Mobile phone makers go user-friendly

Business Week reports on how, with the success of the iPhone, mobile-phone players want to improve menus and other navigation tools on their handsets.

“Of all the ways Apple’s iPhone is disrupting the mobile-phone industry, one of the most tangible is in how it’s shaking up the user experience. The release of the music-playing mobile phone brought many people a whole new way to call up services, navigate from one section to another—even dial a phone number. Apple may raise the bar further in January, when it’s expected to make it easier for outside developers to create tools and features for the iPhone.

Competing makers of smartphones—wireless handsets that double as mini computers—have gotten the message. And in the wake of the iPhone launch, many are taking pains to improve their own software and hardware to eliminate the often arduous or non-intuitive task of gaining access to even the most basic information.”

Unfortunately, the article confuses usability and user experience with “adding bells and whistles to cell phones” or feature richness, which they think will make the phone more expensive.

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