The blog – Mobile Community Design – actually inspired my work towards the ‘mobile wiki’. Imagine social collaborative work on the move. Now, thats mobility at its extremes 🙂
The report ‘Sampling Mobile Opinion‘ has the following ‘Product Design’ Recommendations. I am very sure this is the future .. press forward half a decade almost all gadgets would need to think in these lines?
The following design recommendations and requirements for tourism technologies result from the answers backpackers provided, and reasonable assumptions that can be made from them.
1. Backpackers often want to contact others for emotional reasons. It can be for assistance, to cure loneliness, or to make others worry less. Being able to quickly contact others and convey emotion clearly is useful.
2. Many of the backpackers did not respond in good English. Device designs should support multiple languages, cross-cultural conventions and translation capabilities.
3. Backpackers have serious concerns that greatly affect their lives while travelling, such as finding accommodation, finding good tours, or getting taxes refunded. They would benefit from a better medium for sharing tips with each other which avoid the bias of those profiting from running services in these areas.
4. Backpackers are using a range of communication technologies. E-mail is often used because it is relatively fast and cheap. However, other technologies could be successful if they are cheap, fast (where mobility is a factor) and effective for what backpackers want to convey.
5. The participants wanted to know about the environments they were in and had many unanswered questions. While there are certainly information sources available, there is clearly room for improvement in getting information to those who need it.
6. Location-based virtual graffiti may suffer from a similar social phenomenon commonly experienced on bathroom walls; the content may be high-level, cliché, or crude. The location and mental state users are in when they leave the message are likely causes. It may also be the anonymity and lack of clear audience which produces this. There is scope for more research in this area, but it may be helpful to couch location-based services in the context of other activities which have their own social norms to self-regulate the type of content.
7. Support collectively owned discussion media. Backpackers will need to discuss topics that are not politically correct without censorship from official bodies.