MediaNet 3 User Interface for Cingular
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Bringing mass appeal to a newly merged company's clientele
As cellular phones have evolved from simple communication devices into multimedia powerhouses, data services have become a key point of differentiation between providers. Eager to follow up IDEO’s work with AT&T, Cingular approached IDEO to leverage new technologies and provide a unified service for the newly merged company’s subscribers.
Through extensive observations, interviews, and on-phone XHTML handset prototyping, IDEO uncovered key challenges in data services use: unlike email, data service users must actively seek out content, and those customers that do not find immediate gratification, typically abandon the service. Additionally, cellular phone data service use has yet to become second nature, leaving customers less likely to filter the vast amount of information available.
Using these key insights, IDEO created a more enticing platform with a rich first use, requiring little personalization and featuring screen previews to push the user to the next page. Users can now customize what they want, where they want it, and choose how important the specific content is. Providing relevant content to the user at every step of the experience, MediaNet 3 leverages time, location and the information the customer has already provided to Cingular, to create an initial experience that is tailored specifically for that user. Rather than providing a generic menu, users now have a personal home page and can easily select what information they see when launching the browser.
Final testing nationwide of the MediaNet 3 platform led to the discovery of the remaining unmet needs and helped create final terminology for the platform. Three months after the project was presented, Cingular launched MediaNet 3 to 61million subscribers. Initial response has shown that MediaNet 3 users have increased pages per view and are staying longer on those pages.
Project date: 2006