Sunday, June 08, 2008

The Blind Phone is Mobile User Experience Innovation of the Year

Making usable products for disabled users ...

"Ben Scott-Robinson’s Blind Phone was last night named MEX Mobile User Experience Innovation of the Year. Beating stiff competition, the Ben Scott-Robinson design recognised the lack of an affordable handset available to 12 million people who are blind or of limited sight in Europe, and created a fully realised concept that would dramatically improve the mobile experience for the consumer.

The inaugural MEX Mobile User Experience Awards, sponsored by Nuance, TAT and Immersion, has been an open design challenge to the mobile phone industry, designers and students seeking to address the challenge of making the experience of using mobile devices better for all. Ben Scott-Robinson recognised that as phones become ever more complicated mobile communication is a frustrating experience for those with restricted sight. This award winning design dramatically rethinks both the physical design and the user interface to remove the requirement of a screen or any visual input or feedback.

"This Competition was all about encouraging the mobile industry to think about the importance of designing for diverse consumer needs," says Marek Pawlowski, Founder of MEX. "The entrants have really impressed across the board, with tremendous thought and innovation in every submission. Deciding on the overall winner was incredibly challenging, but ultimately the BSR Blind Phone was absolutely standout to the judges. It perfectly encapsulated both the awards brief and the essence of MEX."

“Products for those with disability is an area in the mobile space which has been much ignored, so is a huge opportunity for better design,” said award winning freelance designer Ben Scott-Robinson. “To be recognised as Innovator of the Year is fantastic. MEX has delivered the opportunity to develop the design for the Blind Phone further forward to an actual prototype, something which would probably never have happened without this award."    (Continued via Usability News)    [Ergonomics Resources]

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