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Understanding the user who isn't you

Mobile phone


Mobile communications

We now take mobile communication for granted but the more functionality we demand of our phones, the more complex they can be to use. I love this quote from Bjarne Stroustrup, inventor of the C++ computer language:'There’s an old story about the person who wished his computer were as easy to use as his telephone. That wish has come true, since I no longer know how to use my telephone.' Similar user sentiments underlie the launch of Vodafone Simply phones, designed for the many people who want phones for voice calls and texting, and little else besides. It reminds me of the example designer Bill Verplank has always used of the Swiss army knife – which is great to use as a corkscrew or screwdriver when there’s nothing else to hand, but never gives the same experience of use as the purpose-designed tool.