Contextual and cultural challenges for user mobility research

  • Blom J
  • Chipchase J
  • Lehikoinen J
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Personal, mobile synchronous and asynchronous communication has proven to be very desirable for all types of users, with estimates of more than a half-billion mobile phones sold each year [2]. Nokia Research Center's User Experience Group, working with other user practitioners in Nokia, seeks to understand why people do the things they do with their mobile communication devices and proposes solutions that best address their wants and needs. In accordance with the principles of user-centric product concept design [4], the solutions are designed to inform and inspire the product creation process within Nokia. Given that the group works three to eight years ahead of what appears on the market, confidentiality concerns restrict disclosure of many of these concepts and the findings on which these concepts are based. Instead, in this article we share some of the essential lessons learned from our projects centering on the early stages of product concept development. Two areas have proved to be particularly challenging in this respect: coping with multiple contexts and multiple cultures in the study of mobility.

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  • Jan Blom

  • Jan Chipchase

  • Jaakko Lehikoinen

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