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Products Are People Too

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...but I’m not going to talk about these further. I will say that they’re still good starting points in designing social software. But gosh, I found these ideas so influential, and I’m still impressed when I see well-designed social software now.

The image here is of some new Nokia mobile phones, which really do impress me with their attention to social use.

They’re for the emerging markets of India and China. There, the context of use of the mobile is the whole village.

  • The phone tends to be shared by a family, so each one stores 5 distinct addressbooks
  • There’s often one mobile per village, which is rented out. These home can have pre-set call time/cost limits, so make renting out easier. They come with a built in business model
  • It turns out that after voice calls and texting, two major uses of a phone are as a clock, and as a torch. So there’s an external screen showing the time, and a torch built-in
  • There’s a teaching mode
  • And these phones are cheap. Like, 40 euros cheap

I’m impressed to see such a huge corporation building products in such a progressive way.

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June 25, 2007

This presentation puts forward an approach to product design which emphasises experience and stories, and is called Products Are People Too. It was originally delivered in June 2007 as the closing keynote to reboot 9.0.