I flew to Lawrence, Kansas, last week for the first Design For Mobile conference. It was the first mobile user experience-oriented conference in the United States.
You might ask how in the world did a mobile conference land in Kansas, of all places. (I certainly did!)
The conference was organized by Barbara Ballard and her design gurus at Little Springs Design, which is located in Lawrence. It’s much easier to put on your first design conference when you host it in your own city!
But it turns out that Eastern Kansas is not a mobile wasteland. Indeed, Sprint’s world headquarters is located just down the highway in Kansas City. Barbara has great ties with Sprint as she had worked there earlier in her career.
There were two great talks by Sprint, too. Although I’m more of a GSM guy myself (rather than CDMA, which is the technology Sprint uses), these were two of my favorite presentations. Michael Lundy was design lead on the Sprint Instince device and gave a great case study presentation on what it took to get that device out in just 9 months. On the second day of the conference, Jason Ward presented on Sprint’s impressive user experience research capabilities. I’m definitely in awe of their sophisticated measurement tools!
Luckily, I also won an unlocked Motorola RAZR2. I’m very happy about that because my personal device library is heavily biased towards smartphones, so this is only my third feature phone device. I won the device by knowing the answer to the question: “What are the two best selling mobile devices (or, device lines) of all time?”
The answer: The Motorola RAZR and StarTac!
I kept a constant update on Twitter, using both my personal and Hand Interactive accounts. (Each from a slightly different perspective.) If you’re curious, I tagged them all with the tag, #des4mo, and you can see the list of Tweets at: