Following up on a previous post about texting, the FT's Creative Business section reported recent research by the Henley Management Centre and research group Taxonomy on 'm-communications' (I can't find the research online - can you?). I think it backs up a little of what I was saying about the unique nature of texting vs. talking:
"15% of mobile phone users claim never to have made a phone call on their handsets. They send text messages, buy new fascias, even play games. But talk to someone? How so last century. Consumers are twice as likely to text as ring someone. They use the medium to 'filter' personal contact by carefully editing what they communicate and requiring people to ask for attention, rather than get instant access via a call."
There's more in the research, but that was my point about the difference between a text 'asking for attention' rather than demanding instant access via a voice call - they're two entirely different modes of interaction, rather than competing analogues.
Also, a few people responded to my previous post (thanks!), pointing out further valid reasons why Americans don't text (many to do with the financial model). But I still don't buy that the user interface is a major problem in itself though, at least in terms of preventing being a success. The principles of adaptive design would indicate that 'good enough' is, well, just that. Yes, the UI for texting is pretty ridiculous, and probably should never have been designed that way - but it's good enough, and will be improved upon. Yet another example of a less than perfect design being no hindrance to a product/practice taking off massively. Sometimes we (particularly us designers) overplay the importance of trying to create a perfect user interface in order to achieve a successful user experience - SMS texting is a good example methinks ...