Mobile Phone Designers Challenged to Keep up With Users

Monday, August 23, 2010

CAPE TOWN, South Africa, August 24, 2010 - Mobile phone handset designers should look to social networking for
inspiration to improve the management of communications on phones, says ( managing director, Dr Pieter Streicher.
He maintains that many aspects of the mobile phone user interface haven't
changed in ten years, especially contact management and SMS functionality.

Naomi Baron's 2009 study into mobile phone behaviour highlighted the
"reachability conundrum" in consumers' attitudes to always being in touch.
Reachability was one of the aspects of the mobile phone that users liked the
most, and the least. People were finding it more difficult to separate their
work life from leisure time.

To help solve this, designers and manufacturers can learn from the way
social networking platforms such as Twitter and Facebook allow users to
manage their contacts, build lists and 'unfriend' or 'unfollow' people.

The creation of groups of contacts, for example, work, family, would
allow people to separate work and leisure time. They would have the ability
to respond to calls differently at different times, so, for example, a work
call received after hours could be replied to via SMS asking the caller to
respond in the same way. Some of this functionality is starting to appear on
phones, but none are fully integrated yet.

Other suggested improvements:

1. Users should be able to search their messages. With more businesses
using SMS to send customers important information such as reference or
account numbers, customers want to be able to quickly the find information in
their saved messages.

2. Delivery reports are currently stored separately to the messages, and
usually only a limited number of reports are kept. These should be integrated
with the sent message, allowing the user to easily see whether or not a
message has been delivered.

3. While some smartphones do allow you to list SMSs as a threaded
conversation, similar to the way instant messaging (IM) software behaves,
this capability should be introduced as a matter of course to better reflect
how people use messaging.

It doesn't make sense that handset manufacturers haven't kept pace with
the way consumers behave, says Streicher. This could be explained by SMS not
being intended to be a commercial service - it was something that evolved
more or less by accident. But its popularity amongst users, and its growing
adoption as a major business tool, means that SMS and messaging behaviour
should really be a critical factor directing handset designers.

About, a division of Celerity Systems (Pty) Ltd, has been in
operation since 2000 and is headquartered in Cape Town, South Africa. BulkSMS
is a leading wireless application service provider offering bulk SMS
messaging solutions to large and small businesses, public benefit
organisations, and individuals. has a global market presence,
including Europe, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States of

BulkSMS offers two-way bulk SMS messaging, premium rate solutions and
supports mobile marketing campaigns to further an organisation's SMS
communication needs. BulkSMS flagship messaging solution is the BulkSMS Text
Messenger, an application that allows clients to quickly deploy an SMS
service ( from a computer.

The company is a member of the Wireless Application Service Provider
Association (WASPA) and the Mobile Marketing Association.

For more information on BulkSMS's commercial messaging services visit For direct enquiries email or
contact BulkSMS telephonically on +27-21-528-3420.

For more information on BulkSMS's commercial messaging services visit For direct enquiries email sales at or contact BulkSMS telephonically on +27-21-528-3420.

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