Vodafone Simply...smart, not dumb!
Vodafone UK has announced the introduction of two phones under the name "Vodafone Simply". These devices are simple to use.
I advise taking a tour of the Sagem VS1, which is a really excellent example of usable design.
What's incredulous about all this is that Vodafone are clearly implying this phone is for older, possibly more stupid, people. Clearly they have to stop short of calling potential customers stupid, especially older ones, although that didn't stop the BBC including the phrase (incorrectly) "dumbed down" and "over 55's" in its report on the device.
This is incredulous because the VS1 actually shows us how a device should be - usable. They have stepped "out of the box", away from hackneyed design metaphors (i.e. bewildering "menus" constricted by two buttons) and given us something refreshing and innovative.
Simplicity of design is a universally appealing concept, not something for dumb people or cheap devices. And it doesn't mean we can't have all the "bells and whistles", as Apple has shown us with their Mac interface.
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