Monday, December 10, 2007

User-centred design at France Telecom: Lipstick on a Pig?

What UI research are they doing? ...

"The R&D labs of France Telecom and its commercial Orange brand cover a wide range of technological research but at first glance they also seem to be extensively involved in user research and experience design:

The UK research centre has a strong focus on user interface design and usability: “The UK R&D centre has undertaken design and development of many new user interfaces for Orange phones and web applications including being a major contributor to the development of a fully Orange specified user interface. Many other designs are in the process of introduction, including a new Mobile Search feature developed to better navigate through user content, services and applications”.

Whereas the East Coast R&D centre in Boston has a strong technology-driven approach, the San Francisco-based West Coast R&D centre focusses on “user-centered experience design“.

The mission of the research centre in China is “to create and develop innovation commercial offerings for customers of Orange”. Aside from technological exploration, it also covers “sociological aspects and new usage” patterns, more in particular “the study of usage linked to leading-edge domains specific to the region: future mobile phone generations, network co-operation, the Internet of the future (IPV6, etc.) and multimedia services”.

Also the brand new Cairo Orange Lab in Egypt has “research into local uses” listed as one of its core activities.

But it is nearly impossible to find out what these projects really entail. A rare exception is Clive Grinyer (blog), who is Orange France Telecom’s director of design and regularly covers the work he is doing at international conferences, like recently at Intersections (transcript and slides)."    (Continued via putting people first)    [Usability Resources]

Lipstick on a Pig - Usability, User Interface Design

Lipstick on a Pig

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