To 4G or not 4G, that is not the question!


Received from Mike Short, Chairman of the Mobile Data Association, in response to yesterday’s article ‘4th generation future’:

To 4G or not 4G, that is not the question!

To adapt William Shakespeare may seem trite , but no more trivial than the emerging emphasis on more Technology PR when we need less.

The development of long term technology interest, innovation and capital investment in Communications used to be a more private affair! However,with web analysis and blogging, information dissemination is becoming a lava flow of heat rather than light. The distinction between technology and real user needs is being lost in the volcanic ash.

Usability is one such casualty.

When we imagine what needs to be done in mobile communications (before 4G ) there appears to be a more important user friendly crater to climb . Here is my top 10 usability mobile checklist :

1) Make the cellphone on/off button obvious.
2) Ensure dialling is intuitive, not just for kids but to pensioners as well . “Send” and “end” alone are not enough.
3) Address books are a great help if easy to load, access and edit!
4) Texting is a bonus if the keys are big enough, and the screen is legible. Colour screens help , but adjustable font size, legibility and back lighting may help more.
5) All the access speeds under the sun are useless if the settings for web content and email are incomprehensible .
6) Taking a picture/short film is only as good as your ability to capture , view and share it! Make it easy, not just multiplying megapixels!
7) Battery chargers need to be plug and play, with connectors that are an easy fit and durable. Spare batteries for all ages and occasions?
8) Car kits need to be able to hold, charge and add value. Bluetooth needs to be more consistent across manufacturers, and within models ranges and accessories.
9) Think inclusive design – all ages , and disability/age tested.
10) Now try again. Repeat this list, review and improve on previous user experience.

Then add style, colour, fashion and solutions and the distribution channels will open before your eyes.

Just imagine how much more we can do if we just focus on the real market, rather than Technology push.

Mike Short
MDA Chairman
August 05

The MEX conference is endorsed by the Mobile Data Association.

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  1. 1
    Mike Grenville

    the industry seems to have forgotten the basic rule of KISS and got into a spiral of upgrades without looking to the basic needs of most people.

    Some research just published by Critical Path found that although many people were interested in having access to email on their mobile, less than half (48 percent) of respondents were aware of whether or not their existing mobile phone had email capabilities suggesting that phones were too complicated to set up for most users.

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