At the 2009 MEX Mobile User Experience Conference two breakout teams of industry experts were given nine large, coloured buiding blocks. Each team was asked to break the mobile user experience into nine key elements. They used marker pens to label each building block with the name of the experience element it represented and a description of why it was important.
Crucially, Team One considered the question from the perspective of an end user; in contrast, Team Two evaluated the question from the mobile industry viewpoint.
The differences are stark and obvious, with a strong contrast between both the language and content used by each group. While the end user group identified elements like language support, ease of use and image, the industry group focused on user-generated content, reducing waste and minimising device churn.
This disconnect between the way consumers see the mobile experience and the industry’s understanding of customer needs continues to undermine the ability of the traditional mobile business to inspire
growth in developed markets.
The challenge was part of the Conference’s collective response to MEX Manifesto No. 4, entitled ‘Changing economics will facilitate increased diversity in handset portfolios’.
The Manifesto statement read: “We believe…too many manufacturers are trying to copy Apple by focusing their resources on developing a single ‘blockbuster’ handset. Greater long-term success will be achieved by creating a unifying software platform and using it to deliver a wide range of devices, differentiated by the user experience factors which really matter to customers: form factor, colour, price, usability and applications.”
It raises the question of whether the current structure of the mobile telecoms industry is misaligned with customer priorities. Other breakout teams were asked to consider where research and development money is being spent without translating directly into customer benefits. Additional teams examined the tools and eco-systems which place control of the user experience directly into the hands of the customers.
Interested in more findings from MEX? Pre-register to purchase the 2009 MEX Report…
We’ll soon be publishing the official 2009 MEX Report, capturing the industry’s collaborative response to the MEX Manifesto through a combination of videos, presentations, sketches and written summaries. It is a great way to catch-up on the cutting edge of mobile user experience if you weren’t able to make it to the MEX Conference.
Send an email to Marek Pawlowski (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you’d like to register your interest and we’ll contact as soon as the report is available to buy. (Please note, all MEX conference attendees will receive a copy as part of their attendance fee).