”UI is a fork. UX is feeling full.” – Whitney Hess
OptoFidelity is getting ready for MWC, I am especially waiting to get my hands on new innovations in the field of VR / AR, mobile devices and wearables. It made me think of my years as a user, and how the design for UX has changed.
The first phone I ever used was a golden oldie with a 360-degree dial-pad. Dialing a number took forever, but it had no meaning to me – I was able to make a call to my best friend who lived several streets away. My UX was based on one feature – calling – which I was able to perform. Pure usefulness. When I was introduced with a phone with a push-button dial-pad there was a massive improvement in the efficiency of dialing with a plus of being able to memorize numbers by their tone. Usefulness with a little bit of usability already.
I entered the era of a mobile phone by getting to know NMT450. Making a call with this phone cost a small fortune, and I had to squeeze the external antenna hard as hell to keep the signal, but it was mobile! My UX was simply status-related, I felt genuinely privileged to be able to walk around with a piece of future in my hand. From NMT450 it took me a year or so to land with a truly handheld device, Nokia 1610. It had everything I could hope for – not only calling, but also texting. UX: overwhelming: usefulness, usability and joy, it had it all.
My first professional phone was the legendary Nokia Communicator. In addition to calling and texting I could even use the internet to read e-mails. Plus I could write my messages with a full qwerty. On the down side, it crashed every day, flashing took at least 15 minutes, booting up at least the same. I was beginning to see what more complex software architecture meant in terms of efficiency and reliability. User experience: nothing that really stayed with me.
Next stop: Mydevice, the product before it’s time – the first-ever true web browser, book-like UI, touch screen with haptic feedback and much more. I had obviously never used anything similar. It was the first time when I really understood the importance of user experience, and how to design for that.
It is interesting to look back, and see how the definition of user experience has changed over the years. Today my experience as a user does not consist only of what I can do with my phone, but more so how I can do it, and how well my phone reacts to or predicts my commands, and how well it interacts with other devices. It’s a dialog. It’s ubiquitous.
Thanks for reading, I hope to see you in MWC, we’re at 5C43!
P.S. There are 100 other UX lovers in OptoFidelity. Together we make test systems which ultimately aim at making you feel full. Check out this video as an example!