Wireless Wonders

No news, just comment about mobile phones and services, from a veteran practitioner...3G, GPRS, WAP, Bluetooth, WiFi, etc...

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Waste...how not to ("obvious" idea #73)

Yet again, having opened a new product - in this case a mobile phone with an accompanying operator "welcome" pack - I am faced with the sadness of having to throw lots of paper and booklets into the bin, never mind the actual packaging with all its bits of polythene, ties and plastic bits. Why is this still necessary?

Take the O2 booklet "Do More". It is only 12 pages long yet still wastes one page with "Contents", as if we need to save time jumping to a page in a booklet that can be skim-read or flicked through in a few seconds. The next page is a gratuitous photo of a man carrying golf clubs - this is opposite the page "Voicemail 901 - always in touch". Its contents are how to activate voicemail and check for messages. The other pages are similarly pithy introductions to operator services. Bin fodder! An environmental waste. But why?

A mobile phone should be a one-button experience. Turn it on and it's ready to go. There should be a button called services for self-provisioning of any new services. I still don't understand why many mobiles don't come preset with the operator number, directory services and other useful services, including help! After all, the best interface on a mobile is still audio, so why not use it to listen to instructions and, if required, activate new services?

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