SFSU Extension IxD Course, In-Class Design Challenge
Instructor: Ben Sykes
Product Design, Interaction Design, Design Specifications, Drawings, Mockups, Presentation
This project originated as a team project; concept was shared by team. Further development was a personal project.
Hand Sketching, InDesign, Photoshop
How to design a phone that can be understood anywhere, by anyone?
The challenge was presented to us: Imagine a culture that has no guarantee of literacy. Furthermore, they don't share any of the sociocultural reference points that we in the western world take for granted. Icons and text are off-limits. Even numbers cannot be used.
What would a cell phone design look like for this group? We were asked to come up with a concept in about 15 minutes, and present to the class. The below features what my team and I created—detailed renderings and the original sketches from class.
Create a mobile phone interface for people who cannot read, which does not rely on icons based on sociocultural experiences they may not share, and which allows the user to place calls without the help of others.
• Iconography is only meaningful when the icon has abstract, metaphorical meaning to the user - most phone icons are based on western experiences (e.g., phone book icons) and may not be meaningful in poor countries.
The phone dials another person's phone when the card is inserted into the phone.
Notches at the bottom of the card press into the phone & activate a call.
THE PHONE, PROTOTYPED
A phone that doesn't have any words or symbols printed on it but uses simple affordances & technology to place calls.
The user determines how to mark the cards.
OUR USER, "KIM"
Kim is our user who represents a person from several parts of the world--any part of the world.
Her goal is to stay in touch with her cousin in the next town.
First, she programs a card to call her cousin.
Placing her call is as easy as inserting the card.