International Phone of Mystery
Kevin Cheng  

It’s Pretty; Pretty Unusable.

March 25th, 2005 by Kevin Cheng :: 12 Comments

In Hong Kong, people change mobile phones more often than a dot commer changed jobs in 2001. You can have a conversation with someone about their phone and they’d say, “yeah this one is really old. I should change it. How long have I had it? Six months.”

Of course, there’s the constant need for the latest and greatest features. I’m told I have to get a 3G phone. Why, nobody can really tell me. Apparently, it can do a great deal of things like video phoning, and letting me watch the latest Natasha Beddingfield music video just in case I wasn’t inundated with it enough through other means.

All of this is an amplification of what is prevalent in other countries as well: a demand for style that’s so overwhelming, we’re willing to forego substance.

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Biomimetic Socially Interactive Robot (mov) : Biomimetics is the emulation of nature through technology, or technology inspired by nature. In this video, David Hanson shows a social interactive robotic head which has surprisingly realistic (though limited) facial expressions. We're still a ways before climbing out of The Uncanny Valley though. - 1 Comment
Chris Heathcote  

On Mobile Handset Usability and Design

March 28th, 2005 by Chris Heathcote :: 17 Comments

_[Chris Heathcote][1] is a user experience manager in the Insight & Foresight unit of Nokia, watching and predicting trends 3-5 years away._

One of the hardest parts of designing for mobile phones, compared to, say, websites, is that your target market is huge - pretty much everyone. Segmentation is possible, but when people get in the phone store, they’ll change their mind on a whim, often influenced by a special offer, or simply which looks to be the smallsilvershiniest.

With Nokia, the problem is intensified - even those handsets that are ‘niche’ will still sell more than all of some other manufacturers’
handsets. Which means I’m really glad that Nokia releases phones like the 7280 or the 3650. Nokia is trying to push phone design forward, and whilst the mass market may not see the point of these models, to a certain percentage, these phones are perfect.

[1]: “Chris Heathcote”

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Kevin Cheng  

Redesigning the OK/Cancel Experience

April 1st, 2005 by Kevin Cheng :: 66 Comments

__Update:__ _Yes, this article, along with the terrible redesign we had, was an April Fool’s joke. We can safely say this has taught us definitively that design indeed does matter. If you think your eyes bled, I had to look at this for hours while I built it._

_The other interesting note are those who felt this design process was potentially serious. This, I must say, worries me somewhat but I’m sure it was a momentary lapse of judgement. Thanks for playing along with us everyone! We certainly have enough screenshots, from every browser possible!_

_If you missed the fun or are feeling masochistic, you can view the April Fool’s design. Just refresh to bring back the normal one._

After many months of work, we’ve finally managed to put together a redesign that we’re happy with. We realize that we only just finished a redesign a few weeks ago but as you probably could tell, it was a little too similar to our old one from way back. It was meant as a temporary fixture until we could roll out the design you’re seeing now.

As an exercise, we decided to do tackle this design with all the right process steps. This method had numerous benefits, not the least of which is the final product you’re experiencing - and I use _experiencing_ rather than using because that was our goal. One other major benefit was that by going through this rigorous process, we can rehash the steps we took and share them with our readers in hopes that others can learn from it.

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OK/Cancel is a comic strip collaboration co-written and co-illustrated by Kevin Cheng and Tom Chi. Our subject matter focuses on interfaces, good and bad and the people behind the industry of building interfaces - usability specialists, interaction designers, human-computer interaction (HCI) experts, industrial designers, etc. (Who Links Here) ?