Alison Burrows presents her findings to the Royal College of Art

I used to think that people who bought big button mobile phones that were easy to use would find getting a new phone was an intimiating experience, but two things have changed my mind about this. They are the research done by Alison Burrows of Loughborough University and  Vitamins Designs work for Samsung.

You can read Alison Burrows research on designing in social benefits as part of the Out Of Box Experience here, but in brief it shows that seniors use the purchase of a new phone as an excuse to invite friends or relatives round to help them and that they joy the social nature of an unboxing. It’s heart-warming to learn that something which you might see as intimidating as a pleasurable social experience. So if you are buying a phone for a friend or relative you might be advised to get a bottle of something to share while you work through it together.

The work Vitamins has done looks at how to make the manual useful in the Out Of Box Experience. By putting the phone in a cut-out within the manual information around the edge of the phone can explain what the features and buttons do. This runs counter to the common trend of making the manual less of the part of the unboxing experience, cutting cost by having tiny type in miniature booklets and using multiple launguages. Vitamins has produced a video to show the idea.

Out of the box – book from Vitamins on Vimeo.