Unifying Communications: Don’t call us, we’ll call or email or message or text or tweet you

Session Title

Unifying Communications: Don’t call us, we’ll call or email or message or text or tweet you


Martijn Van Tilburg, Artefact

Session Type: Presentation

People carry on conversations across multiple communication modalities — via email, text messages, traditional phone conversations, as well as social networking and real-time communications like Twitter — yet nothing except their memory is available to connect these communication pieces into a coherent, extended conversation.

Until recently, the mobile phone industry had not put a great deal of investment into unifying these vehicles, creating a growing opportunity for interaction designers to enhance the user experience associated with communication channels.
Martijn will discuss two major reasons why all types of communication will transition to the mobile phone and why interaction designers are need to accomplish the task; first, the mobile phone is the most ubiquitous device around and second the inherent immediate nature of the mobile phone is essential for communication.

Martijn will delve into what these conversation trends mean for the mobile phone industry and the interaction design community, as well as how the phone can become the integrated center and unifying element for communication and collaboration, creating a much more positive user experience.

He will also share trends and customer demands that point to a new and integrated way of communicating including:

* People are overwhelmed with the volume of communications happening, but worry they may miss something important or interesting.
* People focus too much on learning new tools and technologies for communicating and collaborating, when they need more help learning how to actually work well with other people.
* People struggle to feel real presence or a deeper human connection with many of newest communication vehicles on the market today.

Martijn will also share future concepts and demos illustrating how interaction designers can help combine all types of conversations on the mobile phone in a user friendly manner. Lastly, Martijn will show how the phone, specifically the “address book” can become the integrated center and unifying element for communication.


With 12 years of design experience in both the corporate and consulting world, Martijn is the Senior Design Director at Artefact.

Martijn has helped manage client relationships with a variety of Artefact’s recent clients such as major industry players like HTC, Microsoft, Apple, SONOS and Intel to deliver innovation to mobile systems, gaming and entertainment systems (xBox 360, SONOS Multi-Room Music Player), natural user interfaces (Microsoft Surface), client applications (Microsoft WorldWide Telescope), and mobile phone software (HTC Touch Diamond, Microsoft Windows Mobile).

Martijn has extensive experience managing multidisciplinary teams and designing consumer and enterprise software products for mobile, desktop, game systems and the web.

Prior to joining Artefact, Martijn designed the user experience for several products and features for Microsoft Office 2000, Office XP, Office 2003, and Office 2007. He then joined the Microsoft Windows team to lead the design of the Search, Organize and Communications features of Windows Vista as well as the user experience design of an innovative incubation product. Martijn’s designs are experienced everyday by hundreds of millions of people.

Martijn studied architecture and industrial design in the Netherlands and has a Master’s of Science in Industrial Design Engineering from Delft University of Technology. He holds more than 10 design and utility patents for software products, with many more pending. He was recognized with a Gold Industrial Design Excellence Award (IDEA) in 2003 for his design work on future user experiences for Information Workers.