At the first MEX conference in September 2005 one of our biggest challenges was to raise awareness of user experience in areas of the mobile technology industry which had not considered it a priority. We have seen a remarkable surge in general awareness of UX since our last event. This time, however, we want to ensure delegates also leave with a practical understanding of how to increase their investment in customer experience.

This was the motivation behind the unique workshop session on the afternoon of Day One, 31st May. ‘Live! Building a customer experience‘ brings together 7 of the world’s leading user experience experts to talk through key aspects of building an MVNO. Each will deliver an individual 10 minute workshop in their particular area of expertise, after which the panel and the audience will work together to define an overall business plan for launching a truly customer-focused MVNO.

The idea is to give people from all parts of the value chain an understanding of how to work in a customer-centric way throughout the product development process. It will enable marketing executives to gain insight into what happens at the software interface level and hardware engineers to relate to the commercial pressures faced by the product management team.

We’ve assembled an exceptional group of workshop leaders in our 7 theme areas, including:

1. Consumer research, Scott Weiss, CEO, Usable Products Company

Scott Weiss is a mobile usability leader. His book, “Handheld Usability” (Wiley: 2002), is the pioneering text on mobile design, prototyping, and usability testing. His team at Usable Products Company is dedicated to mobile phone and handheld consumer electronics usability design and research.

2. Device strategy, Sofia Svanteson, Head of Research & Development, Ocean Observations

Sofia Svanteson founded Ocean Observations in 2001 and was during the first 3.5 years the captain of the ship, as well as a curious interaction designer with some value adding sales and economy skills. Today she is in charge of the R&D thinking at Ocean, pushing the company forward in GUI and Industrial Design as well as Mobile Accessories.

3. Software interfaces, Geoff Kendall, CTO, Next Device

After completing a Ph.D. in artificial perception at the University of Liverpool, Geoff founded and later sold Geomica Ltd, a software company specialising in advanced network cost recovery and payment solutions. He then went on to develop the technology strategy for a web services company before leaving in 2004 to co-found and become CTO of Next Device Ltd. Next Device’s 3D UI solutions enable extremely compelling and highly usable mobile experiences that exploit the full power of today’s graphics accelerated chips and hi-resolution screens.

4. Content partnerships, Lars Becker, Chief Operating Officer, Player X

5. Working with MVNEs, Peter Baldwin, CEO, MSX

Peter has a distinguished track record as a mobile pioneer with over 20 years of experience in Mobile Enabling Technology. Before founding MSX, Peter was the executive vice president of operations at Insignia Solutions (INSG), responsible for repositioning the company as the leading mobile technology vendor, starting the end to end system provisioning business and divesting the loss making Java Virtual machine product line. While at Phoenix Technologies (PTEC), Peter was the vice president responsible for growing the emerging businesses, including the Phoenix Information Appliance Division.

From 1986 to 1994, Peter was founder and director of Distributed Information Processing Limited (DIP) who designed revolutionary software for the very first Pocket PCs for companies such as Atari and Sharp. Prior to DIP, Peter was one of the first employees of Psion Limited, Europe’s leading handheld manufacturer and lead shareholder of Symbian. Peter holds a BSc in Engineering Mathematics from Bristol University in England.

6. Service and support, Doug McCullen, Managing Director, Olista

Doug brings a strong history of successful customer engagements to his role at Olista. With more than 25 years’ experience in technology development and international sales management, he has an extensive background within the telecommunications industry.

Exceptional at articulating the business value of technology-driven products, Doug brings a proven track record of creating sales demand for new products in new market segments.

Before joining Olista, he served as Director of Vodafone Sales for Amdocs after the acquisition of XACCT Technologies where he had been the Managing Director of Northern Europe, in addition to corporate Director of Business Development. Prior to this, Doug was the Director of International Business Development for DSTInnovis, and held various customer-facing management positions in Digital Equipment Corporation. Doug holds a BA in management from Evergreen State in Washington, USA.

7. Go-to-market and brand strategy, Suzanne Schantz, Consultant

Susanne joined the mobile industry from the internet industry in 2000, when she went to work for Vizzavi (the joint venture between Vodafone and Vivendi). After leaving there she went to T-Mobile and was the UK Head of Content for 4 years. She now works as a consultant for companies such as Melodeo, Action Engine and Phonebites.

For further reading on this topic, check out the previous MEX article entitled: “When a brand isn’t enough.”

Please join us for this participatory session and share your views at the conference. You can register on-line at

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