Skip to Content
Uncategorized

Why Mobile Devices Are Used Differently in Asia

IDEO’s Moggridge shows that design always comes down to human behavior.
September 23, 2009

I’ve often heard makers of mobile applications and devices at conferences in the United States talk about all that’s done in Asia, but efforts to port similar technologies to the States never seem to work. For example, Sky Dayton’s company, Helio, had a cool device and a partnership with powerful Asian operator Docomo, yet their technology could not take off.

In a talk today at EmTech@MIT 2009, Bill Moggridge, founder of IDEO, outlined some of the difficult considerations that go into designing for a connected world. As always, user behavior proves to be king. In Asia, he noted, many people have long commutes in situations where it would be rude to talk or make noise. The commutes, however, are perfect for fiddling with buttons and learning complex mobile apps. Moggridge attributes the popularity of certain types of text-heavy mobile apps to this ultimately behavioral condition.

In the United States, Moggridge sees nearly the opposite situation. People in the U.S. are likely to have long car commutes, where fiddling with buttons would be dangerous, but they can talk to their hearts’ content.

He concludes that developers who want to transfer technologies between cultures need to consider behavioral differences, and they need to be sure to test with users.

Deep Dive

Uncategorized

Five poems about the mind

DREAM VENDING MACHINE I feed it coins and watch the spring coil back,the clunk of a vacuum-packed, foil-wrappeddream dropping into the tray. It dispenses all kinds of dreams—bad dreams, good dreams,short nightmares to stave off worse ones, recurring dreams with a teacake marshmallow center.Hardboiled caramel dreams to tuck in your cheek,a bag of orange dreams…

Work reinvented: Tech will drive the office evolution

As organizations navigate a new world of hybrid work, tech innovation will be crucial for employee connection and collaboration.

Investing in people is key to successful transformation

People-related factors like talent attraction and retention and clear top-down communication will determine whether your transformation progresses or stalls.

The way forward: Merging IT and operations

Digital transformation in any industry begins with bridging the gap between two traditionally separate teams.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.