Microsoft provides with it's KIN phones a good exercise in goal-oriented design. Its two proto-smartphone versions (KIN ONE and TWO) include three features targeted at the most common use case for a hand-held, cloud-connected communication device:
- The Loop is the always-on feed reader. In a twist w.r.t. other phones, they make it the default view so that the user always can review the latest feeds from their primary social connections. These can be grouped in several priority layers, which is a nice touch not provided by Facebook.
- The Spot can be a killer feature. It provides a 21st-century clipboard, a place where the various web clips, bookmarks and half-written musings can be collected until the user's ready to compose them into a published article. This provides a predefined and better workflow for this task that doesn't force the user to keep track in short-term memory of all relevant information pieces while composing a post.
- KIN Studio is a lightweight application that works as a end-user repository for captured data, with specialized tools to create metadata and categorize content according to content type, subject, people, geomapping, timestamp.
Each feature on its own provides a nice touch to enhance the blogging/feedback/social network experience. The three of them together can create a tightly focused environment for creating and sharing. I'd like to have it in my hands for 2 hours and feel how they work.