Nokia UI the 'standard' for handheld devices?

8 Jun 2004 - 2:43pm
9 years ago
17 replies
552 reads
Coryndon Luxmoore
2004

I have always found it curious as to why Nokia is held up as the leader in UI for the mobile phone market. Having had to help numerous less tech savvy folks with thier basic Nokia phones I have found thier use of a single modal action button, inconsistant back buttons, deep menus, no ability to see the list of options etc. to be less than user friendly. I personally consider Nokia to only be one step better than Motorola in thier interfaces.

Sanyo, Sony and the other consumer electronics companies are way better overall in thier ability to simply enable the user to move through the phone. They too have thier flaws.

I am guessing that the simple fact that they are first to beat Motorola in the late 80's and early 90's in ease of use and a huge market player globally (as well as some marketing on thier part) drives this perception of leadership.

Does this mean that they should be used as a standard?

Possibly. I would argue that thier continuing loss of market share and the convergance of new functions like cameras, organizers, and messaging prevent them from being able to be used as a "standard" but simply as one point of evaluation when designing a phone interface.

--Coryndon

Dakasa Corporation
Design Architect
cluxmoore at dakasa.com

-------Original Message-------
> From: David Heller <dave at interactiondesigners.com>
> Subject: RE: [ID Discuss] Nokia UI the 'standard' for handheld devices?
> Sent: 08 Jun 2004 11:55:52
>
> my issue here is not
> whether Nokia does good work or not, and is worth "copying" or being inspired
> by, but that Nokia is a 'standard'.
>  
> Qualcomm, Motorola,
> and Samsung to name a few might have something to say about that. Maybe outside
> the US Nokia is more of a standard, but here in the US, Nokia has become one of
> many vendors and styles. There is no one close to being a winner here, so saying
> anyone is a 'standard' feels, well
> premature.
>  
> --
> dave
> _______________________________________________
> Interaction Design Discussion List
> discuss at interactiondesigners.com
> --
> to change your options (unsubscribe or set digest): http://discuss.interactiondesigners.com
> --
> Questions: lists at interactiondesigners.com
> --
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> http://interactiondesigners.com/
-------Original Message-------

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Comments

8 Jun 2004 - 8:24am
ErikaOrrick
1969

I have to agree here, I absolutely *hated* my Nokia phone's UI. Give me an LG over Nokia any day. I have to wonder if someone earlier didn't hit it on the head with the idea of Nokia's market share and user familiarity is what gives it it's seeming leadership rather than really having the best UI.

---
Erika Orrick
erika at orrickweb.com

________________________________

From: cluxmoore [mailto:cluxmoore at dakasa.com]
Sent: Tue 6/8/2004 7:46 AM
To: David Heller; discuss at interactiondesigners.com
Subject: Re: RE: [ID Discuss] Nokia UI the 'standard' for handheld devices?

I have always found it curious as to why Nokia is held up as the leader in UI for the mobile phone market. Having had to help numerous less tech savvy folks with thier basic Nokia phones I have found thier use of a single modal action button, inconsistant back buttons, deep menus, no ability to see the list of options etc. to be less than user friendly. I personally consider Nokia to only be one step better than Motorola in thier interfaces.

Sanyo, Sony and the other consumer electronics companies are way better overall in thier ability to simply enable the user to move through the phone. They too have thier flaws.

I am guessing that the simple fact that they are first to beat Motorola in the late 80's and early 90's in ease of use and a huge market player globally (as well as some marketing on thier part) drives this perception of leadership.

Does this mean that they should be used as a standard?

Possibly. I would argue that thier continuing loss of market share and the convergance of new functions like cameras, organizers, and messaging prevent them from being able to be used as a "standard" but simply as one point of evaluation when designing a phone interface.

--Coryndon

Dakasa Corporation
Design Architect
cluxmoore at dakasa.com

-------Original Message-------
> From: David Heller <dave at interactiondesigners.com>
> Subject: RE: [ID Discuss] Nokia UI the 'standard' for handheld devices?
> Sent: 08 Jun 2004 11:55:52
>
> my issue here is not
> whether Nokia does good work or not, and is worth "copying" or being inspired
> by, but that Nokia is a 'standard'.
>
> Qualcomm, Motorola,
> and Samsung to name a few might have something to say about that. Maybe outside
> the US Nokia is more of a standard, but here in the US, Nokia has become one of
> many vendors and styles. There is no one close to being a winner here, so saying
> anyone is a 'standard' feels, well
> premature.
>
> --
> dave
> _______________________________________________
> Interaction Design Discussion List
> discuss at interactiondesigners.com
> --
> to change your options (unsubscribe or set digest): http://discuss.interactiondesigners.com
> --
> Questions: lists at interactiondesigners.com
> --
> Announcement Online List (discussion list members get announcements already)
> http://interactiondesigners.com/announceList/
> --
> http://interactiondesigners.com/
-------Original Message-------

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8 Jun 2004 - 8:36am
yamamoto
2004

My feeling about Nokia UI is some how similar to Coryndon's.
And first of all, unlikely to in the rest of the world, it is very difficult
to find the Nokia mobile phone user in Japan.
Even you can find a Nokia user, he/she may or may not enjoy their global
standard mobile UI.

Nokia phone was only popular in short time when the movie "Matrix" was shown
in theater.
Then, I do not know why people are excited about their UI, even after
reading the book "Mobile Usability."
I agree their theoretical part, but can not agree on their solution and
design.
--------------------------------------------
Masayasu Yamamoto
UI designer
Chiasm Inc.
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8 Jun 2004 - 10:58am
Olly Wright
2007

So to steer this question a different direction...

What would you suggest should actually be conventions or standards for
mobile phone interfaces? What are the best practices that people should
follow for architecture and interface?

Cheers,
Molly

On Jun 8, 2004, at 3:36 PM, yamamoto wrote:

> My feeling about Nokia UI is some how similar to Coryndon's.
> And first of all, unlikely to in the rest of the world, it is very
> difficult to find the Nokia mobile phone user in Japan.
> Even you can find a Nokia user, he/she may or may not enjoy their
> global standard mobile UI.
>
> Nokia phone was only popular in short time when the movie "Matrix"
> was shown in theater.
> Then, I do not know why people are excited about their UI, even after
> reading the book "Mobile Usability."
> I agree their theoretical part, but can not agree on their solution
> and design.
> --------------------------------------------
> Masayasu Yamamoto
> UI designer
> Chiasm Inc. _______________________________________________
> Interaction Design Discussion List
> discuss at interactiondesigners.com
> --
> to change your options (unsubscribe or set digest):
> http://discuss.interactiondesigners.com
> --
> Questions: lists at interactiondesigners.com
> --
> Announcement Online List (discussion list members get announcements
> already)
> http://interactiondesigners.com/announceList/
> --
> http://interactiondesigners.com/
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8 Jun 2004 - 12:56pm
Kristoffer Åberg
2003

Some standardisation work is being done across mobile handset manufacturers. I am formally still part of the ETSI "Specialist Task Force 231: Generic user interface elements for mobile terminals and services" where we have collected references to existing standards and best practices as well mapped out areas for potential standardisation:
"The work will assist the development of a common understanding in the telecommunication industry regarding the benefits provided to end users by basic generic, harmonised solutions.From the manufacturers' and service providers' point of view, development costs can be reduced, time to volume markets decreased, larger user segments reached more easily and quickly, thereby ensuring quicker uptakes of key technologies, without negative implications on the brand-specific user interface implementations and the user experience of products, often used as a competitive edge."
The final draft can be downloaded at http://portal.etsi.org/stfs/hf/STF231.asp

Cheers,

/Kristoffer, interaction designer @ Sony Ericsson
----- Original Message -----
From: molly wright steenson
To: 'discuss at interactiondesigners.com' Designers'
Sent: Tuesday, June 08, 2004 5:58 PM
Subject: Re: [ID Discuss] Nokia UI the 'standard' for handheld devices?

So to steer this question a different direction...

What would you suggest should actually be conventions or standards for mobile phone interfaces? What are the best practices that people should follow for architecture and interface?

Cheers,
Molly
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8 Jun 2004 - 9:09pm
id at ourbrisba...
2004

Quoting cluxmoore <cluxmoore at dakasa.com>:
> Sanyo, Sony and the other consumer electronics companies are way better
> overall in thier ability to simply enable the user to move through the phone.
> They too have thier flaws.

I think that this should be qualified as being a subjective opinion - not fact.

My subjective opinion differs based on my experience of the mobile phones I've
owned (Ericsson, Motorola, Nokia, Panasonic, Phillips, Sony-Ericsson). The
Nokias were the only ones with an interface that I could figure out without
referring to the manual.

My current phone is a Sony-Ericsson T68i. I purchased it (it was a toss-up
between the T68i and the Nokia 7650) just to see if the Sony's involvement would
improve Ericsson's products. I wish that I had read the results of the
independant usability comparison test conducted by 3G Lab:
http://www.usabilitynews.com/news/article755.asp which relayed that, although
everyone initially chose the Sony-Ericsson as their preference, after using both
phones they all changed their preference to the Nokia.

Of course, there are old functions based on previous technical restrictions,
that over the history of the Ericsson range of phones have become population
stereotypes. Functions that although counter-intuitive for new users (such as
holding down the "No" button to turn the phone on), aren't easily changed for a
number of reasons. However, the phone has a number of design pitfalls that are
inexcusable.

<anecdote>
I have deleted names/numbers from my address book unintentionally on too
numerous an occasion to recall. Why? Turning the keylock off requires the key
combination of "c", followed by "yes". Technically, this is fine however,
practically, it promotes mode errors.

Normal operation dictates that when the "yes" button is depressed from the home
screen on the T68i, the list of recent numbers is displayed with the first
number selected. If the "c" button is depressed whilst a number is selected, it
will provide a prompt "Delete?" (in an attempt to catch slips or mistakes),
which must be follwed by pressing "yes" to confirm deletion.

The software on the phone responds slowly, so the visual display can take a
while to respond to keystrokes. For this reason, I tend to put the keylock on
without waiting the couple of seconds for visual confirmation. Sometimes I miss
a key, and my phone sits in my pocket, unlocked. If the large "yes" button then
depresses at some stage whilst the phone is in my pocket, the stage has been set
for the mode error.

When I wish to make a call (thinking that the keylock is on), I'll pull the
phone out of my pocket and look at the screen. Visual inspection relays only
that the screensaver is on (showing the time reversed out of a black screen), so
I press "c" and "yes" to unlock the phone. The display then (agonisingly
slowly) reads "Name/Number Delete?". As I'm furiously pressing "No", (knowing
that the phone has already accepted the "yes" keystroke, but hoping it will hear
my pleas anyway), it displays "Number deleted".
</anecdote>

Best regards,

Ash Donaldson
User Experience Designer
"It depends."

8 Jun 2004 - 10:43pm
yamamoto
2004

> So to steer this question a different direction...
>
> What would you suggest should actually be conventions or standards for
> mobile phone interfaces? What are the best practices that people should
> follow for architecture and interface?
>
I meant is that I feel scared the discussion here is dominated by UI
standard which has been hardly accepted by people in my country.
I think it is not only by the weak marketing share of Nokia mobile phone is
Japan, but it might be by some reason that the UI solution might miss
something users appreciate when they use mobile phones.

Unfortunately there is no written standard explaining in the details in
mobile UI, but there are a few dominating products in the local market.
And those always has very good ideas in UI. People never buy his/her third
or forth mobile only by advanced features. They buy a mobile phone because
they find good one after researching by magazines, web reviews and products
at shops.

In the current situation, those UIs by Panasonic, Toshiba, Sharp, or NEC are
most likely totally different from you can get out side of Japan. However, I
hope the 3G phones would have same UI, and we can discuss on the same
ground. I do not say UI on the Japanese mobile phone is better. In fact, I
can easily find many usability defects on any Japanese products.

But, there are diverse possibility for mobile UI, it is dangerous to decide
what is the best one at this point because the world wide mobile technology
just started and the possibility of mobile phone would be unpredictable.

It is good to discuss about good points of each mobile phone, but it is too
early to decide the final shape of mobile phone UI.
----------------------------
Masayasu Yamamoto

8 Jun 2004 - 9:21pm
Hayden Vink
2004

I've been following this discussion with interest and, given Ash's
comments about locking his phone, ask what people think about an
"auto-lock" feature. I recall that one of my first phones, an Alcatel
(can't for the life of me remember the model number) automatically
locked after a period of keypad inactivity. I think you could set this
time. Subsequent phones have not had this feature, and I still have not
completely 'unlearned' to manually lock my phone. I've suffered similar
problems to the ones Ash mentioned - e.g. deleted address book
contacts, accidentally dialed people etc. - as a result of a poor UI
and the phone being unlocked. Do Nokia phones have an auto-lock
feature? What do people think about this?

Regards

Hayden Vink

On 09/06/2004, at 2:09 PM, id at ourbrisbane.com wrote:

> Quoting cluxmoore <cluxmoore at dakasa.com>:
>> Sanyo, Sony and the other consumer electronics companies are way
>> better
>> overall in thier ability to simply enable the user to move through
>> the phone.
>> They too have thier flaws.
>
> I think that this should be qualified as being a subjective opinion -
> not fact.
>
> My subjective opinion differs based on my experience of the mobile
> phones I've
> owned (Ericsson, Motorola, Nokia, Panasonic, Phillips, Sony-Ericsson).
> The
> Nokias were the only ones with an interface that I could figure out
> without
> referring to the manual.
>
> My current phone is a Sony-Ericsson T68i. I purchased it (it was a
> toss-up
> between the T68i and the Nokia 7650) just to see if the Sony's
> involvement would
> improve Ericsson's products. I wish that I had read the results of
> the
> independant usability comparison test conducted by 3G Lab:
> http://www.usabilitynews.com/news/article755.asp which relayed that,
> although
> everyone initially chose the Sony-Ericsson as their preference, after
> using both
> phones they all changed their preference to the Nokia.
>
> Of course, there are old functions based on previous technical
> restrictions,
> that over the history of the Ericsson range of phones have become
> population
> stereotypes. Functions that although counter-intuitive for new users
> (such as
> holding down the "No" button to turn the phone on), aren't easily
> changed for a
> number of reasons. However, the phone has a number of design pitfalls
> that are
> inexcusable.
>
> <anecdote>
> I have deleted names/numbers from my address book unintentionally on
> too
> numerous an occasion to recall. Why? Turning the keylock off
> requires the key
> combination of "c", followed by "yes". Technically, this is fine
> however,
> practically, it promotes mode errors.
>
> Normal operation dictates that when the "yes" button is depressed from
> the home
> screen on the T68i, the list of recent numbers is displayed with the
> first
> number selected. If the "c" button is depressed whilst a number is
> selected, it
> will provide a prompt "Delete?" (in an attempt to catch slips or
> mistakes),
> which must be follwed by pressing "yes" to confirm deletion.
>
> The software on the phone responds slowly, so the visual display can
> take a
> while to respond to keystrokes. For this reason, I tend to put the
> keylock on
> without waiting the couple of seconds for visual confirmation.
> Sometimes I miss
> a key, and my phone sits in my pocket, unlocked. If the large "yes"
> button then
> depresses at some stage whilst the phone is in my pocket, the stage
> has been set
> for the mode error.
>
> When I wish to make a call (thinking that the keylock is on), I'll
> pull the
> phone out of my pocket and look at the screen. Visual inspection
> relays only
> that the screensaver is on (showing the time reversed out of a black
> screen), so
> I press "c" and "yes" to unlock the phone. The display then
> (agonisingly
> slowly) reads "Name/Number Delete?". As I'm furiously pressing "No",
> (knowing
> that the phone has already accepted the "yes" keystroke, but hoping it
> will hear
> my pleas anyway), it displays "Number deleted".
> </anecdote>
>
> Best regards,
>
> Ash Donaldson
> User Experience Designer
> "It depends."
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> Interaction Design Discussion List
> discuss at interactiondesigners.com
> --
> to change your options (unsubscribe or set digest):
> http://discuss.interactiondesigners.com
> --
> Questions: lists at interactiondesigners.com
> --
> Announcement Online List (discussion list members get announcements
> already)
> http://interactiondesigners.com/announceList/
> --
> http://interactiondesigners.com/
>

----------------------------------------------------------------------
HANSEL :: Research, Strategy & Interaction Design
PO Box 9111, Wellington, New Zealand
Ph +64 4 473 3959 +64 21 386 594
----------------------------------------------------------------------

IMPORTANT: The information contained in this message may be legally
privileged or confidential. If you have received this message in error,
please let us know. If you are not the named or intended recipient, any
use, copying or distribution of this message and/or its attachments is
prohibited. Any opinions expressed in this message do not necessarily
reflect those of Hansel Limited.

9 Jun 2004 - 4:44am
Giorgio Venturi
2004

By the way,

I was recently asked by a customer to produce a set guidelines
for *internet browsing* on mobile telephones.

I have divided them into three sections: device,browser,site.

Actually the best research I found on this subject is from Nokia.

Do you agree on this? Are there any other good sources for
(experimentally tested) guidelines?

Giorgio Venturi

-unclassified-

9 Jun 2004 - 4:11am
Mark Collins
2004

Hi

I currently use a Nokia 6220 and it does have an auto-lock function and you
can also set the time for it to auto-lock. It was mentioned before but I
think Nokia has a larger consumer hold in the UK than elsewhere in the world
(apart from Scandinavia perhaps) and a contributing factor we discovered
when investigating mobile phone preferences and choice of purchase was that
people liked the fact that there's nearly always a Nokia phone charger to
hand. Personally I've been in a pub when my phone 'died' and the barman
offered to charge it behind the bar, very handy

Mark

-----Original Message-----
From:
discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesign
ers.com]On Behalf Of Hayden Vink
Sent: 09 June 2004 03:21
To: id at ourbrisbane.com
Cc: discuss at interactiondesigners.com
Subject: Re: [ID Discuss] Nokia UI the 'standard' for handheld devices?

I've been following this discussion with interest and, given Ash's
comments about locking his phone, ask what people think about an
"auto-lock" feature. I recall that one of my first phones, an Alcatel
(can't for the life of me remember the model number) automatically
locked after a period of keypad inactivity. I think you could set this
time. Subsequent phones have not had this feature, and I still have not
completely 'unlearned' to manually lock my phone. I've suffered similar
problems to the ones Ash mentioned - e.g. deleted address book
contacts, accidentally dialed people etc. - as a result of a poor UI
and the phone being unlocked. Do Nokia phones have an auto-lock
feature? What do people think about this?

Regards

Hayden Vink

On 09/06/2004, at 2:09 PM, id at ourbrisbane.com wrote:

> Quoting cluxmoore <cluxmoore at dakasa.com>:
>> Sanyo, Sony and the other consumer electronics companies are way
>> better
>> overall in thier ability to simply enable the user to move through
>> the phone.
>> They too have thier flaws.
>
> I think that this should be qualified as being a subjective opinion -
> not fact.
>
> My subjective opinion differs based on my experience of the mobile
> phones I've
> owned (Ericsson, Motorola, Nokia, Panasonic, Phillips, Sony-Ericsson).
> The
> Nokias were the only ones with an interface that I could figure out
> without
> referring to the manual.
>
> My current phone is a Sony-Ericsson T68i. I purchased it (it was a
> toss-up
> between the T68i and the Nokia 7650) just to see if the Sony's
> involvement would
> improve Ericsson's products. I wish that I had read the results of
> the
> independant usability comparison test conducted by 3G Lab:
> http://www.usabilitynews.com/news/article755.asp which relayed that,
> although
> everyone initially chose the Sony-Ericsson as their preference, after
> using both
> phones they all changed their preference to the Nokia.
>
> Of course, there are old functions based on previous technical
> restrictions,
> that over the history of the Ericsson range of phones have become
> population
> stereotypes. Functions that although counter-intuitive for new users
> (such as
> holding down the "No" button to turn the phone on), aren't easily
> changed for a
> number of reasons. However, the phone has a number of design pitfalls
> that are
> inexcusable.
>
> <anecdote>
> I have deleted names/numbers from my address book unintentionally on
> too
> numerous an occasion to recall. Why? Turning the keylock off
> requires the key
> combination of "c", followed by "yes". Technically, this is fine
> however,
> practically, it promotes mode errors.
>
> Normal operation dictates that when the "yes" button is depressed from
> the home
> screen on the T68i, the list of recent numbers is displayed with the
> first
> number selected. If the "c" button is depressed whilst a number is
> selected, it
> will provide a prompt "Delete?" (in an attempt to catch slips or
> mistakes),
> which must be follwed by pressing "yes" to confirm deletion.
>
> The software on the phone responds slowly, so the visual display can
> take a
> while to respond to keystrokes. For this reason, I tend to put the
> keylock on
> without waiting the couple of seconds for visual confirmation.
> Sometimes I miss
> a key, and my phone sits in my pocket, unlocked. If the large "yes"
> button then
> depresses at some stage whilst the phone is in my pocket, the stage
> has been set
> for the mode error.
>
> When I wish to make a call (thinking that the keylock is on), I'll
> pull the
> phone out of my pocket and look at the screen. Visual inspection
> relays only
> that the screensaver is on (showing the time reversed out of a black
> screen), so
> I press "c" and "yes" to unlock the phone. The display then
> (agonisingly
> slowly) reads "Name/Number Delete?". As I'm furiously pressing "No",
> (knowing
> that the phone has already accepted the "yes" keystroke, but hoping it
> will hear
> my pleas anyway), it displays "Number deleted".
> </anecdote>
>
> Best regards,
>
> Ash Donaldson
> User Experience Designer
> "It depends."
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> Interaction Design Discussion List
> discuss at interactiondesigners.com
> --
> to change your options (unsubscribe or set digest):
> http://discuss.interactiondesigners.com
> --
> Questions: lists at interactiondesigners.com
> --
> Announcement Online List (discussion list members get announcements
> already)
> http://interactiondesigners.com/announceList/
> --
> http://interactiondesigners.com/
>

----------------------------------------------------------------------
HANSEL :: Research, Strategy & Interaction Design
PO Box 9111, Wellington, New Zealand
Ph +64 4 473 3959 +64 21 386 594
----------------------------------------------------------------------

IMPORTANT: The information contained in this message may be legally
privileged or confidential. If you have received this message in error,
please let us know. If you are not the named or intended recipient, any
use, copying or distribution of this message and/or its attachments is
prohibited. Any opinions expressed in this message do not necessarily
reflect those of Hansel Limited.

_______________________________________________
Interaction Design Discussion List
discuss at interactiondesigners.com
--
to change your options (unsubscribe or set digest):
http://discuss.interactiondesigners.com
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Questions: lists at interactiondesigners.com
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--
http://interactiondesigners.com/

9 Jun 2004 - 7:02am
ErikaOrrick
1969

The auto-lock is another one of those "must-have" features for me, although I have solved that problem too, since I *much* prefer clamshell designs where the whole auto-lock v. manual lock issue is moot.

I am following this whole discussion with quite a bit of interest, as the developers I work with (we do web apps) make fun of me for the number of cell phones I have gone through. Maybe it is because I am an interaction design person, but the little interface quirks that most people just live with absolutely drive me batty. I keep going through phones hoping to find one I can live with. My favorite phone so far has been the LG-4400. It's phonebook functionality was about as intuitive as they come. (And it was a clamshell). I reluctantly gave that one up because I recently bought a car with Bluetooth and wanted a phone to go with. After trying the SE 610 and hating the candy bar design, I bought a SEz600 from overseas and while it isn't as good as the LG, it's livable, especially since I rarely use the phone itself. I don't like the way any of the Scandinavian phones implement speed dial, I much prefer the LG/Samsung implementation.

But I digress.....

---
Erika Orrick
erika at orrickweb.com

________________________________

From: Hayden Vink [mailto:hayden at hansel.co.nz]
Sent: Wed 6/9/2004 4:00 AM
To: id at ourbrisbane.com
Cc: discuss at interactiondesigners.com
Subject: Re: [ID Discuss] Nokia UI the 'standard' for handheld devices?

I've been following this discussion with interest and, given Ash's
comments about locking his phone, ask what people think about an
"auto-lock" feature. I recall that one of my first phones, an Alcatel
(can't for the life of me remember the model number) automatically
locked after a period of keypad inactivity. I think you could set this
time. Subsequent phones have not had this feature, and I still have not
completely 'unlearned' to manually lock my phone. I've suffered similar
problems to the ones Ash mentioned - e.g. deleted address book
contacts, accidentally dialed people etc. - as a result of a poor UI
and the phone being unlocked. Do Nokia phones have an auto-lock
feature? What do people think about this?

Regards

Hayden Vink

On 09/06/2004, at 2:09 PM, id at ourbrisbane.com wrote:

> Quoting cluxmoore <cluxmoore at dakasa.com>:
>> Sanyo, Sony and the other consumer electronics companies are way
>> better
>> overall in thier ability to simply enable the user to move through
>> the phone.
>> They too have thier flaws.
>
> I think that this should be qualified as being a subjective opinion -
> not fact.
>
> My subjective opinion differs based on my experience of the mobile
> phones I've
> owned (Ericsson, Motorola, Nokia, Panasonic, Phillips, Sony-Ericsson).
> The
> Nokias were the only ones with an interface that I could figure out
> without
> referring to the manual.
>
> My current phone is a Sony-Ericsson T68i. I purchased it (it was a
> toss-up
> between the T68i and the Nokia 7650) just to see if the Sony's
> involvement would
> improve Ericsson's products. I wish that I had read the results of
> the
> independant usability comparison test conducted by 3G Lab:
> http://www.usabilitynews.com/news/article755.asp which relayed that,
> although
> everyone initially chose the Sony-Ericsson as their preference, after
> using both
> phones they all changed their preference to the Nokia.
>
> Of course, there are old functions based on previous technical
> restrictions,
> that over the history of the Ericsson range of phones have become
> population
> stereotypes. Functions that although counter-intuitive for new users
> (such as
> holding down the "No" button to turn the phone on), aren't easily
> changed for a
> number of reasons. However, the phone has a number of design pitfalls
> that are
> inexcusable.
>
> <anecdote>
> I have deleted names/numbers from my address book unintentionally on
> too
> numerous an occasion to recall. Why? Turning the keylock off
> requires the key
> combination of "c", followed by "yes". Technically, this is fine
> however,
> practically, it promotes mode errors.
>
> Normal operation dictates that when the "yes" button is depressed from
> the home
> screen on the T68i, the list of recent numbers is displayed with the
> first
> number selected. If the "c" button is depressed whilst a number is
> selected, it
> will provide a prompt "Delete?" (in an attempt to catch slips or
> mistakes),
> which must be follwed by pressing "yes" to confirm deletion.
>
> The software on the phone responds slowly, so the visual display can
> take a
> while to respond to keystrokes. For this reason, I tend to put the
> keylock on
> without waiting the couple of seconds for visual confirmation.
> Sometimes I miss
> a key, and my phone sits in my pocket, unlocked. If the large "yes"
> button then
> depresses at some stage whilst the phone is in my pocket, the stage
> has been set
> for the mode error.
>
> When I wish to make a call (thinking that the keylock is on), I'll
> pull the
> phone out of my pocket and look at the screen. Visual inspection
> relays only
> that the screensaver is on (showing the time reversed out of a black
> screen), so
> I press "c" and "yes" to unlock the phone. The display then
> (agonisingly
> slowly) reads "Name/Number Delete?". As I'm furiously pressing "No",
> (knowing
> that the phone has already accepted the "yes" keystroke, but hoping it
> will hear
> my pleas anyway), it displays "Number deleted".
> </anecdote>
>
> Best regards,
>
> Ash Donaldson
> User Experience Designer
> "It depends."
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> Interaction Design Discussion List
> discuss at interactiondesigners.com
> --
> to change your options (unsubscribe or set digest):
> http://discuss.interactiondesigners.com
> --
> Questions: lists at interactiondesigners.com
> --
> Announcement Online List (discussion list members get announcements
> already)
> http://interactiondesigners.com/announceList/
> --
> http://interactiondesigners.com/
>

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PO Box 9111, Wellington, New Zealand
Ph +64 4 473 3959 +64 21 386 594
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9 Jun 2004 - 7:24am
Michael Bartlett
2004

Thought this article on The Register was quite timely:
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/06/08/nokia_market_share_survey/
<http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/06/08/nokia_market_share_survey/>
Perhaps one of the reasons not cited in this article was that Nokia have
lost ground on their competitive edge - usability, as other manufacturers
have been embracing this strategy whole-heartedly.

Slightly off the subject, but still on standardisation...
I was thinking about one of the most simple electronic buttons that just
about every appliance has - and yet the behaviour is totally inconsistant:
The Power Button.

For example, the one projector in the office you have to hold down the power
button to turn it on. Hold it down for a bit, then release it and press it
again to turn it off. The other two projectors you both hold down the power
button for on and off. My laptop is a quick press for on and a long press
for forced shut-down, a short press of the button does not shut down Windows
- whereas my desktop box if I press the power button once when the box is on
it will send a message to Windows, which will initiate a shutdown.

Then there are my AV things. My TV has a solid button, and the traditional
Off/Standby approach. If I turn it off with the big button, the remote will
no longer turn it on. Whereas my Amp and my DVD player have no total OFF
state whatsoever, so if you turn them off with the physical button on the
machine, you can still turn it back on from the remote control.

I have no point other than: ARGH!
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9 Jun 2004 - 8:52am
Dave Collins
2004

>I've been following this discussion with interest and, given Ash's
comments about locking his phone, ask what people think about an
"auto-lock" feature.

My Sony Ericsson has an auto-lock, which is great. What I can't figure
out is how/why it manages to do stuff anyway while locked, like getting
itself turned off.

Digression: While we're telling our stories, I've got one quirk that I
haven't been able to get an answer to:

Whenever my phone wants me to edit some text (entering a name or a text
message) it opens the edit window, but then flashes a giant sign that
says ENGLISH or T9 ENGLISH. This message stays for several seconds.
Never a time passes when I don't forget this, and find the first few
letters I tried to enter were missed. This drives me *bonkers*. I KNOW
it's ENGLISH! Why do you shorten my useful life with this wasted time??

Dave

9 Jun 2004 - 11:00am
Vicente Carrari
2004

Just a quick comment:

I don't have any numbers, but by observation I've noticed that Nokia/Gradiente(local manufacturer) is by far the most popular phone in Brazil too, followed by LG and Motorola.

abraxas,
>>>Vicente

De:discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com

Para:discuss at interactiondesigners.com

Cópia:

Data:Wed, 9 Jun 2004 10:11:09 +0100

Assunto:RE: [ID Discuss] Nokia UI the 'standard' for handheld devices?

> Hi
>
> I currently use a Nokia 6220 and it does have an auto-lock function and you
> can also set the time for it to auto-lock. It was mentioned before but I
> think Nokia has a larger consumer hold in the UK than elsewhere in the world
> (apart from Scandinavia perhaps) and a contributing factor we discovered
> when investigating mobile phone preferences and choice of purchase was that
> people liked the fact that there's nearly always a Nokia phone charger to
> hand. Personally I've been in a pub when my phone 'died' and the barman
> offered to charge it behind the bar, very handy
>
> Mark
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
> [mailto:discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesign
> ers.com]On Behalf Of Hayden Vink
> Sent: 09 June 2004 03:21
> To: id at ourbrisbane.com
> Cc: discuss at interactiondesigners.com
> Subject: Re: [ID Discuss] Nokia UI the 'standard' for handheld devices?
>
>
> I've been following this discussion with interest and, given Ash's
> comments about locking his phone, ask what people think about an
> "auto-lock" feature. I recall that one of my first phones, an Alcatel
> (can't for the life of me remember the model number) automatically
> locked after a period of keypad inactivity. I think you could set this
> time. Subsequent phones have not had this feature, and I still have not
> completely 'unlearned' to manually lock my phone. I've suffered similar
> problems to the ones Ash mentioned - e.g. deleted address book
> contacts, accidentally dialed people etc. - as a result of a poor UI
> and the phone being unlocked. Do Nokia phones have an auto-lock
> feature? What do people think about this?
>
> Regards
>
> Hayden Vink
>
> On 09/06/2004, at 2:09 PM, id at ourbrisbane.com wrote:
>
> > Quoting cluxmoore :
> >> Sanyo, Sony and the other consumer electronics companies are way
> >> better
> >> overall in thier ability to simply enable the user to move through
> >> the phone.
> >> They too have thier flaws.
> >
> > I think that this should be qualified as being a subjective opinion -
> > not fact.
> >
> > My subjective opinion differs based on my experience of the mobile
> > phones I've
> > owned (Ericsson, Motorola, Nokia, Panasonic, Phillips, Sony-Ericsson).
> > The
> > Nokias were the only ones with an interface that I could figure out
> > without
> > referring to the manual.
> >
> > My current phone is a Sony-Ericsson T68i. I purchased it (it was a
> > toss-up
> > between the T68i and the Nokia 7650) just to see if the Sony's
> > involvement would
> > improve Ericsson's products. I wish that I had read the results of
> > the
> > independant usability comparison test conducted by 3G Lab:
> > http://www.usabilitynews.com/news/article755.asp which relayed that,
> > although
> > everyone initially chose the Sony-Ericsson as their preference, after
> > using both
> > phones they all changed their preference to the Nokia.
> >
> > Of course, there are old functions based on previous technical
> > restrictions,
> > that over the history of the Ericsson range of phones have become
> > population
> > stereotypes. Functions that although counter-intuitive for new users
> > (such as
> > holding down the "No" button to turn the phone on), aren't easily
> > changed for a
> > number of reasons. However, the phone has a number of design pitfalls
> > that are
> > inexcusable.
> >
> >
> > I have deleted names/numbers from my address book unintentionally on
> > too
> > numerous an occasion to recall. Why? Turning the keylock off
> > requires the key
> > combination of "c", followed by "yes". Technically, this is fine
> > however,
> > practically, it promotes mode errors.
> >
> > Normal operation dictates that when the "yes" button is depressed from
> > the home
> > screen on the T68i, the list of recent numbers is displayed with the
> > first
> > number selected. If the "c" button is depressed whilst a number is
> > selected, it
> > will provide a prompt "Delete?" (in an attempt to catch slips or
> > mistakes),
> > which must be follwed by pressing "yes" to confirm deletion.
> >
> > The software on the phone responds slowly, so the visual display can
> > take a
> > while to respond to keystrokes. For this reason, I tend to put the
> > keylock on
> > without waiting the couple of seconds for visual confirmation.
> > Sometimes I miss
> > a key, and my phone sits in my pocket, unlocked. If the large "yes"
> > button then
> > depresses at some stage whilst the phone is in my pocket, the stage
> > has been set
> > for the mode error.
> >
> > When I wish to make a call (thinking that the keylock is on), I'll
> > pull the
> > phone out of my pocket and look at the screen. Visual inspection
> > relays only
> > that the screensaver is on (showing the time reversed out of a black
> > screen), so
> > I press "c" and "yes" to unlock the phone. The display then
> > (agonisingly
> > slowly) reads "Name/Number Delete?". As I'm furiously pressing "No",
> > (knowing
> > that the phone has already accepted the "yes" keystroke, but hoping it
> > will hear
> > my pleas anyway), it displays "Number deleted".
> >
> >
> > Best regards,
> >
> > Ash Donaldson
> > User Experience Designer
> > "It depends."
> >
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Interaction Design Discussion List
> > discuss at interactiondesigners.com
> > --
> > to change your options (unsubscribe or set digest):
> > http://discuss.interactiondesigners.com
> > --
> > Questions: lists at interactiondesigners.com
> > --
> > Announcement Online List (discussion list members get announcements
> > already)
> > http://interactiondesigners.com/announceList/
> > --
> > http://interactiondesigners.com/
> >
>
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> HANSEL :: Research, Strategy & Interaction Design
> PO Box 9111, Wellington, New Zealand
> Ph +64 4 473 3959 +64 21 386 594
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> IMPORTANT: The information contained in this message may be legally
> privileged or confidential. If you have received this message in error,
> please let us know. If you are not the named or intended recipient, any
> use, copying or distribution of this message and/or its attachments is
> prohibited. Any opinions expressed in this message do not necessarily
> reflect those of Hansel Limited.
>
> _______________________________________________
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10 Jun 2004 - 10:52am
adamya ashk
2004

> I've been following this discussion with interest and, given Ash's
> comments about locking his phone, ask what people think about an
> "auto-lock" feature. I recall that one of my first phones, an Alcatel
> (can't for the life of me remember the model number) automatically
> locked after a period of keypad inactivity. I think you could set this
> time. Subsequent phones have not had this feature...

The SE T68i does have this feature. However, it mysteriously fails to
turn on when you are on a screen other than the home screen :-) (At
least in the software version on my phone). Perhaps the designers
thought that the auto-lock would interrupt the activities of the
user...

I also think that coming up with a single standard for cellphones
might prove a tad difficult, given the number of players, variety of
features and the differences in their implementation. I am however,
encouraged by the users aptitude in learning and putting up with all
these different systems.

It truly is a growing market and I hope to see some common strategies
for interfaces emerge as more and more features are built into phones.
Perhaps interfaces will divide and have a 'simple phone mode' and a '
all other functions mode'...I don't quite know.

Part of Nokia's success has been the speed and response times of the
interfaces. They also do a better job in terms of more 'humane'
product design which is a HUGE factor in cell phones.

-Adamya

10 Jun 2004 - 9:38pm
id at ourbrisba...
2004

Quoting adamya ashk <adamya at gmail.com>:
> I also think that coming up with a single standard for cellphones
> might prove a tad difficult, given the number of players, variety of
> features and the differences in their implementation. I am however,
> encouraged by the users aptitude in learning and putting up with all
> these different systems.

Yes, it's a rapidly growing area - but so are all technology based systems.

Standards are a complex area for discussion and investigation. They can be
applied at so many levels of abstraction and don't necessarily need to constrain
marketing differentiators or creativity in novel interfaces.

For these phones to be sold (and/or even work), they are required to meet so
many standards that you don't consider - they're taken for granted. Standards
such as the protocol standards for sending and receiving the transmitted signal;
data standards for voice and Short Message Services; engineering standards for
the plastics and metals used; safety standards for the chemicals packed in the
batteries; etc...

Defacto standards (or 'population stereotypes') arise for all types of
ubiquitous artefacts. Having a 'well considered standard' for the interface
just means that the more common features can be more usable.

Modifying the standard keypad on a phone slightly (say, arranging the numbers
down instead of across, or putting '0' at the before '1' instead of after '9')
would make the phone's physical interface much less usable, so it is avoided.
That said, some manufacturers (such as Nokia) have tried breaking away from the
standard keypad, but were at least wise enough to make the visual differences so
strong that people would not recognise it as a standard 'phone keypad' which
would prompt them to make errors (confusing their learned mental model of phone
keypads).

What about the green 'pick-up' button on the left and the red 'hang-up' button
on the right for mobile phones? This was a novel situation (no receiver for the
handset) and of all the options tried, a population stereotype for the physical
interface has evolved.

So - the hardware has become quite standard.

Now, certain functions/behaviours are becoming population stereotypes. Wouldn't
it be good to take the best behavioural implementations, and standardise some of
the most commonly used functions? That way anyone could pick up a mobile phone
- any mobile phone, and immediately know how to call, hang up, access the phone
book, and send/receive text messages.

Best regards,

Ash Donaldson
User Experience Designer
"It depends."

10 Jun 2004 - 11:21pm
adamya ashk
2004

Hmm...
> For these phones to be sold (and/or even work), they are required to meet so
> many standards that you don't consider - they're taken for granted. Standards
> such as the protocol standards for sending and receiving the transmitted signal;

I think my 'standard' meant a standard visual interface. Hence a post
on this list. I am well aware of the standardization of the technology
involved...

> Defacto standards (or 'population stereotypes') arise for all types of
> ubiquitous artefacts. Having a 'well considered standard' for the interface
> just means that the more common features can be more usable.
>
> Modifying the standard keypad on a phone slightly (say, arranging the numbers
> down instead of across, ........which
> would prompt them to make errors (confusing their learned mental model of phone
> keypads).

Again, I think you mean convention when you say 'standard' here.
Conventions are culturally oriented yet can be learned across
cultures...standards are not the same as conventions. Cell phones may
differ across manufacturers yet for the most part are conventional in
hardware (well 95% anyway)

For example using cell phones requires you punch in the number before
you dial it, this is common to all cell-phone interfaces...Ditto for
your example of the 2 buttons or a separate power button. But these
are merely conventions.

A standard ensures similar/compatible behavior even when objects are
made by different manufacturers and (may even) do different things.
Visual Interface standards do the same. Adobe Photoshop has the same
'standard' interface on the mac and the PC even though the underlying
conventions of these OSs are different. The Internet is based on the
'standard' display and behavior of web-pages across browsers (for the
most part :-). In the case of cell phones T9 input is a 'standard'
;even though it confuses the heck out of some folks.

So in the case of cell phones it would be easy to 'standardize' the
'calling' feature. We're already there for the most part.

But most other features are 'functionally different in implementation.
The phone book implementation is a good example. When SE added the
facility to display different phone numbers under the same name they
messed with the one name = one number standard. However, that's the
way it's stored on the sim; even on SE phones.

Take into account cameras, walkie-talkies, flashlights, radios,
<insert your favorite feature> and you have a whole jamboree which has
to work with one screen (ok 2 in some cases) 12+3-4 keys (ok 6-7) and
1-2 LEDs (ok 0-4). Do you see where I am going with this?

Building consensus is sooo difficult.

Regards,

-Adamya

11 Jun 2004 - 1:19am
id at ourbrisba...
2004

Quoting adamya ashk <adamya at gmail.com>:
> I think my 'standard' meant a standard visual interface. Hence a post
> on this list. I am well aware of the standardization of the technology
> involved...

Sorry Adamya - it wasn't a personal attack at what you said. I understood your
intention. I was merely conveying that there are many layers of abstraction as
well as applications for standards.

> Again, I think you mean convention when you say 'standard' here.
> Conventions are culturally oriented yet can be learned across
> cultures...standards are not the same as conventions. Cell phones may
> differ across manufacturers yet for the most part are conventional in
> hardware (well 95% anyway)

Yes. Standards and conventions are different. A standard is considered to be a
model for measurement or comparison, whereas a convention is a practice or
procedure that is established by usage and widely accepted. However, once
something is a convention for long enough or reaches a 'critcial mass' of usage,
it becomes a population stereotype, or "defacto standard" by which everyone
conforms. This can then be either left as a recognised population stereotype,
or become a formalised standard (such as ISO, IEEE, ASO, etc).

> A standard ensures similar/compatible behavior even when objects are
> made by different manufacturers and (may even) do different things.
> Visual Interface standards do the same.
...and that's the point of this thread. Should there be some sort of official
standard created to ensure consistency for mobile phone 'soft' interfaces or
should organisations keep creating novel interfaces that are inconsistent?

> Building consensus is sooo difficult.

Amen to that. ;)

Best regards,

Ash Donaldson
User Experience Designer
"It depends."

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