Last week I heard a very interesting word — nomophobia (NO Mobile Phone PhoBIA). It is used to describe a psychological condition when people have a fear of being detached from mobile phone connectivity. My English is not so good, and I don’t have a good memory to remember new English words, but the first time I heard the word, I immediately remembered it, very quickly and clearly. That’s because this is a very accurate word to describe me. I even think that my cellphone has become a part of my body, at least a part of my hand. I have been so familiar with the weight of my cellphone on my hand that I always feel uncomfortable when I realize that my hand becomes lighter — I put my cellphone in other places! No! That couldn’t happen!
As my best friend, oh, no, as an important part of my body, in this blog I’m gonna introduce one day with my cellphone and show you how a nomophobia person lives her life.
Morning: WeChat and Red, recharge my battery for the day
The first thing I wake up every morning is to check my cellphone. Most Chinese people install a chatting app named WeChat on their cellphones, so do I. This is the most popular chatting app in China. No matter work or personal life, everyone needs it to connect with others. Due to the time lag, I always receive messages at the night from my parents and friends in China. Therefore, WeChat is the first app that I open every day. Besides conversations, WeChat also includes other social functions, like sharing your photos, videos, and links on “Moments” inside it. I watch them every day, which makes me feel closer to my parents and my friend, to see what they are doing. The micro-moment for me is that I want to communicate with people.
After watching everything new on WeChat, I will go to Red. It is a fashionable app popular in young generations in China, with sharing fashion tips, makeups, photographs, and so on, which is a little similar to Instagram but the layout is different. I want to browse interesting things on it. I enjoy the time very much. I love looking at the content that the two apps provide me. I will spend half an hour to an hour on them — perhaps you have noticed that I am talking about “wake up” instead of “get up”. Yes, I haven’t left my bed… This is a space I prepared for myself to escape from the real world for a little moment.
Afternoon: MS Teams and WhatsApp, time to do necessary things
Generally speaking, I am at my most clear-headed in the afternoon of each day. And this is also when I usually have my classes. During this period, I open the MS Team the most. Sometimes it is used for online session, and sometimes for working or group meeting. Also, I need to check some announcement and files used in courses. Another useful tool for me is WhatsApp, I can communicate with most of my classmates here, and we can share information and discuss our group projects on it. Why do I use them? That’s because I want to work with high efficiency.
Evening: YouTube, a reward for my hardworking
I always choose evenings to watch various videos on YouTube. They might be TV shows, might be videos uploaded by my favorite YouTubers. The night is a time of complete relaxation for me. I have done all the things that I had to do during the day. Next I will open YouTube on my phone and enjoy every minute of watching videos as a reward for myself. I want to watch interesting things happening in the world.
Not all good user experience…
The cellphone is indeed very much like a part of your body — most of the time it is functioning properly and performing its duties. But there are times when it has little problems that make your experience not so pleasant and can even cause you some trouble. As a nomophobia person, I don’t spend every moment with my phone happy, sometimes it makes me angry (really like my boyfriend!).
For chatting apps, a common problem they face is that backup of chat logs is not that convenient, both for WeChat and WhatsApp. When I need to get a new device, or when I want to save some precious conversations as memories, they are likely to be cleaned up, or not automatically backed up as I expected, even though I have the option to back them up turned on.They don’t collaborate well across devices — it’s as if teammates completing a group project together have little communication with each other. When I find myself unable to view the chat I want, I feel a sense of loss — my memory has been stolen. Yes, for sure, besides the micro-moments I said above, I want to add another for the chatting app: I want to remember.
The marketer Yuka wants to say…
Bad user experience is not limited to this when using cell phones. There are certainly many other situations that occur. As a marketer, I think understanding users’ purpose is very essential. Do users need to backup the data? How do they reload the data? What are the most effective and comfortable ways for them to do it? How do the apps protect users’ information and privacy? There are so many questions. Understanding the intent of your target audience is always necessary. And now almost all marketers are also cellphone users — whether they are addicted to it or not. By switching the position of marketers and users, the difference in usage experience will be more obvious.
User evaluation of the applications is undoubtedly crucial. User reviews can provide clear ideas on how to improve the applications. The combination of your own experience and the experience of the users can lead to a better direction for the applications — they will gradually become obvious, important and finally indispensable in the lives of the users.