Design Competition at MobileHCI 2011: The Essence of Mobile Communication and Connectivity

The text of the design competition has been published on the MobileHCI’11 website (design brief below):

http://www.mobilehci2011.org/node/34

I would be grateful if you could spread the word around to colleagues who might be interested in academia and industry.

Design brief: The Essence of Mobile Communication and Connectivity

Mobile technology is very close to everyday lives, for more than half of the world’s population. It is reflected well by the fact that we hear about it very often. However designers, researchers, technologists and journalists alike tend to give too much highlights on what’s new, especially around high-end, so-called ‘Smart phones’. Arguably, smart phones embody the exciting future of mobile connectivity, but they may not reflect the reality of mobile connectivity for majority of users around the world for many years to come, due to affordability, infrastructure, total cost of ownership, and simply, user preference.

Overall, people’s behaviors around mobile communication devices have certainly changed over the past decades. People have experienced a considerable diversity of mobile phones, hence it is logical to assume that what people may consider as essential features of a mobile phone would have been diversified and changed as well.

Thereby we challenge contestants to define the essence of mobile communication and connectivity and demonstrate what, why and how to design it. Most importantly, contestants need to think about a mobile device that is not about extra new features but is rooted on the good design of its core essential functionalities and experience they will create. Perhaps we can think about a phone that uses the exact same hardware features of existing basic phones but with a completely redesigned user experience. Perhaps we can think about a phone that “pushes” some of its intelligence to the cloud. Or a phone that can be operated with voice and that does not require a display.

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