABE: For people in developed countries, I think you have an arguable
point. For the primary target market of this phone it's a different
story. No, the phone's not revolutionary. But it provides an
experience that's sufficiently different to the current offerings to
make it more relevant to the people who will be using the product.
It's great for the fact that it DOESN'T have features.

David Malouf dave at ixda.org

A lot of the buzz around this phone from the blogsphere has been met
with "When can we get it?" There are many people in Western Markets
who are sick of the "do everything" phone. They are looking for a
"phone" . not much else. Cameras, GPS, internet, etc. are not items
they care about.

GABE: While the phone was designed for emerging markets, I think
you're right. This phone has a lot of potential for people who just
want a phone, and so could be a bit of a dark horse in developed
countries. Also, I'd love a sexy super-thin phone for when I go out on
a bender on the weekend (who cares if I lose it?!).

Thanks again for all the thoughtful comments.

Gabe

www.smallsurfaces.com

10 Dec 2006 - 11:03am
.pauric
2006

I'm not sure its fair to use the faults of the linux based a1200 against the
design conclusions reached with the lowend 'motophone'. Yes moto phones
have a history of being system centric but lets evaluate this design on its
merits, not the company's track record.

Renato said "And as much as I understand that cost and marketing pressure
may impose constraints to certain designs, it does not seem to be all the
reason behind all the UI and software problems."

And conversely lets not forget that a good UI design does not necessarily
translate to sales, Apple Mac. Is a company wrong to focus its, sometimes
limited, development priorities on areas that do have a direct effect on
sales (number of features, low cost)? What we perceive as a problem may not
be an issue at all as far as the company is concerned, the myspace design
paradox. Now, its seems from the motofone flash site blurb that they have
re-focused for this project.

Only when a designer can show that their input to development can have
quantifiable results aligned with company goals (profit, market share) will
'design' get the influence we feel it deserves. As an aside, my personal
take on advocating the user, and good design, is to talk the language of
those you are trying to influence. Dont wave usability metrics under
program managements face, talk about reduced time lines, reduced number of
interface bugs, meeting the ship date in style. Dont point to scenarios &
persona's when talking to marketing.. demonstrate how you're going to
strengthen the brand with consistency etc.

You have to make the right noises if you're going to get a larger piece of
the development process pie. Looks like someone has been doing this at
Motorola.

regards - pauric

10 Dec 2006 - 4:33pm
ldebett
2004

This is a bit of a tangent, but I just got this email (below) from Consumer
Reports entitled, "Cell companies: now you hear us!", which made me think...
while Motorola and others can do their best to design a great phone - both
technically and aesthetically - the phone can still only be as good as the
provider will allow it to be. You have a company like Verizon who tosses out
the OEM's native UI and installs their own. Now I, a Verizon customer, can't
get a new Moto to experience the Moto UI without switching to a new carrier
and being charged an early termination fee. That just doesn't seem right to
me... So, I either deal with the Verizon UI on a Moto phone (bad), pay the
fee to get out of my contract and switch (worse), or wait until my 2 years
are up and I can switch for free (frustrating).

~Lisa

----------------------------------------------------------
Dear Lisa,

Does your cell phone take pictures, play music, and download market reports
from the Internet—yet, you can't get it to complete a phone call? And then,
you can't get out of the plan because they lock you in with high
early-termination fees—$150 to $200.

Join our "Hear Us Now!" campaign. Tell the cell phone industry to end the
"gotchas" and improve the quality of your phone service.

Companies use high termination fees to keep you from taking your business
elsewhere because many services will regularly drop your calls, no matter
what their ads say. And you can expect to pay up to 30 percent more than the
advertised price.

Consumer Reports this month provides some good tips for finding a better
phone and a better plan, but you shouldn't have to pay a steep price for
shopping around.

Click here<http://cu.convio.net/site/PageServer?pagename=HUN_PetitionTheCellPhoneCompanies>to
help us speak clearly to the cell phone industry. Give us a clear
connection with pricing we can understand and the right to go elsewhere if
the company doesn't live up to its promises.

And please, even if your "friends and family" are not on your calling plan,
they want better cell phone service too! Take one more moment to forward
this message to five others so they can join Consumers Union's "Hear Us
Now!" campaign!

Sincerely,
Jim Guest

http://cu.convio.net/site/PageServer?pagename=HUN_PetitionTheCellPhoneCompanies

11 Dec 2006 - 10:23am
Mark Schraad
2006

Hey Lisa,

Very interesting that Verizon does that with the phone's OS. It's no
wonder that those same companies (under different names) had so much
trouble when they were in the long distance business. They just do
not get it. My old company did a lot of work for Sprint a few years
ago and they never seemed to get just what the drivers for customer
behavior were. They acted like monopolies. Any industry that forces
your to buy extra stuff (leather seats only if you get the package
with a sunroof and chrome wheels), builds exit barriers (like
contract extensions and kill fees), are ripe for disruptive
technologies. Clayton Christenen does a pretty nice job of detailing
this in "the innovators delima".

It took Sprint forever to realize that the primary driver (beyond who
your friends use) is the hardware. Nearly two years after the RAZR is
on the market, they finally get on board.

On Dec 10, 2006, at 4:33 PM, Lisa deBettencourt wrote:

> This is a bit of a tangent, but I just got this email (below) from
> Consumer
> Reports entitled, "Cell companies: now you hear us!", which made me
> think...
> while Motorola and others can do their best to design a great phone
> - both
> technically and aesthetically - the phone can still only be as good
> as the
> provider will allow it to be. You have a company like Verizon who
> tosses out
> the OEM's native UI and installs their own. Now I, a Verizon
> customer, can't
> get a new Moto to experience the Moto UI without switching to a new
> carrier
> and being charged an early termination fee. That just doesn't seem
> right to
> me... So, I either deal with the Verizon UI on a Moto phone (bad),
> pay the
> fee to get out of my contract and switch (worse), or wait until my
> 2 years
> are up and I can switch for free (frustrating).
>
> ~Lisa
>
> ----------------------------------------------------------
> Dear Lisa,
>
> Does your cell phone take pictures, play music, and download market
> reports
> from the Internet—yet, you can't get it to complete a phone call?
> And then,
> you can't get out of the plan because they lock you in with high
> early-termination fees—$150 to $200.
>
> Join our "Hear Us Now!" campaign. Tell the cell phone industry to
> end the
> "gotchas" and improve the quality of your phone service.
>
> Companies use high termination fees to keep you from taking your
> business
> elsewhere because many services will regularly drop your calls, no
> matter
> what their ads say. And you can expect to pay up to 30 percent more
> than the
> advertised price.
>
> Consumer Reports this month provides some good tips for finding a
> better
> phone and a better plan, but you shouldn't have to pay a steep
> price for
> shopping around.
>
> Click here<http://cu.convio.net/site/PageServer?
> pagename=HUN_PetitionTheCellPhoneCompanies>to
> help us speak clearly to the cell phone industry. Give us a clear
> connection with pricing we can understand and the right to go
> elsewhere if
> the company doesn't live up to its promises.
>
> And please, even if your "friends and family" are not on your
> calling plan,
> they want better cell phone service too! Take one more moment to
> forward
> this message to five others so they can join Consumers Union's
> "Hear Us
> Now!" campaign!
>
> Sincerely,
> Jim Guest
>
> http://cu.convio.net/site/PageServer?
> pagename=HUN_PetitionTheCellPhoneCompanies
> ________________________________________________________________
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11 Dec 2006 - 11:02am
ldebett
2004

Hi Mark,

Yes, they do not get it. I learned that the hard way. I bought a RAZR, was
psyched with the ID but returned it after I couldn't get the thing to do
basic things like, well, make a phone call to the number I wanted. It was
awful. When I checked out other phones, they had the same UI but an "updated
version" that fixed the problems I was having. It was frustrating.

On your leather seats/package comment:

Any industry that forces your to buy extra stuff (leather seats only if you
> get the package
> with a sunroof and chrome wheels), builds exit barriers (like contract
> extensions and kill fees), are ripe for disruptive technologies.

You are dealing with the ugly reality of inventory management. The car co's
can't possibly build every combination of options so they do market research
to see what commonly sells together. Now, the irony is that it's now a
self-fulfilling prophecy: they sell the options packages and now they
collect data to show that those option combinations sell, regardless of
whether people actually wanted the leather with the sunroof, etc. Scion is
the market disrupter here with the after sale installs (or, well, you could
custom order your BMW and fly to Germany to get it - that could be fun).
It's interesting b/c it seems to be the only business model that considers
the dealer and the customer: the dealer can make some $$ off the options
they install and the customer gets exactly what they want.

~Lisa

11 Dec 2006 - 11:27am
Mark Schraad
2006

I expect to see major changes in the Autos industry in the next few
years. Everything from a Dell like customization process to online
shopping and salespeople become mere customer service delivery agents
- to the end of the 12 month release cycle. Is is as if no one in
this industry has read the cluetrain manafesto!?
On Dec 11, 2006, at 11:02 AM, Lisa deBettencourt wrote:

> Hi Mark,
>
> Yes, they do not get it. I learned that the hard way. I bought a
> RAZR, was
> psyched with the ID but returned it after I couldn't get the thing
> to do
> basic things like, well, make a phone call to the number I wanted.
> It was
> awful. When I checked out other phones, they had the same UI but an
> "updated
> version" that fixed the problems I was having. It was frustrating.
>
> On your leather seats/package comment:
>
> Any industry that forces your to buy extra stuff (leather seats
> only if you
>> get the package
>> with a sunroof and chrome wheels), builds exit barriers (like
>> contract
>> extensions and kill fees), are ripe for disruptive technologies.
>
>
> You are dealing with the ugly reality of inventory management. The
> car co's
> can't possibly build every combination of options so they do market
> research
> to see what commonly sells together. Now, the irony is that it's now a
> self-fulfilling prophecy: they sell the options packages and now they
> collect data to show that those option combinations sell,
> regardless of
> whether people actually wanted the leather with the sunroof, etc.
> Scion is
> the market disrupter here with the after sale installs (or, well,
> you could
> custom order your BMW and fly to Germany to get it - that could be
> fun).
> It's interesting b/c it seems to be the only business model that
> considers
> the dealer and the customer: the dealer can make some $$ off the
> options
> they install and the customer gets exactly what they want.
>
> ~Lisa
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org

11 Dec 2006 - 12:50pm
markhhoff@earth...
2006

Hi Mark and Lisa,

New to the discussion group-such knowledgeable and interesting threads!
Regarding Mark's comments that some of these companies are acting like
monopolies is that they still have that mind set. There was a point, not too
many years ago when these companies were highly regulated and enjoyed
monopolies in each market. Most of them were spin-offs from the old Bell
system and still retain the attitude that they know what's best for the
user-- add more features, sell more services and phones.

With so many people using more phones worldwide than have access to the
Internet, you'd think company's would pay much more attention to usability.

Mark Hoffman
--
Mark Hoffman < markhhoff at earthlink.net>
Mark Hoffman Associates, Inc.

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