Consumer habits make cellphone designers go crazy


How many times do you say to yourself, “All I want is a phone that works”? So you wonder why companies don’t take that into consideration.

There’s a cute little piece in today’s Old Gray Lady about how cellphone companies go about designing would-be hit phones. They hire focus groups, host weekend retreats and go to all sorta of extremes to try to figure out what Joe Consumer wants in a phone. Do you want a touchscreen, QWERTY keyboard, slider or flip? It’s a tough job trying to get consumers to buy the same thing over and over again.

But phone design isn’t all haptic this, holistic that. Nokia is currently designing a environmentally friendly phone, one that’s made out of recycled metal and other materials; it would sell well on the Upper West Side.

Nowhere in the piece is reliability mentioned. No one addresses that fact that, for example, I can’t walk up certain sections of Sixth Avenue without my phone cutting out. Even better, why I can’t use the phone in the eastern half of my apartment. How about we work on that.

Hoping to Make Phone Buyers Flip [New York Times]