The Feature has the first of what is going to be a four part series on mobile design, Listening to Users. The list of points there should be pretty familiar to anyone who has ever taken even a passing interest in design. It’s not even surprizing any more to hear that basic design issues are overlooked by the tech industry. There are a couple of good general points in there however. Such as catering to the “silver surfers” (older users) who often can’t use the eternally shrinking mobile devices on the market today because they need larger buttons and bigger displays. And I particularly liked this:

For mobile retailers, Stuart sees one of their great weaknesses as not letting customers play with a charged handset. This is the opportunity to show off the product and make them want it. In reality, many shops still have plastic models and locked cupboards.

I always thought that was pretty dumb, happy to hear someone else echo that. The same goes for PDAs in retail shops. I don’t give a crap about the foam models, or gutted cases. The reason I stopped in the PDA section was to find out what the thing really does. If I could toy with it I might be tempted by buy right then. But if I need to go back and research device capability online, I’m gonna buy online.