2 January 2008

Samsung on the future of electronic devices

Be the first to share

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Be the first to share
28 October 2016
Experientia’s President, Michele Visciòla, as panel judge for MacArthur Foundation competition “100&Change”
The 100&Change is an international competition and a landmark opportunity for thinkers and designers to tackle critical challenges affecting the world. Michele Visciòla will be one of the panel of expert judges who will select …
22 October 2016
[Book] Org Design for Design Orgs
Org Design for Design Orgs: Building and Managing In-House Design Teams By Peter Merholz and Kristin Skinner Publisher: O'Reilly Media August 2016, 198 pages Design has become the key link between users and today’s complex and rapidly evolving digital …
18 October 2016
Behavioral economics, UX design and insurance
The key to unlocking the insurance industry, writes Richie Hecker in TechCrunch, is understanding behavioral economics. The most successful players in insurance tech, he says, will win by rounding the edges on existing products. "Don’t …
16 October 2016
Study says aggressive drivers see autonomous cars as easy prey
Aggressive drivers are looking forward to sharing the road with autonomous cars as they believe they can cut in front of them easily. This is how Peter Campbell summarised in the Financial Times one of …
2 October 2016
IFTF uncovers seven new worker archetypes of the on-demand economy
Update: Read also this Fortune Magazine review of the study (as reported by BoingBoing). Institute for the Future, the Caiifornia-based independent, nonprofit strategic research group, releases a new report aimed at gaining a deeper understanding of …
25 September 2016
Three new reports on behavioural science applied to policy making
European Commission There is growing recognition that behavioural insights (BIs) – by shedding light on how people actually make choices – help deliver more effective policies and complement traditional forms of intervention. The Behavioural Insights Applied …
18 September 2016
Better decisions by design: applied behavioral science
Can we design a decision aid that gives us health information we need and counters our biases so that we end up more knowledgeable and confident in our preference? This is the challenge that …
18 September 2016
Bruce Sterling and Jasmina Tesanovic on the home of the future
Jasmina Tesanovic (previously) and Bruce Sterling did a residency at The Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination at UCSD (San Diego, USA), working with the students on design fiction and futurism. The residency …

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

28 October 2016
Experientia’s President, Michele Visciòla, as panel judge for MacArthur Foundation competition “100&Change”

The 100&Change is an international competition and a landmark opportunity for thinkers and designers to tackle critical challenges affecting the world. Michele Visciòla will be one of the panel of expert judges who will select which project is worthy of the $100 million grant. 100&Change is the MacArthur Foundation competition – launched this year for […]

5 September 2016
Great engine, but the fuel seems poor. Discussing insight development in corporate marketing

The September issue of the Harvard Business Review (HBR) contains a lengthy essay, entitled Building an Insights Engine, on how Unilever has created the organizational capabilities to “transform data into insights about consumers’ motivations and to turn those insights into strategy.” The article was written by Frank van den Driest and Keith Weed of a […]

29 August 2016
Experientia discussing ethnography and patient-centricity at EPIC 2016

This week Experientia joins our colleagues and peers in Minneapolis at EPIC 2016, the premier international gathering on ethnography and design in industry. The theme for the conference this year is Pathmaking, emphasizing the power of ethnography to create transformative innovation, growth and strategic success for companies, industries and communities. On the second day of […]

22 June 2016
A united energy economy: Experientia helps wrap up the CITYOPT Nice pilot project

Can behavioral change address local energy issues, raise people’s awareness energy consumption issues, and directly support non-profit organizations at the same time? With the Nice pilot of the CITYOPT project, we have seen strong suggestions that it can. It also suggests that the sense of belonging to a local community is a strong motivation for […]

23 May 2016
Experientia white paper: “Conducting clinical trials is about working with patients”

Patient-centricity is one of the defining issues facing clinical trials in the pharma industry. The past few years have seen a growing awareness by pharmaceutical companies of the importance of patient-centricity – but they have also illustrated that not everyone is clear on just what patient-centricity is, or how to achieve it. After using UX […]

12 April 2016
The latest on innovation in Energy Efficient Buildings: annual round-up of EU Commission projects

Every year, the Energy-efficient Buildings (EeB) Public Private Partnership (PPP) publishes the EeB PPP project review – a round-up of energy-efficiency projects that have been co-funded by two European Commission schemes. This year, the print and digital booklet design was done by Experientia, in particular by our talented visual and interaction designer Dohun Jang. Experientia […]

See all articles