Monday, June 05, 2006

10 Insights from the MEX Conference

MEX - The PMN Mobile User Experience conference - Day 2, Session 4, 10 REAL WORLD INSIGHTS - KEY MESSAGES FROM REAL USERS:

"Posted Live from MEX

Speaker: Tracy Ross, Principal Researcher, Mobile Telecoms, ESRI

Tracey talked about taking a step back to determine what users really want to do in a mobile context. Participative design tools, user mapping, diary studies, ‘experimenter’ immersion and pre/during/post task analysis are a mix of techniques that can be used. Tracey described ten studies at ESRI that used these techniques and provided some insights…

Going Out for the Night

Dipping in and out of apps is frustrating
Needs differ depending on content (e.g. whether know where they are going?)
Service must pass the ‘is it worth the bother’ test

What’s Needed of Mobile Commerce?

Cashless/cardless welcome
Swapping cash between phones desirable
Pointing phone towards need desirable (near field communications needed)

Hidden Secrets on Your Mobile

Boys - social and ego based - mainly photos
Girls - emotional - photos and text

Link between (casual) Games and Chocolate

  • Girls - simple games, little concentration, likened to chocolate
  • Boys - Competitive

Supporting Group Communications

  • Groups fluid but overlapping
  • Value in sending group comms - but under used
  • Need to support multiple personas


  • Close relationships, infrequent co-presence, low covertness
  • Barriers - image quality, usability, cost
  • Enablers - Being able to manipulate images, access from mobile, common format

Off The Beaten Track Crowd

  • Tension between being contactable and behavioural etiquette
  • Not just location but also where going and where been


  • Need ability to log reminders while travelling
  • Need support services (speech, availability of services) to be able to do this on the move

Mobile workers

  • Importance of organisational context (e.g. time estimates)
  • Up to date centralised information required

Challenging environments

  • Procedural interfaces don’t work (dip in, dip out)
  • Need ability to capture and track"

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