Richer Interactions And Experiences Over Mobile Phone
Richer Interactions and Experiences
Over Mobile Phone
interactions that happen with other users. This would make
This paper elucidates the need for better interaction design the gap between the user needs and services become less
and interface in mobile phones while witnessing enormous and help have richer interactions.
growth in the mobile utility. There is a gap at present in the
interactivity and usability in mobile phone usage in the As a part of class work project we considered the mobile
developing countries. The paper discusses about the user phone usage, the interactions that happen through the
research conducted on the mobile phone conversations mobile phones as our problem statement. With a team of
trying to get patterns of the user needs and interactions in two, we have done a user research considering Shadowing
an Indian setting. We have come up with concepts that  as our tool. This approach cannot be considered entirely
would enhance the user experience, giving richer as shadowing as we observed the users, recorded their
interactions to the user. conversations without their notice. However we are not
using the information unethically and for any personal
Categories and Subject Descriptors: gains.
H.5.2 User Interfaces: Interaction styles, User-centered
design. We observed the patterns in the conversations of different
demographics and found some key categories of the
Keywords: Interaction, Mobile Interface, Shadowing, conversations over the mobile phones. From the above
User Research patterns we could brainstorm and generate considerable
number of concepts focusing on the user needs. In this
1. INTRODUCTION: paper we have discussed about the process and results in
Mobile usage is tremendously increasing in the developing
countries. The low cost technologies, the busy work 2. USER RESEARCH AND
schedule, the improving infrastructure, are some of the OBSERVATIONS:
reasons for this increase. However, the diverse cultures,
varied economic classes of people especially like India and In the process of user research we considered
south Asian countries make it a difficult task for the mobile “Shadowing“ as our major technique and also a survey
companies (both service providers and manufacturing form to record the observations. We observed close to 150
companies) to understand the user needs and interactions users  at various locations in the city at varied timings
that happen over the mobile. The services provided to the and situations. We recorded
users are yet to catch up with the pace of the mobile phones
spread into the people. Also with the available the conversations,
infrastructure (bandwidth, coverage) the services that are
provided by the companies are mostly unused or not the demographic information,
the mood of the user,
Interaction is about communication between human and
human through different media or products, it is sometimes the appearance
the communication in isolation with products as well. The
the duration of the call,
process of exploring and producing creative solutions
regarding these interactions is called Interaction design. the time of call, to get more insights. The main focus of our
Hence there is a great need to understand the user behavior, observations was to identify the pattern in the mobile
the interactions with the mobile devices as well as the conversations, the unnoticed need of the user, the problems
faced by the user in using the mobile phones, or any other Keeping above patterns into consideration we did ideation
problem faced by the user with respect to the service. Of all and came up with 30+ concepts of which we selected 10
the 150 conversations, most of them were recorded in ideas for next level.
multiple languages; however we could translate into
English for easy understanding. We tried to connect the Considering the feasibility, cost and impact we could come
user’s appearance, the mood, the situation with the kind of down to 5 ideas which would enhance the mobile phone
conversations and interactions with the mobile phone. Due interactions of the users.
to ethical reasons we are not providing the pictures of the
3. ANALYSIS: 4. CONCEPTS:
After compiling the recorded data, we identified the key 4.1 Sharing Experiences over mobile
words or the main intent of the conversation. All the key phones.
words from the conversation were grouped accordingly
under the main categories. Some main categories evolved We all go through different situations every day. Each
after many iterations and discussions. We could find the event leaves an experience and a feeling in us. It can be a
relations among the categories to form a strong structure. happy, sad, excitement, disgusted etc. any kind of feeling.
This brought a holistic view of the entire observations and We all would like to share it with someone close to us
we could find the patterns in the users’ mobile phone instantly and might not be able to have a voice call
conversations. immediately or would like to share a richer experience than
a mere voice call. Hence the concept to share the feeling
Some of the patterns we found across the conversations over mobile phones through graphical representation or an
The need to schedule activities / plans We can create an avatar of ours and share it with the
contacts. We can send any feeling/experience over the text
and the mobile interprets the feeling from the text and
Catching up for a movie animates the avatar on the receiver’s mobile phone while
An appointment displaying the text.
A Get together plan
This would be a good interaction where the user is able to
Parties etc. express the feeling in more visual terms rather than only
The need to update/receive update of the status of caller text. Also it would be very instantaneous way of sharing
our feelings otherwise that could be lost.
Whether busy / free?
What he/she is feeling? Scenario4.1.1:
The need to update/receive update of the location of the
Mr.Gopal shares his avatar with his wife Mrs. Geeta and
she adds it against Gopal’s contact.
The exact location
The meeting point
The route to take etc.
Recalling previous conversations.
Narration of previous call.
Telling what his/her friend said about a
Environment constraints over the conversations.
Traffic – loud noise
Figure 1.1 Adding avatar to contact
Mr. Gopal got a new deal in business and is very excited. 4.2 Image stitching for way finding
He immediately thinks of sharing it with his wife
Mrs.Geeta In most of the developing countries like India, maps are not
that prominently used on daily basis for way finding and
He sends a message: “Hi dear. I cracked the deal. I’m very navigation. The way finding happens through established
excited.” land marks (buildings, shopping markets, Statuettes, etc.)
The mobile reads the message and identifies the word Often these landmarks are not tracked by the GPS or
“excited” matching with the library of feelings. satellite maps which are provided in the mobile phones as a
service. So it tends to be difficult in way finding or
It immediately prompts “Do you wish to share the feeling
navigation. This poses to be big gap in the mobile usability
and user experiences.
Each location can be ascertained by certain land marks.
These landmarks can act as image clues to the place. So
each picture of these landmarks can be taken and stitched
together to form one picture with the images and text
overlaid on the pictures which strengthens the visual giving
When this stitched image is sent to a friend who is trying to
reach the place, he/she finds it very easy to visualize and
find the way.
Scenario 4.2.1: Rahul is waiting near M.G.Road bus
stop beside a church opposite to Bangalore Central Mall.
He is waiting for his friend Abdul. Abdul doesn’t have
clear idea of the locality and is coming by bus.
Figure 1.2 Sharing avatar along with message. Rahul took pictures of the Mall, the church gate and the bus
As Mr.Gopal accepts and sends the message. Mrs.Geeta
receives an animated avatar along with message “I cracked
a good deal. I’m very excited “. She can replay the
animation and check the message.
Figures 2.1, 2.2, 2.3
Pictures of mall, church and
bus stop taken.
Figure1.3 Animated avatar received
He also wrote few words to be appended with the pictures Abdul receives the image and gets a clear picture of the
like “opposite to the mall”, “beside the church” and “near exact locality.
the bus stop”.
Figure 4 viewing the stitched image.
Figures 3.1, 3.2, 3.3
Like the above concepts we can have many more services
Words written on the pictures. and applications which improves the interaction of the
users with the mobile phones. Rich interfaces coupled with
Images are getting stitched. multi modality also improve the experiences.
5. FUTURE WORKS:
In future we would like to build prototypes of the above
two and the remaining concepts. The concepts would be
more user-centric and enhance the interactivity with the
mobile phones. Also the designs would be very cost
effective and universal. As we believe the mobile phone
He used the application on the mobile to stitch the image should be accessible to all the users across the economic
clues and sent the final stitched image to Abdul. ladder and to users with impairments.
 Shadowing is a qualitative research technique. Where
observing the user without disturbing the naturality is
practiced mostly without their notice.
 For details over observations results please mail me at
CONTRIBUTIONS / BENEFITS:
The paper tries to expose the gap between the expanding mobile usage in the developing countries and user experiences and
interactions. Many developing countries are becoming the hottest destinations for mobile markets however the services and
interfaces are not so worked upon to match this culture. It observes the conversations over the mobile phone across the
demographics to bring a pattern, new insights to work on. The paper also brings new concepts for rich interactions and novel
methods to enhance the user experience and interactivity.