Right Person at the Right Time

Concept

Our concept was demonstrated in three scenarios.

The first scenario explores the idea of using status messages (similar to online chat programs) on mobile phones. In this instance, a girl is setting a status message on her phone to keep friends up-to-date about a party she is planning. Later in the scenario, a friend “pings” her to view the current status. When the friend sends a ping to her, he instantly receives an SMS and is able to see the status of the party without bothering the girl.

In the second scenario we continue to explore the idea of status messages but incorporate gestures, GPS and more. In the video, a man enters his office, which is recognized by the GPS in his phone, and his status is automatically set to being “at work”. Placing his phone face up or face down also toggles his status which in turn communicates his current availability to his contacts. For example, when his friend tries to call, she is not able to get through because his phone is placed face down. Instead of leaving a voice message, the friend uses a function in her phone to be reminded when the person she is trying to call becomes available.

The third scenario focuses on the interface to envision on how people can be in control of incoming communication while on the go. In this concept, the mobile phone is a central hub that all communication comes through before being redirected to different channels (i.e. email, SMS, voicemail, etc.).Key Insights and Projections

Speaking with students taught us a lot about how they multi-task with multiple communication channels. For the most part, these young people were able to effectively manage all their contacts and communication using a variety of channels including SMS, MSN, Facebook, email and more. When speaking to the young mothers, we learned how important it was for them to be connected but not necessarily available. Who they needed to be available to changed throughout the day, as did their preferred methods of communication.

We decided to explore how a growing number of personal communication channels can support young people’s maturing need of being available to the right person at the right time, 24 hours a day, while setting clear boundaries between social, personal and professional contexts

Key Insights and Projections
Speaking with students taught us a lot about how they multi-task with multiple communication channels. For the most part, these young people were able to effectively manage all their contacts and communication using a variety of channels including SMS, MSN, Facebook, email and more. When speaking to the young mothers, we learned how important it was for them to be connected but not necessarily available. Who they needed to be available to changed throughout the day, as did their preferred methods of communication.

We decided to explore how a growing number of personal communication channels can support young people’s maturing need of being available to the right person at the right time, 24 hours a day, while setting clear boundaries between social, personal and professional contexts.

Process
We spent two weeks conducting user research, turning insights into projections, generating concepts for mobile phones and producing video scenarios with high resolution prototypes. Our user research took place at a Danish Højskole where we spoke with several 20-year-old students and a local park where we spoke with a couple of young mothers. After a period of initial concept generation, we returned to the Danish Højskole to show the students a prototype demonstrating how “status messages” could work on a mobile phone. This gave us more clarity about refining our concepts and inspiration for our final video scenarios.