Mobile Phones – Design, Distraction & Dependency
Everything has changed with the dawn of digital revolution and everything will change with newer revolutions, and change in the future is going to be more rapid and more radical. It is not that in the past it has not happened, it has with the advent of internet and then with mobile, things have changed our life forever, done so dramatically and our living is not the same any more.
I still remember my childhood when the distant communication was initially limited to the use of letters and thereafter the landlines. When I look back I feel the yearning for reading those handwritten letters in hand and though there was an agony in waiting in the queue in the phone booth to get the line connected…the pleasure of waiting was profound, and it is still nostalgic.
Today, mobile has made the distance a history. Privacy is thrown out of the room, call can hit us anytime and there is no courtesy in the calling, missed call is taken for granted and if there is no call back, it is considered an offence. There are no written rules or there is no protocol prescribed in the mobile communication preamble. The design of mobile gadgets has gone into the hands of fashion designers and they are playing with their wild imagination, rightly so. These fancy fashion designers are quirky. The canvas has changed from the fabrics to the metals, but the designers haven’t changed from being crazy. With the automated production setup, we have the fancy designer stuffs in smart phones hitting the online shopping shelves like never before.
Once the design is released from the research and development center, the production line is waiting to take over from the designers. The production has become global, for instance iPhone gets produced in China and the components of many brands get sourced from Taiwan. India, my country with its “Make in India” stand trying to grab a space for the production place, sourcing and production is becoming truly global. Top of it the mobile advertising to social media marketing are there, ready to carpet bomb the message and making sure that they catch the distracted eyeballs.
In the digital world, the eyeball matters.
Web designers, info-graphics, videographers and digital photography work collaboratively to creative magical confluence of digital designs to take the audience completely mesmerized by their work of digital art, the slew of digital designs that they keep churning out. Though it is the age of design, the distractions are wide and wide spread to catch us wherever we go, no place is safe from digital distraction. There is a limit for the mind to take the distraction and mind is still able to stand up and appreciate the design. Things are moving fast, it is about mobility and mobile is driving the new age economy.
Human mind cannot stand digital distraction for long.
Designs are defining the mobile space, functions are important but not as much as the look and feel of the gadget. In fact many people are moving back from smart to simple phones. They have reached self-actualization and they have become smart enough to realize that mobile phones are for calling not for chatting, phones are for talking not for taking photos, and phones are for speaking not for sharing media files. Life of any product goes through a life-cycle and life of the product changes, perhaps time has come for life of a mobile phone to change itself not keep changing the lifestyle of the product owner with tempting new product designs. The dependency on the mobile products and the brand that we associate has changed everything around us and this pace of change is accelerating with every passing day.
iPhone users are an exclusive club and why not since Apple under Steve Jobs kept innovating the classical design and the contemporary function to put the competition at bay. The frequency of release of new designs and the rich functionality made the club membership expand rapidly without comprising on the product price. The Apple iPhone members become fully dependent on the user interface and the user experience; they were hooked and booked to the brand.
Many other brands came on their way but none could distract their track, they kept going and growing. Though I am still a proud member of the Blackberry club but the club has lost is charm and many memberships have given up and have forcefully migrated to other designs and the dependency has lost the connection. The user base has deserted the brand, as the brand has given the design a burial and the brand is desperately trying to hold on to few floating objects to stay afloat. It is just not about the Blackberry brand but Apple is subtly loosing its grip on design and the dependency is slipping. Samsung Edge was a design revolution and it has swept the Apple iPhone out of slumber. Both the creative combination of product design and the digital marketing on mobile and on web are rapidly changing the competitive landscape. There was definite shift in the space of exclusivity and those who were on the fence have shifted to the edge, the Samsung S6 Edge.
It was exciting and it didn’t disappoint.
The design did the trick.
Apple couldn’t hold on to its customers, the dependency was broken with the new design. It was not distraction. It was design. The digital distraction is there in mobile space, we are all immersed in the mobile devices and there are enough data to point out that life is dependent on mobile. Nokia has come and gone. Motorola has come and gone. LG is trying to get a place in between the gone by and great goings. The brands will come and go, once Nokia was world’s No.1 brand and today it is nowhere and Apple stood high above and no other competitor had the reach and iPhone stood strong till yesterday as Samsung has shaken their standing and they are forced to cut the price which was non-negotiable to them. Blackberry tried to wear a new avatar but failed to impress the new breed of users who are smart and are looking for fancy stuff where design decides the fate of the product.
I may be few of the Blackberry members to sooner than later desert the sinking ship not that I don’t want to support the brand I had fallen in love but I can do so far and not farther. I have resisted the temptation of Apple and the recent design of Edge that kept me literally on edge and I didn’t succumb to the end game, I have held on and still a holder of Blackberry.
Though all my Apple friends kept questioning my position on Blackberry, and I was left alone to defend my position. I tried but couldn’t stand the onslaught of Apple’s new designs that kept hitting the market and my friends kept bombarding me with the list of new features and functions. This happened till Samsung came to my rescue when many of my friends couldn’t resist the temptation of Edge and jumped into the Samsung bandwagon, may be I’m amongst the few Blackberry users who were really happy with the Samsung beating the Apple, though there was no tangible gain for me as a Blackberry user.
I am totally lost in the digital distraction of mobile products and wanted a break, I have decided to be little smart in not using these so-called smart digital gadgets. The break is to make up with the age old communication of drafting and sending hand written letters and using the landlines to connect with few left landlines.
In this digital world; the land, the letter and the real design matters and the dependency of life needs to be broken from the virtual world and design our living space in the real world.