6 August 2006

Searching for a mobile interface [BBC]

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Handset design has changed little but supports ever more functions [BBC photo]
Will mobile device manufacturers be willing to take the leap of faith to a new user interface? And if they do, will these new user interfaces catch on?

This is the central question that Spencer Kelly’s of BBC’s Click Online ponders on the BBC website.

He starts from the observation that a quarter of phones returned for being faulty are working properly but that people just cannot figure out how to use them, since there are too many features and the user experience is too complex.

The article analyses various mobile device interfaces, including some experimental ones, such as vibrating touch sensitive LCD screens and motion sensitive controllers.

However, he concludes, to go from good idea to workable product, serious money needs to be invested in its development. Since the market is very conservative, manufacturers don’t want to invest a lot of money doing something brand new if they are not sure users are going to buy it.

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