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MWC 2010: All About the User Experience

by Paul Brown | 2月 22, 2010

So another Mobile World Congress is over. In between running from meeting to meeting, I did manage to spend a bit of time looking around the show. If Mobile World Congress 2009 was all about touchscreens, 2010 was all about the end user.  The following are some of the main announcements from Barcelona that have the user experience at the forefront: Samsung Wave From the giant billboard on the bull ring for outside the Fira, to the massive crowded stand, it was hard to avoid the Samsung Wave. The stand had station after station highlighting different features of the Wave, from social networking to widgets. Advanced TouchWiz UI 3.0 allows the user to customize the menu, while the Super AMOLED display looked very sharp. This was particularly impressive when demonstrating the gaming experience the Wave offered. HTC Desire, Legend and HD Mini HTC announced 2 Android devices (Desire and Legend) and 1 Windows Mobile 6.5 device (HD Mini). All devices feature Sense UI, with an enhanced Sense on the Desire and Legend. Friend Stream gives users an even greater personalized experience, while Leap gives a great picture overview of applications currently open, similar to Windows Vista. Motorola Quench The Quench is Motorola’s first Android handset that is touchscreen only. The form factor is likely to appeal more in Europe than previous devices the Milestone and DEXT, especially to younger consumers, due to the ability to change the covers of the device. Quench also features MOTOBLUR, which Strategy Analytics believe will help to drive mobile social networking engagement. Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 mini and X10 pro The Xperia X10 mini and X10 mini pro are both based on Android. The customizable UI allows access to four applications from the homescreen – one in each corner. This has been designed for one-handed use, with each corner icon easy to access. Timescape also allows users to surface relevant content from a multitude of applications. Windows Phone 7 Series While there were no phones available running Windows Phone 7 Series, the demonstrations drew in big crowds. Windows Phone simplifies the user experience by having 2 homescreens. One is customizable, offering high versatility, and deep levels of personalization, while the second screen is simple, listing applications in alphabetical order. In contrast to Android, Microsoft is aiming to standardize the user interface to improve control over the user experience – OEMs such as HTC will not be able to add in their own layer on top of Windows Phone 7. Sagem Puma Phone Sagem and Puma may not sound like the most obvious combination of brands, but they have combined well to make an impressive feature phone. The UI moves away from the out-dated grid menu structure, while the solar panel on the back means the user can charge the phone while on the go – though how effective that is remains to be seen. The device also features nice little touches, such as how many messages have been powered by the sun. The sports apps should appeal to innovative new segments. 2010 was the first Mobile World Congress where the user experience played a prominent role in all major device launches. Personalization and customization were key drivers, with handset vendors starting to realize that to successfully compete with Apple they need to provide an enhanced user experience around context, convergence and compelling experiences. - Paul

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