Else Mobile Phone: Usability First!

I’ve spoken about usability in the past – and will continue to point out that our phones should not require “getting used to” as many people try to maintain.

I recently exchanged my LG Glimmer for a Samsung Caliber and have been startled at the positive difference in usability. The LG required a lot of memorizing where items were kept and a lot of trial and error to figure out. Taps on the touch screen were also not accurate and icons were commonly mystifying.

Using the Samsung Caliber was a different experience: I understood it after five minutes usage, and the touch pad was accurate from the start. Items worked as expected, and there weren’t any misspelled words either.

Now along comes the First Else from Else Mobile, an Israeli company. This phone has a form factor and style similar to the Caliber but was designed from scratch with a singular focus on the “user experience” – which is usability. The primary interface is basically half of a pie menu, combining this with immediate response. This means that one can select an action with a single thumb stroke.

The First Else is supposed to be out in second quarter of 2010, but we will see. According to Engadget’s article, the phone will only support EDGE and HSDPA. It is also running a Linux platform known as Access Linux Platform (or ALP).

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