I have to give credit to the organizers for getting a great lineup of speakers to come out to Kansas. Mike Lundy from Sprint gave a nice case study of how they made their now super-popular Instinct phone. Unfortunately for device manufacturers, they pretty much just took the hardware from Samsung and designed all of their own applications on it. It will definitely be interesting in the next few years to see how the carrier/manufacturer experience wars play out.
Moreten Hjerde from Vodafone gave a nice talk about metaphors in UI design and on the importance of spatial interfaces. He had a lot of great ways to describe the thinking that has made phone design how it is today...the silo-ed applications that keep data in separate databases, unlinked, unexplorable, unconnected. Also just how so many phone interfaces take the easy way out instead of really mapping themselves to how real people think about their data.
One other talk of note was Francis Djabri of Nokia who talked about Mobile Services. As most of you know, Nokia is strongly moving towards services in their business and made a major reorganization earlier this year in that direction. Francis laid out the case brilliantly for services and for worth-centered design. Mobile applications really do need to be services that are in constant beta and easily updatable. The web world has a lot to teach the mobile industry and new mobile apps/services really do need to be down in that 9mo time to market and not up in the 24 month range they are in today.
So what did I do at the conference? I was on a panel with Rafiq Ahmed, JoEllen Kames, and Lauren Schwendimann from our mobile devices business talking about "Collaborating Across the Corporate Divide." We used our work together on two projects as case studies for successful collaboration across multiple disciplines and organizations to move ideas from initial concepts through design, prototyping, and commercialization. Unfortunately we couldn't talk about the specifics as our work hasn't quite hit the market yet. But it still made for a great talk on how research, design, prototyping, product engineering, and business teams can all work together in small teams to get new applications and services created "quickly" and with high quality.
While there, I was also invited to join a panel on " Envisioning the Mobile Future." That was fun and we had a nice discussion on the personal aspects of mobile devices, constant ambient awareness of others status/photos/etc., the (un)importance of video communication, and the impact of mobile services. It was a fun way to end the conference part of the day.
After drinks in a bank-turned-restaurant (with restrooms in the vault!), we had dinner at a nice little Thai place called Zen Zero. They had a great yellow curry with tofu and potatoes that really hit the spot after a busy day.
Since there's a lot of mobile stuff in this post, I must state as always: "The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily represent Motorola's positions, strategies, or opinions."