Client
Samsung
Year
2009
Brief
Enable elderly people to use and enjoy mobile technology
Solution
A set of magic cards that empowered users to explore the features of their phones.
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Keywords
human-centered design, product design, design explorations, immersive research
NFC Cards
We looked into people’s mental models to find familiar objects that had the power to translate a digital experience (exploring what your phone can do) into an analogue one, imbued with significance.

This project was part of Out of the Box for Samsung, a design exploration into what stopped elderly people from interacting with mobile technology. It took us across the continent into the homes of people from Italy, Denmark and the UK and resulted in several prototypes and investigations.

We learnt from our exploratory research that what hindered people’s regular interaction with mobile phones was neither their age, nor their presumed lack of technological skills, but the clumsiness of the phone manual. The poor design and unfamiliar terminology discouraged them from engaging with their phones.

Using the NFC technology available on the phones, we designed a set of magic cards that helped users discover the functionality of their mobiles.

You just tap the card on your phone and it’s like an analog shortcut to the function, it just takes you there. The back of the card tells you how to reach that function without the card - empowering users to use and explore the device themselves.

The experience of exploring their phones via a familiar object made people giggle with excitement as they realised the main functions of their phones were actually just a few taps away.

By the end of the project, the cards became so popular with our research group that people carried them around in their pockets, showing off to friends as they explored more functions.
NFC cards
NFC cards
NFC cards
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NFC cards
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NFC cards
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NFC cards
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NFC cards
NFC cards