Designing For Mobile People Not Mobile Devices

Every time a new idea or invention comes out which changes the face of technology, so many businesses or individuals appear to be stuck in the mud because they didn’t see things that way or because they missed the trend. In light of that I believe that one radical thought process which only a very few people are grasping on to, and which many companies are not focussing on, is the idea of mobile people, rather than mobile phones. I love this way of thinking and I must doff my cap to the man who is taking this train of thought and running full speed with it through this fast moving jungle we call the tech industry. Let’s delve into what he means a little deeper, and try to wrap our heads around this new approach to mobile design. 

Nadav Savio

Nadav Savio is the man behind this thinking and he is currently in one of the very best places to harvest such thoughts, working as user experience designer at Google. Nadav and the brilliant Jared Braiterman, the founder of Jared Research, wrote in a  Business Week paper towards the end of last year about the power of designing a mobile environment rather than just mobile phones, here is a snippet of what they had to say. 

“we must focus on mobile people, not mobile devices. In other words, we are not merely shrinking in size a Web experience, but creating an entirely new platform for communication and interaction”

Mobile People

This was originally something which a fellow writer was talking about at last year’s SXSW festival an dit was something that to be honest I kind of struggled to get my head around at first. Hearing some more rumblings about this notion however helped the reality to land and the fact of the matter is that there is absolute accuracy in the thought process that we have to make the world mobile, not just the phone. We are going to be in a position in the next decade whereby the large majority of the world’s population does not just have phones, but have smartphones which are fully linked and capable of doing an incredible manner of things. In order to match that need we need to create an environment whereby people have all that they need. 

Designing handsets based on the needs of the people should always come first and developers cannot just depend on applications to do that job for us. Those people designing phones have to do so with the functionality of the person in mind and not just unleash whatever technology they have had their fingertips. We need phones which fit into people’s lives, not phones which people have to custom design in order to fit with their lives. If the big boys are able to get this right then we are going to see some truly special things in the future.