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Editor's Note

Behind the Scenes

This ground-breaking issue of UX is interesting for many reasons, not least of which is the deployment of one of our editorial staff members as a “guest” editor. Well, why not? Mindy has significant personal experience in the mobile realm, she’s got contacts with other potential experts, and she’s an excellent editor. We are all proud of the job she’s done with this issue.

Are you, too, a potential guest editor? Do you have a pet subject you’d like to see UX address—something like the cloud, or collaborative work, globalization and specific locales, or trust and ethics in UX design? Please let me know.

Or are you interested in adding a working editor’s notch to your resumé? Our volunteer staff is always interested in growing with new talent. If you’d like to contribute a day or so each calendar quarter to join us, please get in touch. Or seek me out in Las Vegas; I’ll be recruiting at UPA’s annual conference, June 4-8, 2012.

Working with the UX team provides new learning and skills-building experiences; it can also be fun. We’re not an “editorial board” passing judgment on our colleagues’ research-based writing; we advocate anecdote-driven stories and a conversational tone.

Also consider submitting an article proposal, as Mindy once did. (Check the guidelines on the UPA/Publications website.) Many of our editors began working with us as authors. Likewise, some of our regular editors also appear as authors, or as “guest” editors.

-Joe Bugental, Managing Editor

 

The World is Mobile

“The world is mobile,” as Lucas Espinosa Menendez (known as Lucas Wxyz on the Web) so aptly states in the opening line of his article on mobile UX. Mobile, indeed. The theme of this special issue of UX magazine explores the ever changing and diverse world of mobility, with a special focus on the use of mobile devices in health and financial domains, specifically, mHealth and mBanking.

Mobile phones continue to proliferate our planet at a rate not comparable to that of any other technology to date, creating new and interesting ways to access information and to communicate, and presenting new opportunities for those who were previously unable to realize the benefits of technology.

People’s “mobile experiences” can be vastly different depending upon where they happen to reside in the world. To someone in a developed country, the mobile experience likely includes a smartphone that’s loaded with myriad apps. Assuming network coverage is available, this experience translates to anytime, anywhere access to unlimited amounts of information and data, coupled with the ability to instantly communicate with friends, family, and colleagues around the globe. All of this is easily achieved at the touch, tap, or pinch of your mobile device.

If you’re in a developing country, your “mobile experience” may be significantly different. Maybe you own your own phone; if you do not, there is a good chance that you have access to one through family or friends. Because of limited literacy, prohibitive cost, and lack of consistent power supply, smartphones are often not accessible. You may use mobile phones to communicate with family and friends, to conduct business, and in some cases to receive targeted messaging or to send and receive payments.

Whatever your experience, we stand to learn if we take a step back from our own experience and observe the many innovators around the world who continue to find new and creative ways to use mobile devices to improve their own lives and experience, and the lives and experiences of others. The innovators may be savvy developers in fancy labs, or at the other end of the spectrum, they may be uneducated villagers in a remote and rural corner of the world trying to find a viable means to a positive end.

The articles in this issue explore a broad range of mobile solutions, used in a variety of contexts, to solve challenging and diverse problems.UX

-Mindy Maxwell, Guest Editor

 

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Usability Professionals' Association

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User Experience Magazine is by and about usability professionals, featuring significant and unique articles dealing with the broad field of usability and the user experience.
http://www.usabilityprofessionals.org/upa_publications/user_experience/

This article was originally printed in User Experience Magazine, Volume 11, Issue 2, 2012.
http://www.usabilityprofessionals.org/upa_publications/past_issues/2012-2.html.

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