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The Human Side of Cameraphones

Don Norman's goal is to help companies make products that appeal to the emotions as well as to reason.

The mobilephone is really not about communication.
It's being used in a wide variety of complex ways we've never thought of.
We designed it to be used by a small number of users...probably in emergencies.
SMS was designed for service providers to send short messages to you, not you to send it to other providers, so the message length is short.

Ubiquitous Mt Fuji pic, is an example of social touching. Always touching, continuously in touch. The content doesn't matter. It's about remembering.

Once upon a time there was only one information technology that we strapped to our bodies...the wristwatch. It's accurate, yet it's more jewelry than timepiece.

Picture of phone in a hand…fondling the phone. Look at the face of the phone…sailboats. It’s become jewelry, a sign of prestige, a sign of self, our favorite music and photographs. It’s becoming a part of our lives and our personality.

The cellphone is a new platform.

When Norman wrote “The Invisible Computer” he suggested that computers would cease to be the center of the mediated environment. We can buy, sell, read books, control the AC, run the bath water, use it for the subway…we can do everything.

There was a lot of talk about how it’s too complicated, but it’s not easy to make something simple. It’s really hard. The way to do something simple is to let it do one thing really well. If you give multiple options, you need to specify what you want it to do.

To make it simple, you’ll have to hire a huge team of social scientists…not technical people.

The computer industry has learned this lesson, but perhaps the telecommunications industry hasn’t yet.

Context…immediacy makes a huge difference. Even with analog photography, a large portion are never developed, others are never picked-up, others are not viewed, most of the rest are viewed once and stored. There is a very small number of people who actually organize their pictures.

Consumer Marketplace
This is very different from high-tech. This market is paradoxical: it’s very slow and conservative, but very fast and trendy.
When a device takes off, and is adopted quickly, it’s 10 years.

People are often proud of the fact that they’re not technologists.

Norman asserts that it’s all about emotions.
Carl’s talk was interesting. “Men thing the cameraphone is good for memos, and women think about it as a mirror…”

Most of the killer apps have to do with enhancing social interaction.

Rich Lane, from TeleNor, has analyzed cameraphone usage: there are genre’s of usage.

A soft drink supplier will keep the supplies filled, and displayed properly—documented by cameraphone.
Ivrea observation…prove you worked out.

Take a photo at a construction site to get the answer to a question.
Food that’s artistically prepared tastes better.

Social memories
Good memories

Social touching

Jokes, chain messages

Memory aids
Self-documenting picture

Use the visual image to send a message to the cake shop. Telekatessen…

There are three levels of processing in the brain: visceral, behavioral and reflective.
Visceral is attraction. Behavioral is about how things are used. Reflective is about self-image. Reflective is intellectual design. Tells us who we are.

Cognitive is quite a complex information processing system.
The emotional system is equally valid.

In additional to things being usable, they need to be pleasurable and fun!

April 30, 2004 in Web/Tech | Permalink


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Amen, Cameraphones are awesome social software devices! From Donald Norman - C | Summit 2004 - The Human Side of Cameraphones: QUOTEThe cellphone is a new platform. When Norman wrote “The Invisible Computer” he suggested that computers woul... [Read More]

Tracked on May 2, 2004 7:01:08 AM