Where is mobile user experience today?

When we conceived MEX in 2004, we faced a constant challenge to raise awareness of user experience as an issue of strategic importance for everyone in the mobile telecoms industry. More often than not, companies would mistakenly assume that customer-centred design need only exist within certain sub-sets of the market.

As we come together for our 3rd annual PMN Mobile User Experience conference on Wednesday, we see a changing landscape. Awareness of customer insight and ease-of-use has never been higher: companies throughout the industry are finally talking about these issues.

However, from the customer’s perspective, there has been little visible change. While the range of applications available to mobile users has expanded exponentially, the often complex process of finding and buying them continues to limit adoption. Too often, mobile services fail not because the developer has created an unusable application, but because they are blighted by unrelated issues with the handset, network coverage or billing mechanism.

For customers, correctly apportioning blame for their poor experience is irrelevant – they just want it to work.

Delivering a great mobile experience in the simplest possible way is a task of incredible complexity. It typically requires the collaboration of numerous parts of the value chain, from content providers and application developers to operators and handset manufacturers.

It is the industry’s responsibility to ensure this complexity never inhibits its ability to provide the best possible service to customers. The success of connecting more than 2.5 billion users to voice and text services proves it can be done. To expand beyond this and reap the benefits of higher profits, we must be relentless in our efforts to understand customer requirements and translate that knowledge into better user experience.

At PMN, our role is to constantly challenge conventional thinking and turn our user insight into actionable market intelligence for the industry. The MEX conference, based around our 10 point manifesto and combined with our research newsletter and consultancy work – is a key part of how we provoke, facilitate and add value to the debate.

MEX is your opportunity to try a different approach. Set aside the corporate pitch. Open up to new ideas. Relax into the laid back environment we’ve created at Wallacespace. Our objective is to ensure everyone attending has a refreshing, creative and valuable experience.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank the sponsors and speakers who make it possible to hold the event in our unique way.

For those of you who are unable to attend the conference, we’ll be publishing the MEX 2007 report shortly after the event. This will include the presentations from our speakers, extensive reporting by our team of analysts and in-depth research covering the 10 issues highlighted in the manifesto.

This will be available to purchase as a PDF download or a hard copy report. If you’d like to be notified when it becomes available for purchase, please email me at marekpawlowski@pmn.co.uk with your contact details and I’ll ensure you receive advance notification.

Marek Pawlowski, Editorial Director

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