As cellular phone technology rapidly advances, users repeatedly find themselves overwhelmed by features that they never use or even desire. This over-complication frequently occurs because the needs of the end users are often ignored in the early stages of the design process. Through an online survey (N=650+) and usability study (N=17), six distinct user profiles, or archetypes, were developed to represent cellular phone users. These profiles were quantitatively based on comfort with technology, experience with technology, and desire for features. An extensive market study found that most phones on the market today only meet the needs of three user profiles, this project focused on creating a phone to meet the needs of the three unrepresented user profiles. The design solution chosen to accommodate the specific needs of these diverse users was a modular system which utilized a common base chassis and interchangeable keypad and screen modules (see figure below). This system allows users to choose a relevant menu system with an accompanying keypad and screen to meet their needs without overcomplicating the device. The design strived to maximize comfort and performance based on user feedback for features including ease of assembly, hinge force, flip angle, keypad layout, and tactile feedback. These features were then analyzed and optimized for mechanical integrity and production feasibility. Initial user testing on the new menu design showed an average of 45.5% improvement completing basic tasks compared to the menu rated easiest to navigate in the previous usability study.
cell phone menu, cell phone user needs
Northeastern University, Department of Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
Jenkins, Michael; Bosecker, Caitlyn; and Hussain, Alex, "Usable Cell Phone Design" (2007). Capstone Design Program: Mechanical Engineering. Paper 107. http://hdl.handle.net/2047/d1001178x
Click button above to open, or right-click to save.COinS