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Summary:

The cellphones are getting too complicated, thanks largely due to problems of packing too many features into the phone. In the near future it is clear that the phone makers will have to work on coming up with user interfaces that pass the mom-test, yet retain […]

The cellphones are getting too complicated, thanks largely due to problems of packing too many features into the phone. In the near future it is clear that the phone makers will have to work on coming up with user interfaces that pass the mom-test, yet retain street cool cred. I think this is going to be an interesting challenge for companies to tackle, as most of them have disappointed thus far. Moto Razr, despite its devilish good looks and a super model body has a bulimic UI. The Feature asks, “How do you let owners find what they’re looking for in a coherent and friendly manner?”

The menu-or-icon driven UI is becoming a tad difficult to use in these times when video playback, camera and photo galleries and even mp3 players becoming standard features. Samsung which used to have a nice menu system reminds me of Madison Avenue at rush hour – beautiful girls except you can’t distinguish one from another. Sony Ericsson and Nokia have a little control over their UI, but not completely. “The situation will become even worse when handsets deliberately start blurring the distinction between data held locally and that accessed across the network. It’ll be all too easy to confuse end-users,” The Feature writes. I concur. Welcome to a new cell phone user hell!

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By Om Malik
  1. Atleast Nokia is still making some mom-phones….the so called cheaper models !

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  2. agreed the problem is that they are all cramming too much stuff into phones rendering them unusable at times

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  3. Yes but i work in a the same industry, and I dont know what is the ‘good’ way forward if u want to have all those new gizmo things…the video calls, PoCs, VoIP, WLAN etc….its going to be complex.

    The way out can be that the users should always have option of phone with their desired level of feature-complexity.

    Somehow, the vendors have come to the conclusion that there is big business in the new complex domain only…so no enough is done to develope the simple side of things

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  4. Brady Joslin Monday, April 4, 2005

    Cell phone feature creep is becoming an increasingly real problem for users. Consider the features that have been added and compare them to the problems common to most cell phone users that still exist. Did adding cameras help users back-up and share their contacts? Not even close.

    Cell phones are communication devices and the more makers forget this fact, the greater the opportunity space will grow for competitors to come in and solve the user’s true problems.

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