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User Experience Forum Launches

David Murphy

Wireless informatics company WDSGlobal has announced the launch of Wireless Informatics Forum (WIF), a new resource for the mobile community, which aims to promote the importance of user experience optimisation. WIF, a non-profit organisation, is designed to act as a community resource for mobile operators, handset manufacturers, service providers and software vendors, helping them to share ideas and best practice in the development and delivery of mobile products and services.
The forums website is open to all visitors, allowing free access to discussion boards, industry news, data and research papers from forum members.
Mobile technologies advance so quickly that end-users can easily get left behind, frequently abandoning new services because of perceived complexity or because of very real problems with functionality says WIF Director and VP, Marketing at WDSGlobal, Tim Deluca-Smith. Recently, the launch of mobile technologies such as the Apple iPhone have shifted mainstream thinking towards the true value of the user experience and its ability to drive service adoption or increase customer loyalty. But what does user experience really mean? How do you measure it, improve it and protect it?  How does the value of the user experience differ between countries and user demographics? These are all questions that the Wireless Informatics Forum has been designed to address.
Deluca-Smith says WIF is a community-driven resource that is not about standards settings and not about industrial lobbying.
"We are about industry alignment behind what we believe to be a new success driver for the mobile market wireless informatics and user experience optimisation, he says.
WIF is based on the concept of wireless informatics, the practice of sharing knowledge, best practices and experiences throughout an organisations value chain to deliver the ultimate mobile user experience. Its about identifying key points of end-user dissatisfaction, understanding the root cause and applying a fix upstream in order to mitigate recurrent issues and cost.
WIF says its a practice that is becoming increasingly popular with mobile operators and manufacturers looking to extract value from their customer care operations, better understand their users and apply that intelligence throughout their ecosystem, from development and product management through to retail and marketing.
WIF actively encourages open industry participation via its website and asks visitors to adopt the Five-Point Charter that it believes will help to realign the mobile community behind user experience optimisation and Wireless Informatics:

1). The mobile user experience is frequently compromised by technology complexity. Go-to-market strategies for new products and services must put the consumer first and include more comprehensive market education, training and support solutions, allowing end-users to access the services they need first time, every time and without disruption.

2). Problem prevention is the new problem management. A better understanding of the user experience, from retail environment audits through to post-sale customer care analysis, will help to mitigate continuing support issues and enhance the user experience

3). The way in which mobile end-users source devices, share and consume content and connect to services is changing. The industry must adopt best practices to accommodate this new behaviour and deliver a consistent user experience no matter what the origin of product, service, or connection type.

4). Customer care and all related support services must not be viewed as an OPEX drain and final frontier in the end-user relationship. Instead such support environments must be recognized as fertile grounds for changing user behaviour, driving more profitable usage patterns and championing user experience optimization strategies across the organisation.

5). A chasm is forming between the wants and needs of the mobile operator, the device manufacturer and the service/content provider. This misalignment is damaging to the user experience and must be closed in order to deliver compelling mobile data services that meet end users expectations for service and quality.