Tag: smartphone design

Another Ottawa Firm Working with RIM on Future User Interface Designs

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It’s surprising how the City of Ottawa is making headway with RIM’s UX for the PlayBook and upcoming devices. When we first wrote about Teknision, the company responsible for much of the UX work, it seemed people were pretty stunned that it wasn’t TAT, the design firm that RIM is constantly touting in its press releases. It seems another Ottawa company, YOU i Labs, a company that helped work on the HTC Sense UI, has entered in a “significant partnership” with RIM. YOU i Labs works closely with Teknision, as seen in the above video.

Perhaps Ottawa is on the right path to reclaiming the Silicon Valley North title.

Gary Krakow hates the BlackBerry Scrollball

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Gary Krakow, Senior Technology Correspondent for TheStreet.com is a man on a mission. In love with his BlackBerry 8820, which he has used for six months, Krakow is steaming mad that his BlackBerry’s scrollball no longer works. Interviewing his own IT people, Krakow discovers that the majority of the BlackBerrys used at TheStreet.com last about a month before having to be sent back for repairs. Stating that this is a “wake up call for the entire industry” (uh, Gary, how many other smartphone manufacturers do you know that use scroll balls?), Krakow demands that RIM offer the ability to remove and clean the BlackBerry scrollball similar to the old PC mice used in the mid-nineties.

My first thought upon watching this video was, “gee, the people at TheStreet have really dirty hands.” While BBCool HQ has run across the occasional sticky scrollball, our problems are nothing like those of Mr. Krakow and friends. To be fair, BlackBerry support document really doesn’t offer any significant advice on how to deal with the problem, but Gary, there’s a huge difference between the functionality of a $20 mouse and an $800 smartphone! So here’s a protip from us to you: gently wet your thumb before rolling the scrollball. Any unwanted dirt will stick to the moisture on the ball, making it much easier to remove.

To all our IT friends out there, I pose a question: does your company face a similar problem with BlackBerry scrollballs? Inquiring minds want to know.