I’m discovering more and more that it’s not the user experience groups within the carriers and handset manufacturers that we need to convince about a new interface innovation; it’s the chipset manufacturers. While the vision and promise of a given UI might grease the necessary wheels of approvals to get an innovation to market, it rarely arrives without a degree of compromise.

Idlemode: Sony Ericsson XPERIA
Take the Sony XPERIA X1. In this highly-polished pitch video, the UI shucks and jives with all the agility of motion graphics at their finest. And sure, it works. For a UI that relies on a simple 3-view switcher to differentiate, it does make for a unique mobile experience. It certainly is more interesting than a lot of phone UIs out there. However, the actual device experience does lack in the speed department. The experience becomes even more painful when navigating the arched carousel, as demonstrated in this video.

Idlemode: Sony Ericsson XPERIA

Are companies hoping simple-minded consumers won’t notice these details? Unfortunately, in this example, an interesting UI transition has now become something that many users can’t help but notice — and wait for — every time they switch modes. Despite the fact that this is largely driven by the processor’s ability to push the objects around screen, this is the very stuff that perpetuates the stereotype that visual designers are all about gratuitous graphics at the cost of UI efficiency.

Sony XPERIA, marketing video:

Sony XPERIA, hands-on at 3GSM:

One Response to “Your Next UE Innovation is Only as Good as the Processor”

  1. kavehon 12 Feb 2008 at 10:35 pm

    Why stop at the chip manufacturers? Have you been following Modu (http://gizmodo.com/tag/modu/)?

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